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Emotion, Stress & Health

Emotion, Stress & Health

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Emotion, Stress & Health

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  1. Emotion, Stress & Health

  2. Mind and Body • Can the body affect the mind? • Example? • How about the mind affecting the body? • Example? • Two-way communication between mind and body

  3. Psychosomatic Medicine • Psyche (mind) • Soma (body) • Butterflies in the stomach • Anxious before giving speech • Indigestion, nausea • Stress may contribute to getting an ulcer.

  4. Relieve stress • Meditation • Listening to soothing music • Taking a quiet walk • Reduce stress • Eliminate butterflies

  5. Affects on long-term health • Attitude towards illness can affect healing. • Thought, beliefs and emotions have major impact on physical health. • Link between mind and body is the immune system.

  6. What is Emotion? Internal conscious states that we infer in ourselves and others. • Emotions are private experiences. • We use operational definitions because we cannot actually see feelings. • We infer observable behavior associated with emotion.

  7. Emotions are Multidimensional

  8. Four components of Emotion Significant life event

  9. Feeling component • Emotions are subjective feelings • Make us feel in a particular way. • Anger or joy. • Meaning and personal significance. • Vary in intensity and quality. • Rooted in mental processes (labeling).

  10. Bodily Arousal • Biological activation. • Autonomic and hormonal systems. • Prepare and activate adaptive coping behavior during emotion. • Body prepared for action. • Alert posture, clenched fists.

  11. Purposive component • Give emotion its goal-directed force. • Motivation to take action. • Cope with emotion-causing circumstances. • Why people benefit from emotions. • Social and evolutionary advantage.

  12. Social-Expressive component • Emotion’s communicative aspect. • Postures, gestures, vocalizations, facial expressions make our emotions public. • Verbal and nonverbal communication. • Helps us interpret the situation. • How person reacts to event.

  13. Emotions read in the face The Japanese Female Facial Expression (JAFFE) Database

  14. Biological Response to Emotion • Scream, Run away…infers fear. • Gut reaction: • Heart races, energy boost. • What coordinates body response?

  15. Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Reactions • Every situation calls for its own special mixture of arousal by the sympathetic (fight or flight) and parasympathetic (conservation of energy) N.S. • Flight or Flight: Sympathetic response prepares body to meet a crisis. • Rest or Digest: Parasympathetic calms body to aid in digestion.

  16. Sympathetic and Parasympathetic flow of Autonomic Nervous System

  17. Limbic System • Brain mechanism in emotion • A group of structures in the interior of brain • Form a border around brain stem • Critical for emotion

  18. Limbic System

  19. James-Lange Theory • Autonomic arousal and skeletal actions come before emotional response • I experience fear because I run away • Cognitive awareness is separate • Brain can categorize events as pleasant or unpleasant in as little as 120 milliseconds • What we experience as an emotion is actually the label we give to our response. • I am afraid because I run away • I am angry because I attack

  20. Common Sense vs. James-Lange Common Sense right? Frightening Situation Fear Running Away and Increased Heart rate etc. James-Lange Theory Frightening Situation Running Away and Increased Heart rate etc. Fear

  21. James-Lange Key Assumptions: • Body’s response comes before emotion • Each specific emotion produces a different body response

  22. Two stage theory • Schachter-Singer Theory • Physiological changes happen first. • Followed by cognitive labeling. • Heart rate goes up. • If in graveyard  fear. • If at a party  excitement.

  23. LeDoux and the snake • Walking in woods. • See what may be a snake. • Limbic system responds first: CAUTION! STOP! • Cortex catches up a second or two later. • Poisonous? • Why did I sleep through that lecture on snakes of Connecticut?

  24. Emotion and Cognitive Paths Visual thalamus Visual cortex Amygdala

  25. Stress and Health • Stress is the nonspecific response of the body to any demand made upon it. • Failing grades • Scary movie • Even positive events in your life such as: • Graduation • New job • Stress activates the Autonomic Nervous System rapidly • Stress activates the Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) Axis more slowly. • Both systems have major effect on health and well-being.

