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Emotions, Stress and Ways to Cope with Them Essay

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Updated: May 21st, 2021

Abstract

Human emotions, feelings of anger, and health are interconnected. This means that people should be able to manage stress if they want to live longer and achieve their potential. This paper begins by analyzing the major issues or aspects associated with human emotions. People who are aware of their poignant experiences will manage them effectively using evidence-based measures. The discussion goes further to examine the connection between stress and health. The final section examines various practices and ideas that individuals can consider to cope with anger and eventually record positive health results.

Introduction

Human beings experience different forms of emotions depending on the situations they are in. Such feelings are usually capable of affecting every person’s performance or achievement. Stress also affects people negatively, thereby making it impossible for them to achieve their goals. Managing it can result in positive health outcomes. This paper focuses on the issues of stress, health, and emotions. Meaningful insights are presented that can empower more people to lead high-quality and healthy lives.

Emotion

Cognition and Emotion

Arousal and expressive behaviors in emotion interact uniquely. According to James-Lange theory, arousal will arise before an emotion (Myers, 2011). This will trigger expressive behaviors that are associated with physiological responses. For human beings to experience emotions, they must interpret the existing situation consciously and label them (Myers, 2011). This means that individuals will be physically aroused.

Embodied Emotion

The link between emotional arousal and the autonomous nervous system is what scientists call embodied emotion. This means that any form of arousal will automatically result in a psychological response. This is something associated with or caused by the body’s autonomous nervous system (Toussaint, Shields, Dorn, & Slavish, 2016). Arousal will affect an individual’s performance negatively. For example, a person who is about to give a public speech will be unable to deliver once he or she is aroused emotionally.

All emotions do not trigger similar physiological and brain-pattern responses. A study by Toussaint et al. (2016) revealed that the cortical areas of the brain were responsible for diverse emotional and physiological responses. This means that strong emotions will trigger complex brain patterns and physiological responses due to the nature of hormones the body releases. Polygraphs have been in use to measure physiological responses of emotion. However, they are not very reliable when detecting lies. This is the reason why guilty questions are used as alternatives.

Expressed Emotion

Human beings communicate nonverbally through several voluntary or involuntary ways, including dressing, construction, writing, paralanguage, and gestures. This approach ensures that people share adequate information and ideas. Women and men differ in this aspect. This is true since females are talented as natural communicators (Toussaint et al., 2016). This happens to be the case since they are empowered to engage others on a wide range of levels.

Nonverbal expressions of emotions are universally understood. This is the case since all human beings portray similar expressions for joy, fear, happiness, anger, or sadness. Similarly, musical expressions are usually uniform across all cultural groups (Myers, 2011). Latest studies have revealed that people’s facial expressions will influence their feelings accordingly. An individual trying to force an expression of happiness will eventually feel such an emotion. This means that facial expressions will influence the intended mood.

Experienced Emotion

The basic emotions include surprise, joy, disgust, fear, shame, guilt, anger, sadness, contempt, and interest-excitement. These can be differentiated using these two dimensions: valence (either positive or negative) and arousal (whether low or high). The major causes of anger include insulting actions and frustrating experiences that humans might interpret as unjustified, willful, or unavoidable. Its consequences include feelings of pain, vengeance, and suicide (Finlay-Jones, Rees, & Kane, 2015). Happiness, on the other hand, arises from promising or helpful situations or events. Personal achievements and positive feelings will result in increased happiness. This feeling can trigger good health outcomes. Happiness has also been associated with risky behaviors, such as binge drinking.

Stress and Health

Several events will provoke stress responses in human beings. For instance, the loss of a beloved person, injury, or divorce will result in painful emotions. Negative events or experiences can generate feelings of anguish or anger. Human beings respond and adapt differently to stress. Some might cry and engage in various activities to overcome pain. Others will embrace the concept of resilience to respond to the experienced situation in a positive manner (Finlay-Jones et al., 2015). In extreme cases, some individuals might decide to seek psychological support or commit suicide.

