Imaging Emotions in the Body

We all can remember times when our emotions affected our physical health – and vice versa. We were stressed out about something and came down with the viral thing we’d been successfully fighting off. We were laid up with a broken foot and became depressed.
It turns out that every single emotion we have affects at least one system or function in the body – immune system, brain chemistry, blood sugar levels, hormonal balance and much more.
Even across cultures, emotions are known to be associated with pain and symptoms in specific parts of the body. People are 21 times more likely to have a heart attack in the days after losing a loved one. (Mercola, 2014)  We rightly speak of this as ‘dying from a broken heart’.
Chronic depression is often accompanied by headaches, back pain, muscle aches, joint pain, chest pain, digestive problems, sleep difficulties, loss of appetite or weight gain, or dizziness. (WebMD, 2014)


 How Emotions Manifest in the Body

Finnish researchers asked 700 male and female, Finnish, Swedish and Taiwanese volunteers of various ages to think about one of 14 emotions and then paint the areas of a blank silhouette that felt stimulated by that emotion. On a second blank silhouette, the volunteers were asked to paint in the areas that felt deactivated during that emotion. Short stories or videos were available to help the volunteers generate the appropriate emotion. (Nummenmaa, 2014)
These were the results: