The Connections Between Emotions and Inflammation [VLOG #75]
Click above to watch my VLOG – The Connections Between Emotions and Inflammation. Or, feel free to read the transcript below instead!
Note: The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate. This is due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
Today, we’re going to talk about The Connections Between Emotions and Inflammation. This is really important because inflammation is pretty much the precursor to every illness, disease, and accelerated aging. It really destroys our health and our wellness overall.
A lot of us focus on the connection between diet and inflammation. Of course, this is very important and there’s a tremendous amount of research connecting how we eat and how inflamed our bodies are.
However, there’s more and more research showing how our overall lifestyle, including our emotional wellbeing, really plays a role in inflammation.
In fact, there are new studies coming out showing how positive emotions are associated with lower circulating levels of inflammation.
On the converse side, how heightened emotions and patterns and negative beliefs can actually raise inflammation just like eating a bunch of sugar. This is one of the subjects that I cover in my new book, Recipes For Your Perfectly Imperfect Life. This is of tremendous interest to me.
Journey into Wellness
Those of you that have been with me for a while, or even if not, I’ll say that my journey in wellness really did start with food when I was trying to heal myself.
I had gained all this weight, had really bad acne, was confused about what to eat, and super-bloated.
Food was really the beginning of my journey, and it’s still a very important part of the lifestyle. But over time, my work kept progressing.
This book is about connecting with our real self beyond just the surface. Going deeply to the perfect and the imperfect parts of yourself and really accepting the whole.
The wholeness is where we really get the power. When we look at our lifestyle holistically to address things like inflammation, skin quality and energy.
We realize that it’s really a total package that we need to address and talk about if we’re to get the best results.
In this way, we really want to think about emotional wellbeing, not just what we’re eating. This is also very important but to really think about our overall wellbeing.
#1 Reducing Stress
From an emotional standpoint, is the benefits of reducing stress, including reducing inflammation. I bring up stress because we can say that the events themselves are not stressful. It’s our reaction to them.
Of course, the built-up tension in our bodies that come when we don’t handle stress. For instance, cars are going slow, there is traffic. That’s a fact that cars are going very slow.
However, it’s our reaction and worrying and looking at our appointments and sort of the feelings inside of us that make the stress build up.
Or someone says something, and we start to stew in our mind. We might play it over and over again. Or, we can hear it, address it, and then let it go. It’s our reactions that create a lot of stress.
The Oxford Handbook of Social Neuroscience found that stress and negative emotions promoted the production of inflammatory mediators. Road rage, resentment, or the stress of overloading yourself is really going to affect inflammation on the physical level in your body.
Anything you can do to chill out more or reduce the busyness of your schedule. Meditate more and know that you’re going to really do your body some tremendous good.
#2 Self-care Routine
Number two, is how self-care routines can decrease inflammation. This came from a recent analysis published in Frontiers in Immunology, found that yoga and meditation reduce pro-inflammatory cytokines and down-regulate inflammation-related genes.
It goes back to how are we dealing with our day and how it’s going to have a huge effect on inflammation and how we feel.
Making sure we allow time for sitting, breathing and meditation, which is such a core part of my own practice. Just being, is a huge key and not just trying to do, do, do, but actually being.
#3 Experience Your Feelings
Thirdly, it’s very important to experience your feelings. This is a whole part of Perfectly Imperfect that talks about the letting go technique. It’s really important that we feel into the feelings that come up. We don’t try to hide or suppress and/or repress them.
That creates more stress long-term. And then we get triggered and someone says something, and it reminds us of something we didn’t handle in the past. Then something else comes up, and we get angry and upset and don’t know why.
The easiest way to really get past this is when we feel pain and sadness. When we feel triggered, let yourself feel it because it actually starts to come up and out of you. It’s a purging. There’s a detoxifying quality to actually feeling deeply.
In the long-term, that’s going to help regulate and create emotional balance because we’re not as triggered by everything because we’re not scared. We’re letting ourselves feel.
We’re going into it like a warrior, that’s like Durga, and then that will reduce inflammation as well.
# 4 Positive Emotions
Now, let’s talk about the flip side to help lessen inflammation. This is a study from Emotion found that people that reported a wide range of positive emotions on a day to day basis found that they had less inflammation markers.
We can’t be fake happy all the time, but one thing I’ll say that’s very positive is gratitude. Even in our lowest moments, even when we’re super-stressed, we can shift our energy by looking, thinking, and feeling anything that we feel grateful about all.
Just shifting into gratitude, I think is one of the easiest ways to shift into positivity.
And, of course, love, joy, and the compassion piece, grow more with a regular practice of meditation, stillness, and the whole lifestyle. Eating our plant-based Beauty Detox Solluna way is also going to help.
For now, I can say that even when you’re in a rut, you can still shift to gratitude and this a very powerful way to have those positive benefits and to help reduce inflammation in your body.
#5 Connecting Back In
And finally, paying attention to your inner-emotions and really feel what you’re feeling. Instead of being disconnected to our body, we can feel the calm state. We can connect back in. A lot of us are completely disconnected from our bodies.
Take some deep breaths. Really feel the lightness in your body as Eckhart Tolle says, to connect to your own bodily energy.
Being aware helps to reduce inflammation because it means that we’re more in touch with ourselves. When we’re more in touch with ourselves, we’re more attuned to our actual needs.
This is a very powerful practice of slowing down, paying attention. Asking your body what it needs.
Feeling your feelings and it all starts to work together. Cultivating gratitude, cultivating more calmness, being really present when you talk to someone. I feel calmer already just talking about all these things.
Supporting Local with THIS Initiative
I want to remind you, Beauty, if you haven’t yet gotten your copy of Recipes for Your Perfectly Imperfect Life, now is a perfect time to do so. We are reintroducing for summer five of our bonuses. These are all about overcoming body shame and feeling good in your perfectly imperfect body now.
These bonuses are all about how to support feeling good right now in your perfectly imperfect body. They include 22 short videos which are very direct and very practical.
All you have to do is purchase your copy of the new book at Barnes & Noble or your favorite local retailer up until June 21st. We are all about supporting local with this initiative.
Remember, Beauties, that it’s not just diet and the way we exercise. It’s our inner world and the way that we are handling our emotional wellbeing.
Really taking care of nurturing ourselves is one of the most powerful ways to reduce inflammation and to make sure that we keep our bodies, not only healthy but that we feel more peaceful and happy overall.
Sending you so much love and gratitude, Beauty. I’m so grateful for you and for our community and I also want to invite you, to join our Feel Good Circle, where we talk about self-care and wonderful ways to balance your emotions and take care of yourself. It’s a community and a virtual circle.
You can go as deeply into it as you want to, but basically, there’s video where I talk about the theme. Then you get 15-minute audios that break down the topics. You can listen to them every week and there are journal prompts.
There’s a private Facebook Group, so you can interact with other like-minded souls. It’s a really beautiful way to balance, to work on your emotional balance, which I think we all need. You can check it out if you’re interested.
I will see you back here soon. Sending you so much love. Take great care of yourself!