How do emotions affect physical health?

All animals seek to survive, adapt to their environment and generate survival strategies that are taught and even inherited to new generations. In the case of the human being this has also happened. For example, fear is the body’s signal to activate adrenaline production and this can affect physical health.

According to the study Maps of subjective feelings, published by the National Academy of Sciences, each emotion generates different types of physical sensations. Thanks to this study, which included 1,026 participants, it was possible to map the physical sensations of 100 emotions, both negative and positive, and cognitions, according to international media.

Participants were asked about the intensity, sensations, and where in the body each emotion was felt. Among the most important conclusions, it was found that emotions are expressed in the same way for most people and that there is a directly proportional relationship between the intensity of each emotion and the intensity of the physical sensation.

As for anger, adrenaline production increases, breathing speeds up and blood pressure increases. Physical sensation is located in the head, hands and chest.

With regard to sadness, the consumption of energy and oxygen is increased, which is why a feeling of exhaustion is generated. In addition, the production of serotonin and dopamine is reduced, this in the long term can cause poor appetite and insomnia. Physical sensation is located in the head, stomach, and chest.