We have many expressions to express our emotions: we get excited when we are angry, we regret when we are sad, and sometimes we feel like bursting with joy. It turns out that there is a scientific explanation behind all these phrases and it has something to do with our feelings towards certain parts of the body.
We support everyone’s well-being, so let’s share relevant information about how new emotions can affect our health.
“Emotional baggage” is literally trapped feelings that weigh us down and disrupt our bodily functions
holistic chiropractor Dr. Bradley Nelson, DC explained that repressed emotions cause vibrations and frequencies in specific parts of the body.
If we don’t process or release them, the energy they create gets stuck and can manifest through muscle tension, pain, or other illnesses.
mind body therapist Kelly Vincent, PsyD looks like compare feelings to “a giant obstacle” that prevents the free flow of energy.
One study mapped out the bodily sensations associated with each emotion:
A group of Finnish researchers conducted 5 online experiments with hundreds of participants from different cultural backgrounds.
Respondents were exposed to stimuli that would generate certain feelings. They were also asked to identify which body regions appeared to be on and which parts were off when they saw emotional triggers.
The team found that the patterns of bodily sensations were consistent with all the feelings tested, meaning that the anatomical map they developed is universal.
Happiness and love are manifested throughout the body
The emotional arousal of feeling joy affects our muscles located in the stomach, intestines and bladder, hence the meaning of the expression “butterflies in the stomach”.
However, compared to happiness, love was not felt as much in the legs.
Both emotions also release dopamine and serotonin, the feel-good hormones that help regulate our moods and emotions. These 2 neurotransmitters work hand in hand to maintain a chemical balance throughout the body.
Anger is felt primarily in the upper half of the body and can primarily affect the heart
Maybe that’s why we feel the need to hit something when we’re upset. Emotional energy is intense in the arms and we may feel the need to release it.
Feeling angry also releases adrenaline, which causes our muscles to contract and our blood pressure to rise. There are also studies linking repressed anger with heart disease and a weakened immune system.
Fear and disgust also affect the upper half of the body and the cardiovascular system
The fight or flight of our body response when we are afraid it includes the release of the hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine, which help prepare our muscles for violent action.
These hormones increase the activity of the heart and lungs, which is consistent with the emotional atlas formulated by the research team.
and like others negative emotions, constant fear can lead to chronic stress, which can affect memory and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Sadness can get trapped in the head and chest, while depression shuts down the lower body
Studies have shown that depression can contribute to physical changes in the brain and can cause headaches and inflammation.
Feelings of distress can also lead to a loss of interest in certain things, which may explain why limbs are not highlighted on the body map.
Anxiety is felt above the pelvic region, which is also the area affected by anxiety attacks
Like fear, this emotion triggers adrenaline and increases our breathing rate so our brain can get more oxygen and prepare for a perceived threat. Rapid heart rate, chest pain, and nausea are symptoms of an anxiety attack.
Constant anxiety disrupts our body’s normal functions and can weaken our immune system. It can also leave us vulnerable to viral infections and other illnesses.
Most of the time, we are “afraid” when we are anxious. The lack of intensity of the map in the legs and feet may be due to the constriction of the blood vessels, which causes less blood flow out of the body.
Have you ever noticed how your body reacts when you experience intense emotions? Are you the kind of person who keeps feelings in check or finds ways to release them?