Emotions and their role in painful conditions
Let’s talk about emotions and how they can impact your health. We could all agree that our emotions can sometimes be all over the place and it can control us to an extent. We feel emotions in the moment and we believe that we are destined to feel those forever. We know logically that this isn’t the case but nevertheless we still think that our current state will never get better.
We fall into traps of thinking from time to time and the goal is to get out of the thinking that we are forever doomed to that state. We try to self medicate or medicate our feelings into oblivion. We feel sad or depressed and we look for the nearest thing that can bring us out of that feeling. Usually it is a substance that is a drug or a form of it. We think that this will permanently fix it but we find out that it comes back.
So with this cycle of emotional roller coaster how can we better tackle the problem of anxiety, stress and even depression?
When we turn to therapies to try and regulate our emotions they can have mixed reviews. We need an effective way of dealing with this without medication. So next we will look at therapies and strategies that are effective at calming down our nervous system and essentially our emotions.
It helps to start by going over what emotions are. Emotions are humans way of experiencing what is going on in our environment as well as circumstances. Emotions are for our benefit but sometimes we let them run our lives and we think that this is always reality. Our emotions help us enjoy and experience life. It helps us to gauge where we are at.
With that being said our emotions let us gauge our internal environment moment to moment. The important aspect of this is that they change. We are not stuck in one state of emotion for very long. However if we perceive that we are always in a state of sadness then our outlook will change to that of sadness. Here is an easier example. Our mind gets trained by what we think. If we think that our life is constantly negative then more than likely it will be. Our thoughts and emotions go hand in hand. If we think (thought) that we are depressed and dwell on that aspect more than likely we will feel (emotion) sad. If we do this many times over then our general disposition is sadness.
So let’s get to the title of this message. Studies have shown that low back pain and depression are strongly correlated as well as other pain conditions. We can actually condition our pain into more pain. Remember what we think can manifest itself in our physical body. So when a person presents at my office with pain that has been going on for a while it is strongly suggested that there may be a strong correlation to emotions in the form of stress, anxiety, etc.
If I were to treat only the physical symptoms of that condition then that would be doing a disservice to that person. It is often said that stress plays a larger role than we think in pain and in health. So the strategies that have been most effective in treating this type of pain from emotional states has been a couple things.
Magnesium has been studied on effectiveness for not only muscle relaxation but for depression. Cited here. This is a great supplement to take for anything stress because it has a calming effect on the nervous system.
I have recently stumbled upon this gem of a therapy. It stands for Emotional Freedom Technique and it has been proven by many to help with things such as anxiety, depression, stress, even phobias. Check it out here. I have been using it for anxiety myself with good results.
When we are having these feelings of being stressed or anxious the last thing we think of is staying connected with people. But this is probably the best long term solution of depression, anxiety, stress. Staying connected and having deep relationships with others helps us to experience life with support. It doesn’t disappoint. Find a group of people to connect to that lifts you up.
Whether you believe that your emotions have an effect on your pain or not you would greatly benefit from doing an emotional check and seeing if you are balancing them or if they are controlling you.