How Emotions Affect Your Body

How Emotions Affect Your Body

This is a very interesting and in-depth subject to work with and it has many pathways which one could follow and investigate. The pathway that I would like to offer you to walk down for a few minutes is based on my investigations and experiences as a counsellor, psychotherapist and teacher.

Firstly, I will offer some clarity and context on what I mean by ‘emotions’, in relation to this article. For me, there are a range of situations and experience within the emotional feeling realm that can trigger our emotions.

In turn, these often affect the body in some way. These can be either positive or negative experiences. They are generally an experience of either sympathy (love) or antipathy (hate).

When we are ‘triggered’ emotionally from a more negative experience, we often go into reaction, projection or judgement as a means of protection or response from what we (unconsciously) perceive as a fear, threat, invasion, affront  or even embarrassment or shame.

As we experience these negative ‘feelings’ and ‘emotions’ in our soul, our instincts of flight, fight or freeze come into play.

With positive feelings and emotions these instincts do not come into play, the feelings and experiences of sympathy and love give us another kind of experience that is connected to what we can call ‘embracing’.

This embracing experience is the opposite of fight, flight or freeze.

Whatever it is that we experience from a moment of emotion, our body will be affected in some way, positively or negatively.

Here are some excerpts from my book – Where Am ‘I’ Right Now? physically – emotionally – mentally – spiritually, that I would like to share with you that give some more understanding about this topic of how emotions affect our body.

Our Physical Body

Our physical body, bones, skin, hair, nails, etc; are connected to the mineral realm of calcium, silicates, carbon and other physical elements. We can relate this to the idea or image of being ‘earthly’ beings connected to the Earth.

Pinch yourself a few times on your arms and legs and you will experience and know that you are a physical being. Do it hard enough and you will also experience and know the sense of pain!

This physical aspect of our being is what conventional health and medical practitioners generally work with. In alternative, complementary or holistic health and medicine other aspects of the human being are also taken into consideration, such as a person’s soul and spirit.

I have heard people speak many times about their physical ailments returning again and again, even after treating them for weeks or even months or years.

If practitioners, doctors or medical staff spent more time and energy investigating the emotional and spiritual connections within, around, or behind the ailment or illness, they may experience much better and more favourable results.

Let me make this a bit clearer. In this example I will use the analogy of the body being built up like simple building blocks:

For the purpose of this explanation, let us agree for a moment that we, as humans, have our ‘I’ (more on the ‘I’ coming soon) at the top of this building block system.

We then have, below the ‘I’, an astral body (more on the astral also coming soon) which holds our emotions. From here our emotions come alive and from where our habits and addictions are formed and played out.

We then move down and have the etheric or life body which sustains and keeps us alive and stores all of our life experiences and habits.

If anything is out of alignment in any of these areas a process of ‘contracting down’ develops and ultimately the issue or the symptom can end up in the physical body as a physical ailment.


Astral Body

Etheric Body

Physical Body

If we are not fully in our ‘I’ presence and are struggling to stay centred we automatically contract into the astral body which then becomes the dominant ruler of our experience or behaviour. It (the astral) becomes the boss!

If our astral body is out of alignment and running rampant, (which will happen if the ‘I’ is not present), then the emotional turmoil and residue from this untamed astral body has to go somewhere, and it does!

This can impact on and damage the etheric body which then will have an impact on the physical body in some way.

Headaches, heart and kidney disease, liver dysfunction, gallstones and cancer, along with other physical ailments and diseases often have an emotional connection and as the whole body (‘I’, astral, etheric and physical) works somewhat like a filtering system, eventually it all gets stuck at the bottom, in our case, in the physical body!

A good way to remember this is: ‘The issue can get stuck inside the tissue!’

Here Is An Example:

If I was walking down a street and suddenly saw a snarling dog, which frightened me, my adrenalin would kick in, my instincts would take over and I would go into fight, flight or freeze mode.

This is natural for us to do and generally we calm down soon afterwards thanks to our ability to produce insulin. If I remain fearful and anxious from this event, these emotions get stored in my being somewhere, especially if they are not dealt with.

In the experience of a dog frightening me, if I continue to be fearful every time I see another dog in the street, it would start to have a deeper effect on me.

If not dealt with, these types of experiences eventually get locked into our physical body somewhere; perhaps in one of our internal organs, perhaps somewhere in our gut.

From this place there is nowhere else for the stuck emotion to go. It is the end of the filtering system. From here, major problems may, and often do, occur.

Can you see how the issue can get stuck in the tissue? It is like a filtering system in which we can, at times, forget to filter out the issue when it is stuck, thus leaving it to solidify and crystallize.

