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Emotional Health = Physical Health

Body Map of Emotions

How does emotional health impact physical health?

One of the most important impacts to note right now, during a worldwide pandemic, is that poor emotional health weakens your body's immune system! This means you are more likely to get colds and infections when stressed, anxious or upset. Research in this area is still new, and the link is not yet well understood...but it is generally agreed upon by scientists that the connection between emotional health and the immune system exists.

Another impact poor emotional health has on physical health is how you take care of your own body. You might feel less like exercising, eating healthy foods, or taking your prescribed medications if you are feeling depressed or anxious. You might sleep too little or too much. Some people begin using alcohol, drugs, and/or tobacco to cope with their feelings, which can cause physical harm to many parts of our body, including the brain, liver, and kidney.

Here are other ways poor emotional health affects the body:

Aches and pains

Change in appetite

Chest pains


Dry mouth

Extreme tiredness/fatigue


Insomnia (trouble sleeping)


Palpitations (feeling like your heart is racing)

Shortness of breath


Upset stomach

Weight gain/loss

SEL Journal Activity

Journal Activity

1. In your SEL journal, write the physical symptoms you have experienced when stressed, anxious, depressed, or any other negative emotion.

2. Interview your family members.  What do they feel in their body when they are experiencing negative emotions?

3. How are you similar to members of your family? How are you different in how your body processes emotional stress? It might be interesting to collect the data into bar graphs!

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