Feelings of anger and stress are associated with poor health outcomes. When an individual is affected by stress, chances are high that he or she will embrace inappropriate or risky health behaviors. For example, some people might eat large quantities of food while others will not. Such individuals will record negative health outcomes and be at risk of anorexia or obesity (Myers, 2011). Depression, mental illnesses, dementia, and migraine are also serious medical conditions triggered by prolonged stress. Affected individuals might decide to engage in risky behaviors that will expose them to various illnesses, including HIV/AIDs and addiction.

Some people will be more prone to coronary heart disease than others. Individuals from families with a history of this condition will be at a higher risk of becoming sick. Those who are facing stressful experiences or situations will also be exposed to coronary heart disease (Finlay-Jones et al., 2015). A proper understanding of these differences will empower more people to protect themselves from different medical conditions.

Promoting Health

The ability to cope with stress is a powerful attribute that can result in positive health outcomes. Many people facing this challenge will consider different strategies to record meaningful results. These may include engaging in self-care, talking to friends and counselors, avoiding alcohol and other addictive drugs, seeking therapy, and getting rid of the main trigger. Some people might focus on the most appropriate approaches to become more resilient (Finlay-Jones et al., 2015). A perceived lack of control will eventually affect a person’s health outcomes negatively. This is true since the affected individual will engage in drinking or continue to use addictive substances. Such a person might also decide to embrace a risky lifestyle. Such misbehaviors will eventually result in controllable illnesses or suicidal thoughts.

Individuals who have a positive or optimistic outlook on life record positive health results because they respond to challenging experiences effectively. They will recover within a short time whenever they are sick. They will also portray increased levels of optimism and life expectancy. Social support is related to positive health since it empowers people to deal with stress (Myers, 2011). The body’s immunity will increase significantly and eventually improve the individual’s health outcomes. People should, therefore, consider these linkages to lead long and healthy lives.

Aerobic exercises are useful because they can help people manage stress and improve their well-being. This is an oxygen-consuming activity that improves the functioning of the lungs and the heart. It also results in muscle relaxation and better sleep (Toussaint et al., 2016). It relieves depression and increases a person’s cognitive abilities.

Meditation and relaxation are evidence-based practices that reduce stress by minimizing blood pressure and relaxing different muscles. Such techniques also result in improved body functioning, thereby reducing depression and anxiety. The faith factor reveals that religiously active individuals will have better and longer lives (Myers, 2011). This achievement arises from the social support, positive emotions, and healthy behaviors associated with it. People can consider these explanations or connections to achieve similar benefits.

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) entails the use of alternative practices to promote health outcomes. Although they are not common in medical schools and hospitals, they have been found to deliver positive results (Finlay-Jones et al., 2015). Scientific researchers consider such methods to understand their positive impacts through the use of randomized or control experiments. The findings encourage different people to use CAM techniques to meet their health demands.

Conclusion

The above discussion has indicated that emotions play a unique role in the experiences and health outcomes of all people. A proper understanding of how to cope with emotions and stress can empower more individuals to record positive health outcomes. Meditation, aerobic exercises, complementary and alternative medicine, and religious beliefs are powerful attributes that can result in improved health outcomes.

References

Finlay-Jones, A. L., Rees, C. S., & Kane, R. T. (2015). Self-compassion, emotion regulation and stress among Australian psychologists: Testing an emotion regulation model of self-compassion using structural equation modeling. PLoS ONE, 10(7), e0133481. Web.

Myers, D. G. (2011). Psychology (10th ed.). New York, NY: Worth Publishers.

Toussaint, L., Shields, G. S., Dorn, G., & Slavish, G. M. (2016). Effects of lifetime stress exposure on mental and physical health in young adulthood: How stress degrades and forgiveness protects health. Journal of Health Psychology, 21(6), 1004-1014. Web.

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IvyPanda. (2021, May 21). Emotions, Stress and Ways to Cope with Them. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/emotions-stress-and-ways-to-cope-with-them/

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IvyPanda. "Emotions, Stress and Ways to Cope with Them." May 21, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/emotions-stress-and-ways-to-cope-with-them/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Emotions, Stress and Ways to Cope with Them." May 21, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/emotions-stress-and-ways-to-cope-with-them/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Emotions, Stress and Ways to Cope with Them'. 21 May.

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