How Do Emotions Affect the Body: Psychogenic Pain

Sympathetic Nervous System

The sympathetic nervous system is the part of the autonomic nervous system that works automatically and is responsible for automatic functions that do not require us to think about it. The sympathetic nervous system is known for its role, especially when we feel threatened and under stress. In stressful situations, the sympathetic nervous system increases the heart rate and sends oxygen to parts of the body, allowing us to protect ourselves during danger. This role is also called the fight or flight role for short. Because stress stimulates our sympathetic nervous system and thus, we think faster and act faster thanks to the effects such as dilation of our pupils, increase in our heart rate, relaxation of the air muscles in the lungs, slowing of the digestive system, energy storage in the liver with the adrenaline we feel after the application of the role of the sympathetic nervous system in the body and our stamina and strength increase in the face of danger.

Parasympathetic Nervous System

The parasympathetic nervous system has the opposite role of the sympathetic nervous system. While the sympathetic nervous system triggers the body, the parasympathetic nervous system relaxes the body after being triggered. Thus, these two nervous systems work together and in balance. Thus, we can define the role of the parasympathetic nervous system as rest and digest or feed and urea. Because in the parasympathetic nervous system, there are functions such as sexual arousal, salivation, tear secretion, digestion, and excretion.

What is Psychogenic Pain?

At times, our stress level increases during the day, and thus our sympathetic nervous system starts to work more than necessary. At this point, the body produces more stress, and the overwork of our sympathetic nervous system creates an imbalance between our nervous system by affecting the function of our parasympathetic nervous system. In this case, the sympathetic nervous system that works unnecessarily and the parasympathetic nervous system that cannot fulfill its function can cause some pain in our body and diseases of unknown cause. In addition, if the sympathetic nervous system is overworked, our immune system weakens, which makes us more susceptible to diseases. At this point, psychogenic pain can come into play. The best answer to the question of what psychogenic pain is; These are pains that usually manifest themselves in the form of pain in the abdomen, head, menstruation, neck and shoulder, arm, and leg, and can manifest themselves due to the deterioration of our stress level and psychological well-being. At this point, the cause of these psychogenic pains can be defined as the physiological expression of our mental fatigue and the inability of our nervous system to perform its task correctly due to psychological reasons.

Can Emotions Make You Sick?

The presence of psychogenic pain reminds us that the cause of our pain is not always our physiological health, but sometimes the importance of our psychological health. Therefore, it may actually be important to ask whether can emotions make you sick. Because yes, emotions can make you sick. At this point, investigating the psychological causes of pain can be a solution for these pains. The psychological causes of pain can be listed as follows:


-Impairment of sleep hygiene

-Suppressing and not expressing emotions enough


-Not getting enough rest

-Less physical activity



-Uyku düzeninde bozulma

-Duyguların bastırılması ve yeterince dışa vurulmaması

-Yas tutmak

-Yeterince dinlenememek

-Fiziksel aktiviteden kaçınmak


How Do Emotions Affect the Body?

The reflection of emotions on the body, experiencing and shaping emotions physically is a technique that has been frequently applied in psychology, especially in therapy techniques and mindfulness practices, in recent years. So how do emotions affect the body? Because experiencing emotions that we define as positive or negative is a need for all of us and living without suppressing these emotions is very important for our psychological well-being. But sometimes, when we experience certain emotions more intensely and frequently, our body and mind can get tired, especially in terms of our nervous system. Therefore, emotions affect the body. At this point, physically reviving the emotion experienced and asking ourselves which part of the body and how we feel this emotion can be an important way to understand the intensity of our emotions and to experience these emotions in a healthy way. This way of experiencing offers a roadmap for better understanding and treatment of psychogenic pain. For this reason, meditation practices are one of the alternatives that we often encounter in the treatment of psychogenic pain. By taking 10 minutes a day, you can experience a meditation practice, better understand how your emotions are reflected in your body and get to the root of psychogenic pain.

For meditation practices, you can download Innerjoy from Google Play and Apple Store!

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