The influence of mind over body Everyone has emotions and different life events influence one’s emotions differently. The stimuli in our daily life may make one happy sometimes, but one may feel stressed in other situations. Stress occurs when one is facing demanding events or stimuli. This essay will discuss the influence of one’s emotions on one’s body by looking at how one reacts to stress, illnesses which relate to stress and the relationship between emotions and cancer.
People react to stressors in three stages, which were called the general adaptation syndrome. The first stage is alarm reaction. In this stage, the organism becomes highly alert and aroused. The second stage is resistance, which means one tries to adapt to the stressful stimulus or to escape. If these efforts are not successful and the stressful situation continues, the last stage is exhaustion or collapse. This is how stress influences one’s reactions.
Stress can also lead to some illnesses. It is more likely for people to have heart disease if their bodily reactions are being speeded up continually and produce stress-related hormones. Stress can reduce the effectiveness of the immune system and, as a result, increase susceptibility to different kinds of illness. Also, stress may increase secretion of hydrochloric acid which can lead to stomach ulcers.
That is why people who work in psychologically demanded jobs, for example, assembly-line workers and air-traffic controllers, are more likely to suffer from stomach ulcers. When people are under stress, they may become anxious or depressed. As a result, people may eat too much or too little, have sleep difficulties, smoke or drink more, or fail to exercise and these maybe harmful to their health. Therefore, the risk of getting illnesses may be increased when one suffers from stress.
Mind can influence the progression of cancer because of the effects on the function of the immune system. Fighting spirit or strong denial make women who have breast cancer can be free of disease longer (Greer and Morris, 1981) and those who express their anger outwardly can have a better chance for recovery (Levy, 1984). Also, the helpless feeling may decrease the disease-fighting lymphocytes in the bloodstream (Laudenslager et al., 1983). Moreover, depression may increase the risk of getting cancer. In one study, widowed husbands were found to have a decline in the function of their white blood cells within two months of their wives’ deaths (Schiefler et al., 1980).
Therefore, our emotions influence our bodies very much In conclusion, our emotions can influence our bodies in different ways. Stress can cause illnesses by reducing the effectiveness of our body’s immune system. There is also a relationship between emotional reactions and the progression of cancer. Therefore, the mind greatly influences the function of the body.