How do feelings affect health?

Emotions and the body: how your feelings affect your health

Welps recommends:

  • Emotions can harm and heal both psychologically and physically.
  • Expression of tender feelings towards a partner lowers cholesterol in just five weeks
  • Laughter can reduce the risk of a heart attack by curbing unwanted stress.

It has been clinically proven that emotions strongly influence the biochemistry of the body. Physical detox is sometimes necessary, but what you also need to get rid of in the process is emotions or feelings. It might seem that emotional upheavals have nothing to do with physical health, but in fact they are closely connected and, which is equally important, they cannot be separated. Welps talks about the link between emotions and health.

And what is this link exactly?

Psychologists studying the effect emotions have on physical health have come to the conclusion that, although everyone is unique, there are nevertheless certain patterns to how our bodies physically react to thoughts, feelings and actions.

Fear and sorrow

Emotions can harm and heal not only psychologically, but also physically. Studies have shown that having to make a public speech can double the severity of allergy symptoms. This effect can last for up to two days.

Crying soothes because stress hormones are eliminated from the body via tears. U.S. biochemist Dr. William H. Frey compared the tears of women who cried for emotional reasons to those caused by cutting onions.

Emotional tears have been found to contain high levels of hormones and neurotransmitters associated with stress. Dr. Frey concluded that the goal of emotional crying is to get rid of stressful chemicals.

Holding tears back leaves the body open to anxiety, weakens immunity, leads to poor memory and indifferent digestion. This may be one of the reasons why women live longer than men: they cry more often.


According to a study published in Human Communication Research, expressing affection for one’s partner lowers cholesterol in just five weeks. Conversely, according to scientists from Ohio State University, a half-hour argument with a loved one can lower immunity for at least one day. If you argue regularly, the occurrence of the common cold doubles.

The study of the effects of chronic stress at the Stanford School of Medicine showed that short bursts of stress can promote immunity and boost cancer-fighting molecules, this effect lasting for several weeks after the conclusion of the stressful situation. However, prolonged or chronic stress is quite another matter. According to Dr. Robert Sapolsky, professor of biology at Stanford, stress turns on one’s fight or flight response, making the body postpone the long-term construction and repair projects. He also adds that memory and accuracy are impaired, fatigue increases, one can get depressed, and reproduction levels decline.

Chronic stress exposure has been found to increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.

Anger, irritability and impatience

A long-term study in Michigan examined women who suppressed anger in confrontation with partners and found that they were twice as likely to die from conditions such as heart attack, stroke or cancer compared to the conflict-free women.

However, by constantly giving in to the urge to lash out, you does not give yourself any favors, either. Outbreaks of anger may last only a few minutes, but they often cause spikes in blood pressure and heart rate, increasing the risk of a heart attack by 19%. Such forms of discontent as impatience, irritability and grumpiness are also harmful to health.


According to researchers from the University of Pavia in Italy, falling in love raises the level of nerve growth factor for about a year. Nerve growth factor, a hormone-like substance, helps restore the nervous system and improves memory, boosting the generation of brain cells.

Depression and apathy

Depression, pessimism and apathy affect health in several ways. Low mood is associated with low levels of serotonin and dopamine, which are sensitive to the effects of neurotransmitters in the brain, says a London-based doctor Jane Fleming.

She also states that, as serotonin plays a role in regulating pain perception, it may be the reason why 45% of patients with depression also suffer from pain.


In a study of the effects of laughter, Dr. Lee S. Berk of Loma Linda University found that mood-enhancing beta-endorphins increased by 27%, while human growth hormone, a substance that promotes sleep and cell restoration, increased by 87% when the subjects were expecting to watch a funny movie.

In another study, laughter was enough to lower the levels of stress hormones, cortisol and adrenaline. Cardiologists at the University of Maryland Medical Center discovered that laughter can reduce the risk of a heart attack by curbing unwanted stress.

And – last but not least – do not forget that you can get rid of unwanted emotions by working out. Exercise with the special Welps programs in our app.

Remember, Welps Helps!