  26. Short term reaction to stress • Level of responsiveness • Sympathetic NS easily triggered. • Hostile heart syndrome. • Tense, impatient. • Road rage causes 4X more accidents than drunk driving.

  27. Executive Monkey (Brady) • Pair of monkeys. • Both could get shock. • One monkey could press bar to avoid shock for him and his yoked control. • Monkey with active bar called “active” monkey. • Other monkey in pair called “passive”. • One member of pair likely to get ulcers. • Which one?

  28. Brady’s experiment • Active monkey is on the left. • Press lever to avoid shock. • Passive monkey is on the right. • Pressing the lever does not affect shock delivery Active Passive

  29. Brady’s mistake • Brady found executive (active) monkeys got more ulcers. • First monkey to learn task  active. • Attempts to replicate yield the opposite result: passive monkeys get ulcers. • Passive monkeys lack control over situation. • More stressful if you have no control over occurrence of stress.

  30. Reducing the effects of stress • Stress is less harmful if • Have some control (even if just belief). • Predictable (“going to feel a little pinch”). • Know the duration. • Coping mechanism. • Some way to relieve stress. • Positive attitude. • Active participant in process.

  31. Long term stress • What if stress continues for months or years? • Stressful occupations: air traffic controllers • Whether stress is real or imagined doesn’t matter to the brain and body. • Respond in the same way. • Brain activates the adrenal cortex.

  32. Brain and Adrenal Cortex • Prolonged stress leads to the secretion of the adrenal hormone cortisol • Cortisol (stress hormone) elevates blood sugar and increases metabolism. • Body is then able to sustain prolonged activity • Also reduces inflammation

  33. Response to injury • Sprains ankle. • Inflammation causes swelling and pain. • Reduce ability to move. • Life threatening injury. • Cortisol reduces inflammation. • Mobilizes energy. • Survival value.

  34. General Adaptation Syndrome • Phases of GAS • 1: Alarm reaction: • Body’s first response. • 2: Resistance: • Body adapts to stressor. • 3: Exhaustion: • Body breaks down. • Changes in immune system Hans Selye 1907-1982 Father of Stress

  35. GAS timeline Alarm Resistance Exhaustion Immune function and energy time

  36. The Immune System • Cells that protect the body against intruders such as viruses and bacteria. • Like a police force • Too weak and criminals (viruses etc.) run wild • Too strong and it attacks law-abiding citizens: • The body’s own cells (Autoimmune disease) • Ex. Rheumatoid arthritis

  37. Immune system Leukocytes (White blood cells) • Most important elements • Patrol the blood & fluids • Antigens: Intruders have different surface proteins (nonself) than our own (self) • WBCs attack antigens • Macrophages and B Cells are specific defenses • T cells: cytotoxic and helper • Cytotoxic: direct attack • Helper: stimulates Ts & B’s to multiply rapidly

  38. Immune Response to Bacteria

  39. Effects of Stress on Immune System • Psychoneuroimmunology: • The study of the relationship between the nervous system and immune systems. • All experiences, especially stressful ones, can alter the immune system. • The Immune system in turn influences the central nervous system.

  40. Effects of Stress • Continued, long term anxiety, anger or stress is harmful. • A body focused on the cycle of increased cortisol & increased metabolism, it is not producing new proteins for the immune system and other systems. • High cortisol levels damage hippocampus • Learning and memory suffer as a result

  41. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) • Traumatic experience leads to: • Months or even years of flashbacks and nightmares • Exaggerated arousal response to noises etc. • Avoidance of reminders of the event • Combat veterans, rape victims, 9/11 • Most PTSD victims have a smaller than average hippocampus

  42. Emotions, Stress and Health • They are all intricately related.