Research

Negative Emotions May Affect Immune Response – Study Reveals

The abundance of facilities today makes keeping a track of your health easier. You can now use several apps, gadgets, and other technologies to have an update on how different organs in your body are functioning. Hence, it is much easier to manage any health condition.

In comparison with a decade ago, there is now much more awareness regarding health.  Additionally, people have become more conscious about their health and fitness. There is also a wave of what many people neglect – body positivity.

This movement has helped people accept their bodies and accept themselves. Consequently, there is now a focus on more realistic bodies. Many people do not look up to the ‘perfect’ body images appearing in magazines and social media.

Where the physical health is now better, mental health often gets neglected. Even though the cases of depression and anxiety are now more common than they have never been, mental wellness still does not get enough attention.

Negative emotions can be the result of anything. The aforementioned body positivity movement has done a lot of work to improve negative feelings related to one’s appearance but the idealization of unrealistic beauty standards remains a problem.

In addition, there may be several other factors for negative emotions including social and economic problems. The further effects of negative emotions are mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, stress, and other issues. These issues do not solely affect a set of functions.

In fact, many studies have reported that they may affect physical health as well. Research shows chronic stress can lead to many issues including heart-related problems.

Recent research conducted at Pennsylvania State University in State College highlights how such negative emotions may also contribute to inflammation and affect the body’s immune response.

How Do Negative Emotions Affect the Body?

Previously, several studies linked negative emotions and thoughts to the increased risk of a stroke, heart-related issues, social and work problems. The new study published in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity shows it may also affect how the body responds to different situations.

Read the full study here. 

To conduct the research, the team of researchers asked the participants to keep a record of their feelings and emotions for over two weeks. During this period of time, they also analyzed blood samples from the participants check the immune response by looking for signs of inflammation.

Inflammation usually occurs as a result of the functioning of the body. The immune system is responsible to keep the levels low and stop it from causing harm. While a certain level is present at all times, higher levels of inflammation are associated with potential health issues.

What Were the Results?

The researchers found that the people who expected or experienced more negative emotions throughout the day had increased signs of inflammation. It was also seen that the biomarkers of inflammation tended to be the highest in a sample collected right after a negative emotion was experienced by the participants.

Happy emotions before taking the sample also particularly lowered the inflammation signs but this was only in the case of males in this study.

The research adds more to the medical literature present on the connections between mental and physical health. One of the best things about the study was the inclusion of people from different ethnic, socio-economic, and racial backgrounds.

However, the scientists themselves say that further investigation is required to study linkages between inflammatory response and mental health. Hopefully, the study will make a way for more research on the matter.

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