If you’re like everyone else, you’re probably more aware of your physical problems than your emotional pain.
The latter stands out more than the former but has equally serious consequences. What makes it worse is that we tend to track our physical instead of our emotional health. Here are a few effects of emotional pain, backed by science.
Emotional pain is sometimes worse than physical pain
You probably attend physical check-ups regularly, but you may find psychological checks completely foreign. Still, they are as, if not more important.
A small cut may become infected if you do not medicate it. In the same way, a psychological wound may worsen, if neglected, and grow into depression. But you may find emotional pain harder to bear than physical hurt, and here’s why.
First of all, emotional pain recurs, unlike a physical injury. The cut you get fall will hurt for a time, but you’ll forget about it after it heals. Conversely, you’ll feel upset each time you recall a sad event.
Quite oddly, physical pain brings emotional relief. It explains why some teens and adults practice self-harm. Depression, however, doesn’t relieve you in the same way. You cannot lessen the pain of childbirth by recalling a breakup. It will worsen the experience.
Because it isn’t tangible, a rejection won’t get you as much empathy as a car accident. In fact, studies show that people always undervalue the emotional pain of others.
Also, emotional pain echoes loudly and lasts. A little boy is likely to continue playing football after an injury. But a person isn’t likely to enjoy Christmas again if they received a call about his or her parent’s passing on that day.
Finally, a potential employer’s rejection will damage your self-esteem, but not a fall. A put down from a boss will make a person lose their self-confidence and become reserved. Conversely, you’ll pick yourself up quickly after a fall (provided it’s not too serious) and move on.
5 Unexpected Ways Emotional Pain Affects Your Health
The spirit, body, and mind share a deep connection. You need all three to keep your body in tip-top shape. Your cardiovascular, digestive, immune and respiratory systems receive the impact when any of them break down. Studies prove that emotional issues cause physical pain.
1. Emotional pain can affect your stomach.
First of all, relax, or you may develop a tummy ache. The stress of overwrought emotions can take a toll on your stomach. If neglected, these stomach issues can become chronic.
Research finds that social stress can cause teenagers to develop abdominal problems. Scientists examined three different adolescents and found that in all three cases, excessive social anxiety caused stress and abdominal pain.
2. It affects your digestion
Do you feel a gripping pain in your tummy when frustration takes over? Emotional pain can also affect your digestive tract. It inflames the gastrointestinal tract, bringing on diarrhea, bloating and gas. It triggers the ‘flight or fight’ response that you’ll experience when threatened. Your muscles will contract, making you more susceptible to digestion. A study shows that stress may trigger acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, and peptic ulcers.
3. Emotional pain can cause weight gain
You may reach for a bag of chips when you need comfort, but it’s not a good practice. It’s how your stress or angst causes you to gain weight.
When you experience anguish, your body secretes cortisol, the stress-easing hormone. It causes your body to store fat. The fat includes visceral fat, which envelops organs. It creates fatty acids, which enter your blood and raise your cholesterol. This study illustrates the close relationship between mood, stress, and food.
4. People With Emotional Issues Have Sleep Problems
Also, personal problems and stress are not good for sleep. Your anxiety makes you toss and turn. According to this study, painful life events cause chronic sleep loss.
5. Emotional disturbances cause tension headaches
Finally, you may have already noticed that your tension headaches develop when a sad event occurs. Stress is a top cause of tension headaches, as science proves. A study finds that they occur more often among those with depression than those who don’t suffer from it.
Managing Your Emotional Pain
You can’t get rid of deep, personal issues at the drop of a hat, but you can ease their effect on you. You may find these useful strategies balms for your emotional injuries.
First of all, rejection can cause you to question yourself. You may start to doubt yourself over something as trivial as losing a friend on Facebook. To ease the hurt, don’t turn to self-criticism. Instead, focus on your strengths and seek support from your loved ones.
Furthermore, a tragic loss can destroy your positive thoughts about the world. Experts like Guy Winch, author of Emotional First Aid, suggest that you should cope with it as you usually would. Also, give yourself time to heal.
You may have the self-defeating habit of going over your mistakes all the time. It causes you to relive the pain of your unpleasant experiences. Realize that others may not see the world in the same way you do. Remember that they may not think about your mistake as much as yourself.
Finally, everyone finds failure hard to bear. The best way to deal with it is to seek the advice of others who can help you regain your self-confidence. They’ll help you realize that one failure doesn’t mean that you’ll fail in all areas of your life.
In all, you take care of yourself physically when you take care of your emotional health.