Exploring the Links Between Physical Pain and Emotions

Physical Pain and Emotions

The mind-body connection can affect health in different ways. We can understand emotional pain in the body if we are aware that the mind and body work together, they cannot be separated. The mind controls thoughts and behaviors and this influences the way the body experiences pain.

Thoughts, emotions, and mental experiences can affect physical health and this, in turn, influences the mind and emotions. Likewise, mental health plays a crucial role in how you recover from physical ailments.

If we cannot face the emotional pain in the body ourselves, at Greatest Moments we work with a team of specialist psychologists who can help you.

An example of this would be anxiety. This disorder can cause different physical symptoms such as muscle tension, headache, stomach upset, etc. On the contrary, regulated physical activity can improve mood and even reduce symptoms of, for example, depression.

Emotional Pain in the Body

Physical pain is an indicator that something is not right in our body, but there is another type of pain, which can sometimes be as intense as or even more intense than physical pain: it is emotional pain in the body.

We have all felt that emotional pain in the body at some point when we feel that sensation of internal tearing. It is also an indicator that something is not right.

Sometimes it is often closely related to the feeling of loss, either due to disappointment, betrayal, and/or breakup. But this emotional pain in the body acquires its extreme intensity when faced with the loss of a loved one.

There are a wide variety of physical symptoms caused by emotional pain in the body. Some of them related to an anxiety disorder, for example, would be:

  • Tachycardias and palpitations. The feeling of suffocation and hot flashes. Muscle tension. Cervical, back, and neck pain. In the jaw (bruxism). The sensation of pressure in the chest, lump in the throat and not being able to swallow. Tension headache.
  • The trembling, shaking, or tingling sensation in the hands and legs has to do with the way you breathe. Stiffness or a feeling of weakness in the arms or legs. And finally, excessive fatigue, that is, being very tired for no apparent reason.
  • In the digestive system: nausea, vomiting, gas, heartburn, urge to go to the bathroom. A knot in the stomach.
  • Neurovegetative symptoms: excessive sweating in the hands, armpits, and feet. Dry mouth, dizziness, and a feeling of instability appear (a subjective perception that the person has difficulty maintaining balance). Chills, stomach upset, hot flashes, or feeling hot. Tunnel vision is the feeling of not seeing clearly, the feeling that I am perceiving colors as very sharp or strong (color contrasts). The sound is also perceived as very annoying (hypersensitivity of the senses), a sensation of ringing in the ears (tinnitus).

Emotional Illnesses Reflected In The Body

Continuing with the topic of emotional pain in the body, we must add that there is more and more scientific evidence that supports the idea that a person’s emotional state can play a fundamental role in the evolution of various physical diseases.

Some examples of emotional pain in the body would be anxiety disorders, different types of stress, depressive disorders, and different emotional imbalances or grief, among others.

Types of Emotional Pain

Emotional pain in the body can be long-lasting in many cases. However, physical pain can be temporary, unlike emotional pain, which can last for years or even the entire person’s life.

Interestingly, physical pain cannot be relived, but emotional pain in the body can.

People usually do not manage negative emotions well. If we do not learn to manage these emotions, such as frustration or anger, they will end up having an impact on our bodies.

All psychological disorders would be very representative of emotional pain in the body.

Emotional Meaning of Specific Pains

Emotional pain in the body warns us that something is not working well in us. So it may be that stress, for example, is reflected in a headache or jaw tension. Anxiety could lead to dizziness.

People who suffer from a lot of muscle tension may also notice that their neck and/or back hurt. When we are in a constant state of alert or emotional hypervigilance our arms can hurt and our hands can even go numb.

When feeling sadness, pressure may appear in the chest, and a feeling of emotional emptiness. The diaphragm is a highly veined muscle that separates the lungs from the stomach. By accumulating emotions, such as stress, anxiety, anger, fears, or even excess tension, digestive problems such as gas or even constipation can be generated.

How To Address Physical Discomfort Linked To Emotions

Some guidelines to address the physical discomfort that emotional pain produces in the body would be:

First of all, we should not deny the discomfort we feel, even though it is very unpleasant.

We will try to express our emotions. This is very important to do to regulate them. Another strategy would be to talk to someone you trust about how you feel. This, too, will help us a lot. Likewise, we can write how we feel. It is a way to give cognitive distance.

Let’s try to practice self-care, find out what our needs are, and put them into action. Take care of your diet and don’t forget to practice good sleep hygiene. Sleep and nutrition are essential in our self-care. Pay attention to your internal dialogue, observe how you talk to yourself, and if what you say to yourself would you tell it to your best friend. Be kind to yourself.

Allowing yourself to cry is a good way to channel your emotional pain. And finally, don’t forget that you are not the only person who feels this emotional pain in the body. We all have emotions.

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