manage symptoms of poor emotional health

Managing physical symptoms of poor emotional health

While many of us carve out time to visit the gym, exercise, or otherwise partake in activities to keep our body healthy, it is a fact that we do not dedicate the same level of attention to our emotional wellness. There have been a number of studies conducted into emotional stress to determine how symptoms can result in physical symptoms. The research clearly identifies that emotionally poor health can make a person more vulnerable to physical illness by lowering the body’s natural immune system and defences.

Other areas can also be affected, emotional health supports things like empathy and compassion. Connecting with others and personal relationships can suffer damage from emotional well-being taking a downturn. The mind-body connection operates on a two-way system; low emotional health can impact physical health, and low physical health or activity levels can drag down emotional responses. We can conclude from this that physical and emotional health are connected and even somewhat dependent on each other in an almost symbiotic relationship.

What physical symptoms may be experienced?

For those that have suffered from low emotional health the symptoms may be familiar. Typical side-effects are things like feeling stressed or anxious. Restlessness and irritability are familiar hallmarks of emotional health being under strain. Left long enough, these symptoms can mutate into physical manifestations of the underlying emotional problems.

When your emotional self is under strain you may find that you start to experience things like:

  • Headaches or migraines
  • Aching or tired muscles
  • Digestive problems
  • Problems sleeps
  • Feeling sluggish or tired

Extreme cases can cause latent disorders or health problems to come to the fore. Being under stress for extended periods of time can place a burden on the immune system and give rise to auto-immune illnesses like thyroid problems, or skin diseases such as psoriasis. In some instances, complications with illnesses like rheumatic arthritis can develop as a result of the extended strain. In addition to the physical indicators, emotional factors like depression and mood swings, or feelings of frustration can be evident.

Be aware of emotional health indicators

Having an awareness of your own emotional health and its triggers can help to stave off unfavourable symptoms and problems. In times of crisis it is perfectly normal to feel stressed or anxious, but if symptoms last for too long it may be advisable to pay attention before things spiral out of control.

To keep a check on emotional health levels, attention should be paid to things such as:

  • Sleep patterns
  • Social activity
  • Eating habits
  • Energy levels
  • Negative thoughts
  • Feelings of aggression
  • Depression

For those with their emotional health at a low ebb, careful attention needs to be given to coping mechanisms used to deal with problematic or stressful episodes. While fresh air and exercise can help to combat many ills, the reality is that a good portion of the population will rely on negative methods to deal with their feelings. Drugs, alcohol, or destructive behaviours are often relied on as a kind of ‘pressure valve’ to relieve feelings of overwhelm. Unfortunately this is often merely a short-term, temporary solution that’s best avoided.

Positively managing physical symptoms of emotional stress

Rather than rely on negative coping methods to reduce the symptoms of low emotional health, stress, or anxiety, there are positive ways to cope. Using these methods to release feelings of tension or depression are far more effective than relying on substances or other short-lived solutions. Overwhelming feelings of anxiety, stress, and depression can all be reduced by focusing on emotions and behaviour, and taking steps to improve different areas with positive techniques.

Physical activity can combat many negative thoughts or feelings. Jogging, walking or yoga can support the balance of a healthy body and mind with a calming influence and release of brain chemicals and hormones that promote feelings of well-being. These chemicals are natural mood enhancers and painkillers that can help to ward off a host of physical symptoms. 

t has been well documented by medical experts and researchers that physical exercise makes changes to your body and metabolism while counteracting stress, anxiety, and other emotional problems. Stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol are reduced while positive mood uplifters like endorphins are increased. Leading to a lasting feeling of well-being and improvements to overall mood.

Poor emotional health and work impacts

For many, suffering emotional challenges can affect many aspects of life and personal relationships. As we spend almost a third of our life at our job it is not surprising that symptoms can spill over into our work routine. Managing stress or emotional issues at home is hard enough, but when it begins to impact work performance and colleagues it opens up a whole new set of challenges. 

If emotional health problems are left unchecked, the physical symptoms that they cause can translate into things like increased time off and absenteeism, or poor performance. It can impact working relationships between teams, and cause friction amongst colleagues. In extreme cases it can result in violence or aggression in the workplace. 

All of this can be a HR nightmare not to mention it comes with a cost. Lost time, inefficiencies, and mistakes caused from employees not working to their full potential can be expensive. For leaders and managers that need to maintain positive working relationships, clear communication, and efficient operation of tasks, low emotional health can be debilitating to the business’s operations.

For this reason, many organisations have begun to invest in their key leaders emotional health, to support them both inside and outside of the workplace. This can be managed with training or seminars that are dedicated to teaching positive emotional health techniques. Attending training of this type has been proven to yield positive results with both immediate and long-term benefits. Supporting improved interactions among employees across different levels of the organisations boosts performance and productivity. Due to emotional health improvements the risk of leaders developing physical symptoms that impede their professional life is dramatically reduced.

Emotional health seminars for your leaders

If you decide that your organization can benefit from the improved emotional health of its leaders – and most do – there are some points to keep in mind. 

  • Make sure you choose a reputable qualified trainer
  • Ensure that your trainer has emotional health experience
  • Check for online and virtual training options
  • Book a sample or taster training session where possible

JBE Health has been in the business of providing workplace training for emotional health for more than 20 years. The Happiness Programme has been delivered to hundreds of managers and leaders for all types of organisations, with positive results. Our training brings fun and enjoyment to your team, while helping them to learn proven techniques to support their emotional health. 

To offer a sample of the training, virtual taster sessions can be booked and attended by a number of participants to get a feel for the courses style and content. Read our reviews and testimonials to learn how organizations have used and benefited from the program in the workplace and in their personal lives. Help your employees discover a renewed sense of well-being and demonstrate your support of their emotional health.

Learn more by visiting JBE Health and book your Happiness Programme virtual taster session today!

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About the Author

Jon is a highly experienced wellbeing specialist, trainer and clinician who helps busy, overwhelmed people to boost joy, bounce-back-ability and performance in and outside of work.