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Emotional Looking Glass

September 17, 2014

Researchers are studying the human body’s physiological reactions to emotions. This study created a map that tells which part of the body is affected by different emotions.

Over 700 people from Finland, Taiwan, and Sweden participated in the study that asked subjects to look at words, facial expressions, videos, and stories that were meant to emote a specific feeling. The subjects reported where they felt differences by coloring different silhouettes showing an increase or decrease in sensation in various parts of their body.

Data from the responses showed a range of physical emotional effects and created a map of how emotion is felt in different parts of the body. Physical emotions were found to be universal across cultures and language.

The mapping exercise produced what you might expect: an angry hot-head… a depressed figurine that was literally blue (meaning they felt little sensation in their limbs). Basically these results show the impact our mental states can have on the body.

This study adds to the collection of proof and data that shows your mental state has an affect on your physical health. Have you ever noticed how sick/tired you feel after a stressful week? Or how energized you become when things are going your way? It’s not coincidence. So if you didn’t think learning how to cope with stress and anger was important before, I hope this plants a seed. It’s not only important- it’s critical to your health and wellbeing.

*This post is a brief overview of a study conducted by the National Academy of Sciences (pnas.org) You can review the entire study HERE. 

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