How Do Our Emotions Affect Our Immune Response?

Posted on January 12, 2019

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There has been numerous research conducted that shows how chronic exposure to stress, anxiety and negative moods can greatly affect one’s physical health. Examples being how chronic stress has been evidenced to have a negative impact on memory, and how feelings of distress increase one’s risk of cardiovascular events.

In a latest study conducted by specialists from Pennsylvania State University in State College, they found that negative moods could possibly change the way our body’s immune response functions and are also associated with an increased risk of exacerbated inflammation. Inflammation is a natural response of our immune system that occurs when the body reacts to infections or wounds. If inflammation levels get too high, it is often associated with poor health and a range of chronic conditions like arthritis.

What the study found was a positive correlation between negative moods inflammation where individuals who experienced more negative moods throughout the day for extended periods of time had high levels of inflammation biomarkers in their blood. However, experiencing positives even for a short duration before blood samples were collected to track for inflammation markers was associated with lower inflammation levels though this was only true for males.

What this study provides is crucial evidence regarding the impact of emotions on health, specifically negative emotions, and how momentary and long-term mood reports can have different impacts on health as well in terms of levels of inflammation. Though further research must be conducted to replicate and confirm these findings, these researchers are hopeful that their study will encourage more studies to be done to understand the connection between affect and inflammation. In doing so, they hope to improve physical health through novel psychosocial interventions that seek to improve one’s mood, breaking the cycle that lead to chronic inflammation, disability and disease.

Category(s):Emotional Intelligence, Health / Illness / Medical Issues, Health Psychology

Source material from Medical News Today