Men need to recognise their emotional experiences before they express themselves.
Encouraging guys to make sense of their emotion is tricky. Partly because of their socialisation and subsequent expectations of manhood but also because the language of feelings is complex.
See this post to learn more – A Man’s Guide to Emotional Language – 6 Simple Moves
There is something vitally important in supporting men’s relationship with their emotional life. Especially so considering the suicide rates amongst men.
The physical manifestation of emotion may initially be easier to spot than finding a word or three!
Did you know that emotions have a physiological component?
The body remembers
Emotions as feeling states are often stored in our body.
Mind-body medical research and available treatments are becoming more and more mainstream. This field of health and wellbeing offers a fascinating insight into emotions from a physiological perspective.
This info graphic describes some common emotions and associated physical reactions.
Know your emotional body map
Are there certain aspects of the info graphic that resonate with you?
I encourage you to become familiar with areas of your body that become uncomfortable when you feel certain emotions.
For example, where do you carry stress? In your shoulders, neck or back?
Are there recurring ailments that emerge in your body that could have an emotional component?
Better out than in!
The physical effects of holding emotions in is of great interest to mind-body practitioners in integrative medicine, complimentary health and psychology.
When we are troubled emotionally and struggle to cope, certain neurotransmitters in the brain release chemicals such as adrenalin and cortisol. These chemicals are released into our bloodstream and have an impact our physical and mental health.
High levels of cortisol for example create mind-body reactions that challenge our immune system making us susceptible to illnesses of various degrees.
The ailments and illnesses influenced by our emotional health and wellbeing include:
- Dizziness (nausea)
- Chest pain
- Stomach aches
- Back pain
- Change in appetite
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Dry mouth
- Extreme tiredness
- General aches and pains
- High blood pressure
- Heart Palpitations
- Sexual problems
- Shortness of breath
- Stiff neck
- Weight gain or loss
- Neck pain
- Eating disorders
- Rheumatoid arthritis
That’s a very long list! If you have any kind of health concern please check in with a health professional.
Knowing the signposts of your emotional life, whether physical, mental, emotional or spiritual will assist you in navigating your relationships, work and family life.
Your body may already be giving you the clues to seek out treatments and help. Trust it!
What are your physical signs of emotion?