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Christmas time - Happiness or Sadness?

For many people Christmas is a time of joy and happiness bringing family and friends together. However, it can also be a time of sadness and loneliness for some as it highlights either loss, bereavement or isolation. Mental and physical well-being starts with understanding emotions and being able to observe these feelings. We all at some point will feel a sense of loneliness but it is important to understand that these feelings are not permanent. Sometimes the physicalising of pain is a direct result of our emotions.

Chronic pain can limit the functioning of our body and can make it difficult for us to function. However, many of us link this pain to the improper functioning of our body. But what we need to remember is that our body is deeply connected to our mind. Studies have shown that chronic pain might not only be caused by physical injury but also by stress and emotional issues. Our negative emotions can influence our body and cause stress and physical pain in different parts of our body. Therefore, it is important for us to consider emotional pain as serious as physical pain. Here are four common feelings that can severely impact your health.

1. Shame & Guilt

The feeling of guilt in an individual may be due to different reasons. They might be regretting their actions which were intentional or may be accidental. Keeping your guilt within yourself for a long time can take a toll on your physical health. This feeling of shame or guilt can manifest into physical ailments such as stomach pain, muscle tension, head pain, and insomnia. Addressing the guilt within is important to heal your body of your physical pain. Therefore, for physical as well as mental health reasons, understanding the nature of shame and guilt and developing good, strong, effective coping skills is important.

2. Sadness

Sadness cannot be confused with depression. When people bury their painful experiences or emotions in their heart for a long time. They are prone to sadness. Your emotional pain may make you feel physically weak and drained out of energy. When this emotion is kept within for long, you may see the effects of it on your body. According to the Huffington Post, a study conducted by psychologists from Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Rochester found that suppressing emotions may increase the risk of dying from heart disease and even cancer.

2. Anxiety

Anxiety is a feeling that causes worry, nervousness, and fear. This feeling can keep you from doing your day to day activities. Whilst most of us know the effects of anxiety on our mental health, many are unaware of the physical pain caused by it. It has been reported that anxiety can lead to an increased risk of infections, cause digestive issues and even affect the proper functioning of the cardiovascular, urinary, and respiratory systems. Therefore, it is important to get help as soon as you realise it.

4. Unexpressed anger

Anger can be experienced by an individual for a variety of reasons. A person may be feeling that he or she is not appreciated enough or is not accepted the way they want to be. Some people also experience this emotion after being hurt by someone they love or respect. When this anger is not expressed, it gets internalized within and may manifest into several physical problems. Poor sleep, irritability, feeling on edge are all symptoms of someone with unexpressed anger.

5. Depression

Depression is a very serious mental health issue that makes a person feel sad and hopeless in life. A person suffering from depression usually shows symptoms such as mood swings, less sleep, low energy, and physical agitation. While most people think it is just a mental health issue, depression can cause many physical problems. Insomnia, chronic pain, inflammation and increased risk of diseases can all be caused by depression. Joint or muscle pain, breast tenderness, and headaches can be the aftereffects of depression.

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