Ladies, have you ever experienced a headache after your husband or kids made you angry? There's a scientific reason for it, believe it or not. The American College of Rheumatology has released a report that shows anger can increase physical pain in women. The report, based on two studies, revealed the effect of angry emotions on pain in women with or without fibromyalgia. Interestingly, because of their chronic, painful condition, the women with fibromyalgia had more difficulty identifying and describing their emotions. As a result, they suppressed their emotions more, which led to more pain. Sadness, it turns out, also increases pain the same way anger does (so, if you feel a headache coming on, a tear-jerker movie is not a good idea). Negative emotions like anger and sadness not only increase pain but can sabotage your efforts to achieve optimal health — they can eat away at your health just like a cancer. In fact, Dr. Michael Barry, of the Cancer Treatment Centers of America and the author of "The Forgiveness Project" says, "There is a direct correlation between unforgiveness and our immune system, which directly affects our healing processes." Unforgiveness, Dr. Barry explains, "creates a state of chronic anxiety, and chronic anxiety has a predictable impact on a wide range of bodily functions, including the reproductive system, the digestive system, and the immune system." Worse yet, stress hormones created in such a state can reduce the production of natural killer cells, which help the body to fight cancer. On the flipside, forgiveness has the opposite effect. In fact, another online article notes that "forgiveness education is effective in minimizing negative emotions, promoting positive emotions, and improving health and well-being in the general population." In short, forgiveness improves immune function. So... the lesson here is forgive and forget (the pain).
Which emotions affect your health?