Episode 12: How Emotions Affect Your Health

Episode 12: How Emotions Affect Your Health

June 21, 2019

Current Health News

Study finds e-cig flavors can damage cardiovascular cells

E-cigarette flavors can damage the cells that line your blood vessels and perhaps your heart health down the line, according to a new study of human cells in the lab.

The study, published on May 27th in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, adds to growing evidence that the flavored "e-liquids" used in vapes can hinder human cells' ability to survive and function.

The public has this notion that e-cigarettes are safe. As a result of this perception, many kids pick up this habit as its a safer alternative to cigarette smoking.

Results:

In addition to being used in e-cigarettes, diacetyl is used as a flavoring agent in foods such as butter-flavored microwave popcorn, baked goods, and candy; it can create a variety of flavors. Diacetyl is considered a safe ingredient in foods, but evidence suggests that it can be dangerous when inhaled. It has been previously linked with bronchiolitis obliterans, a debilitating lung disease that was dubbed “popcorn lung” because it first appeared in workers who inhaled artificial butter flavor in microwave popcorn processing facilities. After the link between diacetyl and popcorn lung was reported, 2,3-pentanedione was sometimes used as a substitute.

In the new study, researchers used novel lab techniques that allowed them to examine the impact of both diacetyl and 2,3-pentanedione on epithelial cells in a system that closely mimicked the human airway epithelium in vivo. They exposed normal human bronchial epithelial (NHBE) cells to the chemicals for 24 hours. They found that both diacetyl and 2,3-pentanedione were linked with changes in gene expression that could impair both the production and function of cilia.

E-cigarette users are heating and inhaling flavoring chemicals that were never tested for inhalation safety. Although some e-cig manufacturers are stating that they do not use diacetyl or 2,3-pentandione, it begs an important question—what chemicals, then, are they using for flavoring? Further, workers receive warnings about the dangers of inhaling flavoring chemicals. Why aren’t e-cig users receiving the same warnings?

Source

What affects emotion, what does emotion affect?

Subjective: some kind of stimulus has to be observed or felt to trigger some kind of emotion.

    • This is all subjective no one dictates how you will feel. Yea, some people will make you angry or try and get you upset but ultimately you will decide how they made you feel.
      • For example, We can all relate to a time when someone in your life would do something on purpose to get you worked up. Let’s say they keep popping bubbles near your ear. You will most likely play it off at first, then the anger builds up, and pop you explode on the person or worse, you bring it home and get upset at some random thing, toilet seat being up. No one said for you to get upset, they intended to but ultimately you dictated the emotion.
      • That goes for happy emotions. Both feelings were brought up with intent but you’re the one that really felt that way.
      • Some kind of stimulus triggers your emotional response, the interpretation of that response is subjective.

Physiological: Emotions have a physiological response that comes with it. It is crazy to think about that what we think and feel is linked with physiological responses. Have you ever felt your emotion in you? Has your stomach ever dropped because you got really worried or anxious?

    • If emotions have a link with physiology should we be taking care of our minds a little more? I feel people need to be more positive. I’m not saying live life happy no matter what happens. We need mixed emotions. What I’m getting at is that it's ok to be angry or upset, sad, and happy. The key is to take something out of each situation and don’t linger on the things you can’t change. Don’t beat yourself up for things that you did or someone did to you because people tend to shoot themselves down because something didn’t work out the first time. Learn from the experience and move on.
      • The heart: Anger and frustration ramp up your heart rate. An increase in your heart rate is associated with the emotion-triggering the fight and flight response. When your sympathetic nervous system turns on, stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, speed up your breathing and heart rate. You get a burst of energy. Your blood vessels tighten. Your blood pressure soars. You’re ready to run for your life or fight an enemy. If this happens often, it causes wear and tears on your artery walls (1).
        • A few studies have shown that positive emotion and the adaptation of positive emotions over time helps you deal with stress, that makes sense. So as you learn to cope with anger and stress you will be less affected by it. These studies also showed that by getting over your anger and frustration you build physiological resilience, meaning you will recover from a stressor quicker. That resilience is beneficial for the heart because each time you get stressed, which causes an increase in HR and BP, it takes a shorter time to get your heart back at its baseline (2)(3).
      • Digestion: in the fight and flight response our body focuses away from digestion. It’s not taking food into consideration.
        • It’s like stopping a train. You can only slow down a train to a certain point or for a set amount of time before things start getting congested. Constant feeling of frustration or the inability to get over a stressor can be a cause of your IBS or your bloating (4).

