Positive emotions, as science has shown, strengthen the immune system and are closely related to the way you react to the events of life.

The positive emotions  are a proof that “good attracts good , ” a simple, but effective logical formula to life . This theory applies in each of the areas of human endeavor, including health. That is why it is said that adequate psychophysiological reactions benefit the autoimmune system. And beyond that, all the actions that an individual undertakes in his life are related to that response mechanism to stimuli.

From the point of view of science, recent research indicates that the brain and the immune system have a constant dialogue. And, through emotions, it has been possible to learn much more about how our body works , protected by this mechanism. It defends you against infection, by attacking germs, and helps us stay healthy. Thus, through a well-organized reaction of antigens, our body attacks invading pathogens.

This causes certain strictly physiological responses on the part of the body. But, they are altered, depending on the circumstances, which is known as the chemistry of stress . To understand this mechanism, the results of a pioneering research carried out by Dr. George Solomon in 1998 were analyzed. In it, the following were related: tension, emotions and the immune response . The evaluation began 11 days after a large earthquake occurred and ended 4 months later.

The chemistry of stress

Among the parameters considered was the effect of the disruption of normal life caused by the earthquake. This included whether a loss of a family member, home, or vehicle had occurred . In addition to the alteration of activities related to the children’s school or the workplace, among others.

Also, the ability to deal with them as a response of the immune system as a function of time. Those who had had varying levels of disturbance of existence and those who had suffered different degrees of disturbance in the emotional order were compared.

The parameter related to the immune response was added to each of these groups. The classification was as follows:

  • First group . Or control group, were the basis of the experiment. Those who had a slight disorder in life and who, in turn, did not present a great emotional alteration. Their immune response, logically, was good.
  • Second group . Formed by those who suffered little disorder of daily life, but who were very stressed. These presented a decrease in their immune response. It’s about the people who care about everything. And, although the earthquake or other situations do not affect them directly, they tend to magnify the problems. What causes a decrease in immune activity.
  • Third group . It was made up of people with low distress and high life disturbance. And although the opposite was expected, it was the group with the least immunological alteration. It is about those individuals with difficulty expressing their emotions, self-controlled, or who simply deny the circumstances they are experiencing.
  • Fourth group . It was composed of individuals in high distress because, indeed, the earthquake introduced a high disorder in their lives. Paradoxically, these people showed a normal immune response, similar to the control group. Although they expressed a high emotional response, according to the losses suffered.

Positive emotions and the proper way to respond

The results of this experiment were fundamental. From this we conclude that, when the individual responds emotionally, according to the situation experienced, there is no problem with the immune system . If a person suffers the loss of a loved one or their material assets. If you witnessed a tragedy or saw your loved ones die, in this case as a result of the earthquake. And because of this he suffers an emotional disturbance, the immune response knows that this is the normal reaction to an irregular event.

There is nothing good or bad with emotions. All the functions of the body are under its influence. These are not cataloged, because they are life itself . What is harmful is addiction to them. Today, it is already known that in the face of each emotion, the human being produces a different neurotransmitter and now the possibility of generating a psycho-emotional language is being investigated .

Actions according to the pattern of positive emotions

There are people who tend to victimize themselves. And they say, for example: “Why did that happen to me?”, “Why does this happen only to me?” This position is bad for the immune system. The reason is that the individual in question becomes addicted to such emotion . Hence the need to be careful with emotional responses. A positive attitude would be to take responsibility or assume with integrity what happens to you. And, on that basis, work so that the event is not repeated in the future.

The most important conclusion about the study of positive emotions is that agitation or disorder appropriate to the circumstances that are being experienced must be expressed . If you are in emotional distress, because something serious is happening to you, the immune system will understand. And, therefore, it will activate your response and collaborate so that you do not get sick. Do not feel compelled to hide your sadness or anguish, or to have illogical positive thoughts, which do not match the situation.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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