Posted by & filed under Clinical Neuropsychology, Health Psychology, Neuroscience, Physical Illness, Psychological Health, Stress Biopsychosocial Factors Illness.

Description: Someone at some point it may have suggested to you that at least part of remaining healthy involves maintaining an upbeat positive attitude. While that may sound all bit like the old statement that an apple a day might keep the doctor away interesting research is starting to show us some of the ways in which emotions and their related brain activities may be contributing factors to disease.

Source: Why Sadness Might Lead to Physical Disease, Psych Central, Traci Pedersen

Brain and illness

Photo Credit: shutterstock

 Links: Article Link –

Author’s University Media Post:

As the opening statement above suggests, the idea that our emotions or general mood states may have an impact on our physical well-being may not just be something that our grandparents or great-grandparents believed, but may in fact have some basis in neurological reality. It’s not enough however to simply suggest that one’s attitude has a role to play in one’s health. Of course, a positive attitude may make it more likely you’ll get out and engage in physical activity or perhaps make more positive health related decisions but the article discussed in this blog post involves one line of research that looks directly at the role that the brain based expressions of emotions like sadness may have to play in our general physical well-being. It is worth paying attention to this and related lines of research as they will likely have a powerful role to play in our future lifestyle and general well-being planning.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. What are the neurological mechanisms discussed in this article by which sadness may have a role to play in physical health and well-being?
  2. Do the results described in this study make sense to you in terms of your thoughts or beliefs about the relationship between emotions like sadness and general physical well-being? If so why and if not why not?
  3. What sort of things might the results of this study suggest in terms both of individual decisions with regards to personal wellness and in terms of medical advice or adjustments the general practitioners might routinely offer to their patients?

References (Read Further):

Prossin, A. R., Koch, A. E., Campbell, P. L., Barichello, T., Zalcman, S. S., & Zubieta, J. K. (2015). Acute experimental changes in mood state regulate immune function in relation to central opioid neurotransmission: a model of human CNS-peripheral inflammatory interaction. Molecular psychiatry.