In health care, mental and physical health are often treated as two separate issues. There are different health professionals that you see for your physical issues and your mental health concerns. But in reality, what you experience mentally and what you feel physically are closely tied together. This is the mind body connection and it is a result of the brain’s powerful capabilities to influence what we feel.
This can potentially causing pain without an external cause. When you are experiencing pain and are unsure why, looking to your emotions and mental health may provide valuable insight.
Understanding the Relationship Between Psychological and Physiological Symptoms
The mind and body are closely tied together. In addition to impacting your thoughts, your mind also plays a significant role in what you feel physically.
There are many mental health conditions, like depression, with physical pain as a well known symptom. Stress and anxiety have an extremely notable physical impact. The repressed emotions in the brain can activate the parts of the brain that are active when you have an injury or disease. When these are active, your nerves tell you that you are experiencing pain even if there is no physical cause.
The mind body connection also goes both ways. Experiencing pain physically can lead to an increase in emotional upset, therefore causing more pain and creating a debilitating cycle. Repressed anger is one of the primary emotional causes of chronic pain via the mind body connection. Those who hold in a lot of their anger frequently report:
- Back Pain
- Neck Pain
- Knee Pain
- Lower Endurance
- Higher Blood Pressure
- Greater Pain Sensitivity to External Stimuli
Many studies have confirmed these effects in those who are more likely to hold on to their anger. Although this pain may not have a physical cause, such as a disease, it is not in your head. Whether it is the result of anger, depression, or another emotion you are experiencing, these are real issues that you are experiencing in your body as evidenced by things like higher blood pressure and increased brain activity in the centers that indicate pain.
For patients on Long Island, Long Island Psychology can give you insight into your emotions and provide tools for effectively processing them. We have offices in Garden City and Rockville Centre, and a new office in Roslyn Heights to provide mental health counseling that takes into account physical pain that may result from unprocessed emotions.