Behavior: Another aspect of emotion that cannot be neglected is behavior. This is the expression of the emotion you feel. Do you yell when your angry or do you just bottle it up inside and dwell on it? That is the selective behavior you choose to express based on the emotion.

    • If you approach a situation being upset that shows how much effort you are going to put into it. Worse yet, if you associate change with negative emotion it will be hard to progress. If you cannot mentally change your outlook on things your behavior will show it. You won't work on yourself, you’ll slack on your physical health. If you let the one thing that fell out of place affect your whole day's behavior you’re going to end up miserable in your life.
    • If you have poor control on anger you will eventually lash out. If you find yourself getting more and more physical that is a sign that your anger is changing your behavior, which can then lead you to get physically scared or emotionally hurt. It’s a revolving door.

Tips on controlling your emotions

Hit the Rewind

When tuning into your emotions, take a step or two backward. Ask yourself, “How did I get here?” Hunt down the triggers that may have contributed to your feelings. A great example would be you getting angry when your partner asks you “What’s is for dinner”. Are you truly angry at them or are you simply exhausted from a long day at work? Understanding where our emotions arise from and what triggers them is a crucial component to help you begin to manage your emotions.

Hit the Forward

The high of your emotional trigger you might be so in the moment, letting your emotions/feelings get the best of you.  A great tip for emotional management is to learn to step out of your zone in order to gain perspective. Imagine it like stepping outside of your body and seeing yourself from a 3rd person view. Well, that is how we have to step outside of our mind at that moment and ask ourselves questions. What are the consequences of this action? Are you just solely affected by these emotions or does your emotional reaction spark others’ to feel the same way?

Think of this past forward as a future-view to consider what matters to you at that moment?

You will learn to gain perspective and connect to your values which help us attune our thoughts and feelings when we return to the moment.

Dive In

In order to improve your emotional responses its impossible without self-awareness. Dive into the present moment to gain a heightened view of what is exactly going on. Ask yourself “How do you know you are the feeling you are believing you have? Is it the butterflies in your stomach, the sweat on your palms, the palpitations in your chest? Emotions are rather subjective so you have to understand yourself and then develop better-coping skills for those feelings.

Adjust your inner thoughts

Have you ever listened to your own dialogue? Are the conversations you are having with yourself negative or positive? Negative thinking can weigh heavily on our functioning. The more you listen to yourself talk the more you may notice how letting one dark feeling in, will invite many other similar thoughts? Look how easy it is to let our emotions run wild without keeping them in check. Mildly irritated, agitated, frustrated to anger or even rage.

It is important to realize positive feelings tend to have similar habits and are even more powerful! Adjusting your inner thoughts will welcome happy emotions. For example, waking up in the morning and focusing on gratitude will evoke those related feelings like happiness and fulfillment later in your day.

Mindful minute

Another tip for controlling your emotions would be to just press pause in the present moment. This skill is intended to just be a mindful moment. If you tune in into your emotions and you are starting to get overwhelmed, angry, anxious, press pause on the situation. Two helpful ways to maintain this mindful minute is to take a deep breath and focus on your breath. During this minute listen to your breath, the way your lungs expand, shoulders broaden, abdomen rises. Hold for a few seconds and exhale, repeat. Even though this is a brief moment, this technique will help to regain stability while emotionally overwhelmed.

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