Stress Makes Controlling Emotions Difficult


How your body reacts to stress is a risk factor for disease. Stress causes the body to secrete the hormone cortisol and makes it difficult to control emotions. This hormone raises blood pressure and causes the body to retain fluids, which places more stress on your heart.

According to Science Daily, "Even mild stress can thwart therapeutic measures to control emotions, a team of neuroscientists at New York University has found. Their findings, which appear in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, point to the limits of clinical techniques while also shedding new light on the barriers that must be overcome in addressing afflictions such as fear or anxiety.”

Read more about stress management

It’s impossible not to feel emotions; they can be suppressed voluntarily, but they cannot be “turned off.” Whenever we are under stress, the limbic system is activated and it’s one of the major centers responsible for emotions and feeling. But it’s important to remember that the effects of stress are both physiological and psychological.

When we feel stressed the heart rate, blood pressure, and respiratory function rise in order to supply the muscles and the brain. Sexual and immune functions are suppressed and the sympathetic nervous system is stimulated.

Stress management, or how you emotionally react to stress, is one of the most important factors to your health. It’s more important than diet, exercise, and how much you sleep. Your body cannot defend itself against the damage of emotional stress and pays a price the moment you feel anxious, tense, frustrated, or angry.

It’s impossible to avoid stress in life but it’s not what happens to you that matters, rather how you react to it. Emotional stress is like any other stress on the body, and it needs to be dealt with so that over time it doesn’t cause physical harm to your body and mind.

Read more about minimizing your stress by eating well

Take steps to relieve emotional stress:

"We have long suspected that stress can impair our ability to control our emotions, but this is the first study to document how even mild stress can undercut therapies designed to keep our emotions in check," said Elizabeth Phelps, a professor in NYU's Department of Psychology and Center for Neural Science and the study's senior author. "In other words, what you learn in the clinic may not be as relevant in the real world when you're stressed."

Photo Credit: CollegeDegrees360



By Sara Novak| September 19, 2013
Categories:  Restore

About the Author

Sara Novak

Sara Novak

Sara Novak specializes in health and food policy writing for Discovery Health. Her work has also been featured on TreeHugger, HowStuffWorks.com, TLC Cooking, and Animal Planet. After graduating from the Grady School of Journalism at the University of Georgia, Sara headed up the communication efforts for a national scholarship program in Washington, D.C. Sara has also handled copy writing and public relations for a global environmental consulting firm. She loves fiddling with healthful recipes, traveling, and exploring life atop her yoga mat. Today, Sara lives in Charleston with her husband and two lovable cocker spaniels, Madison and Bella.

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