A useful image to help us understand this is the contacting or crystallization process of water which is made of one part oxygen and two parts hydrogen.

Think of how H2O goes from gas to steam, from steam to water and from water to ice. They all have the same basic ingredient or substance (H2O), expressing itself in four different ways.

To stay in good health we really need to detoxify our emotions as well as taking care of our physical body.

Reactions, Projections & Judgements

Our reactions, projections and judgements are mostly driven and expressed from our unconscious. Once they have been released and expressed, we often dislike or regret them.

Being part of our soul make-up, it generally requires a good amount of focus and effort to fully observe how these actually come alive and work within and through us.

For more clarity, I would first like to outline what I mean by reactions, projections and judgements from a therapeutic and human development perspective…

For more clarity, I would first like to outline what I mean by reactions, projections and judgements from a therapeutic and human development perspective.

As we travel through life and meet people or situations; if we are not comfortable in the situation we ‘respond’ naturally with what we call ‘fight or flight’.

We also spend much of our time in a place of reaction, projection or judgement with people when we are not in a place of safety, trust and conscious awareness and are not standing in our ‘I’ presence.

When we meet people, especially for the first time, we often link them to persons or situations from our own past; from our past experiences, beliefs, assumptions or values.

So let us agree that these soul activities (reactions, projections and judgements) do not represent the best of us and let’s agree that the way in which they are used and expressed in this book is from a negative or non-serving perspective.

In the case of judgement, it can be good to make a judgement if it is to make a decision about something or someone that has a positive outcome.

Judging from a place of discernment and intuition about something or someone can be a good thing, especially if we need to create a boundary or protection.

However, a judgement about how someone should live their life, walk their dog, look or speak is another matter.

There is a big difference in being discerning or making an intuitive or informative decision about something or someone and making a call on someone’s behaviour, action or character.

This is the distinction that I would like to make here so that we are clear on the use of the word judgement. Judgement then, in terms of what this article is covering is:

‘a judgement of someone’s character, behaviour or action that comes from a place that is not discerning, intuitive or informative, but one that has probably stemmed from a reaction or projection of some kind, most likely from something that has happened in the past.’

Judgements, reactions and projections are often jumbled up and intertwined and it is not always easy to decipher which one is operating at any given time.

When one or more of these is brought to our awareness we can start to see and experience how our behaviour or actions can affect people. At first, this awakening and awareness to how we behave can be quite a shock.

When we are in a place of reaction, projection or judgement, it generally means that our ‘I’ presence has diminished.

Learning not to react, project and judge others is not an easy task.

Unless we have done a fair amount of work on ourselves in this area and have learnt how to overcome and control these thoughts, feelings and behaviours, we will almost certainly go into nano-second judgement, reaction or projection mode when we meet someone or are placed in a new situation.

Our judgements can leap up and create stories so quickly that they are difficult to observe, catch and stop. Stories such as, he is too fat, she is too well dressed, he is not very smart, they are all too rich or too poor, or too happy, can go through our minds in nano-seconds and before we know it, we have made a judgement.

From here we often go into reaction. We are sometimes so quick to react, judge or project that we can get the wrong message, miss the point or totally misinterpret the situation and from here we can then easily get ourselves into a sticky or uncomfortable situation.

Once we become more centred and in our ‘I’ presence and become more aware of our thoughts, feelings and actions, reactions, projections and judgements, fears, doubts and lack of self-love, we can then connect to other people and situations in a way that is more real and authentic.

As long as we continue to make judgements and react and project our thoughts and feelings out to the world, we will stay stuck.

One good way to start working with this is to spend a moment or two before each new meeting or situation, asking yourself the question – Where Am ‘I’ Right Now? Every time you do this and ask this question you will have a choice to bring yourself back to being more centred.

If you are feeling agitated, nervous, scared, intimidated, angry, upset, victimized, overpowered or silly, you can turn this around by giving attention to what’s happening for you in the moment.

This exercise is best done over a period of a week. It is based on one of my many sayings, “Spirituality is the next person you meet.”

What this statement is saying is; depending on whether you choose to respond and take responsibility and use your intuition or choose to use projections, reactions and judgements, will be a good measure of where you are with your spiritual development.

Once again, this is not about judging, measuring or putting people into categories. This is a self-evaluation to give you an indication of what study and work may be needed to take you to the next step of your journey of becoming more conscious.

Adrian Hanks is a Teacher, Writer and Speaker and the Director of The Blue Wren Foundation. He lives in Sydney, Australia. The Where Am ‘I’ Right Now? physically – emotionally – mentally – spiritually book is available.

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Adrian Hanks – Life Mastery Coach

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