BY MEHREEN RIYAZ
All of us are concerned about the negative consequences of junk food. As per health experts, pizza, burgers, fries, ice cream, candies, soft drinks, chocolate, and chips should be avoided for ensuring good health.
But do we ever pay attention to the emotional junk? When it comes to our mental health, do we really care about what are we feeding our mind on daily basis. Do we really care about the adverse effects of unhealthy mind set?
Parents often restrict their children for eating junk food, but do they really understand that comparing their kids with others can have more adverse effects than eating a slice of pizza or a packet of candies.
People nowadays are switching to healthier diets to ensure, longevity and a healthy lifestyles. They keep a check on amount of calories they take on daily basis. However, there is one aspect that is frequently minimised, disregarded, and ignored, but which actually has detrimental impact on our health and longevity. And that is our emotional aspect.
Researchers from Yale University established that "people who react to situations with strong emotions, particularly anger, are especially more likely to die of cardiac arrest."
The "emotional junk food" that negatively impacts our mental health comprises anger, disgust, worry, grief, fears, frustration, rumination, inferiority complexes, depression, and apathetic issues. These "Negative" feelings are poisonous and act as silent killers. The longer we experience these emotions, the worse they are for our health.
It creates disturbance in our bodily functioning. As a result, stress chemicals are released, which sap our energy and speed ageing. Both brain cells and muscle mass are lost as a result of them. It is harder for us to bounce back in life. We lose ability to think clearly, make good decisions. It also impacts our learning and it has serious consequences.
All these things may also lead to interpersonal dysfunction which ultimately leads to several disorders like personality disorder, chronic depression etc.
The results of one of the study published in the Journal of Neuroscience, provided conclusive evidence that prolonged stress responses from negative emotions may hasten the ageing of brain cells in the same area of the brain affected by Alzheimer's disease, impairing learning and memory.
Research conducted over 20 year period by London University Institute of Psychiatry revealed that people who suppressed their feelings and bottled up their emotions under prolonged stress were more likely to develop cancer and other chronic diseases.
Negative emotions had a greater impact on the development of disease than either cigarette smoking or eating meals rich in cholesterol. Remember: To put it another way: negative emotions have a bigger impact on causing disease than cigarette smoking and eating high-cholesterol foods!
Let's ask ourselves honestly, how much time a day are we spending in anger, fear, anxiety or other negative emotions? And ponder upon it. It's high time that we shift our attention from toxic emotional diet to healthy one.
Let's find out causes that are leading us to emotional distress If we, as a part of family or society, would put some efforts in regulating our emotion in a healthy way along with taking care of emotional health of others; we would lead a significantly healthier and happy life; the quality of life will be improved when both mental and physical health are taken into consideration.
Lets take a pledge that we will never compromise on our emotional diet. We will feed ourselves with hope, love, care, positivity and creativity. We will free ourselves from emotional junk of rumination, hatred, envy and self doubt.
Author is pursuing masters in Psychology
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.
The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.