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Cancer Is Linked To Unexpressed Anger, Studies Say (And Here Are Ways To Deal With It)

Cancer Is Linked To Unexpressed Anger, Studies Say (And Here Are Ways To Deal With It)

When we think about cancer, we think of the disease and how it affects someone. The focus is generally on the numerous types of cancers and a variety of genetic and environmental factors that have been identified as potential causes.

Did you know that cancer also has emotional roots? There is one major contributor to the disease that is almost always overlooked: repressed emotions and unexpressed anger.

The stress hormone (Cortisol) can be caused by emotional triggers. Suppression of this hormone can decrease a person’s level of immune response. Elevated levels of cortisol have been found to directly suppress the immune system. When the immune system is not functioning properly, normal cells can mutate into cancer cells. The more you suppress your negative emotions, the more susceptible you are to cancer manifesting in your body.

A number of studies have been done on the subject and Alternative Cancer Care notes the link between repressed anger and cancer. Another study from the King’s College Hospital in London found “a significant association between the diagnosis of breast cancer and a behavior pattern, persisting throughout adult life, of an abnormal release of emotions.”

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Other researchers from the University of Rochester and Harvard School of Public Health found that people who suppress anger have a 70 percent higher risk of dying from cancer. A University of Michigan study found that suppression of anger predicted earlier mortality in men and women.

The University of Tennessee showed that suppressed anger was a precursor to developing cancer, while the California Department of Health Services and NHI showed an increase in death from cancer for those who suppressed their anger.

Research at California Breast Cancer Research Program at Stanford University showed that powerful emotions cause a flood of cortisol that predicted early death in women with breast cancer.

How Emotional Stress Causes Cancer At The Cellular Level

Phase 1: Inescapable shock

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In this phase, a person experiences a severe emotional trauma or shock 18-24 months prior to the cancer diagnosis. The trauma affects deep sleep and the production of melatonin in the body. Melatonin inhibits cancer cell growth. When this part of the emotional reflex center of the brain is damaged as a result of the emotional trauma, the organs begin to break down, which can lead to cancer.

Phase 2: Adrenalin depletion

Elevated stress hormones deplete adrenaline levels in the adrenal glands. The body already has limited reserves of adrenaline, and emotional stress depletes those reserves rapidly. This can start phase three, the spreading of cancer-fungus, causing cell mutation.

Phase 3: The Cancer Fungus

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During this phase, tiny microorganisms necessary for life (called somatics) that live in our body change into a yeast-like fungus to ferment excess glucose and lactic acid in cells. The fungus then migrates to the cell nucleus to reproduce, releasing acidic waste products called “mycotoxins,” which inhibit cell DNA repair and the production of all-important tumor suppressor genes. Without the tumor suppressor genes to regulate cell death, the cells then mutate into cancer cells.

Phase 4: Niacin Deficiency

The depleted adrenaline levels cause a depletion of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine creates adrenaline and, as more dopamine is used during prolonged stress, amino acids create serotonin to offset a person’s mood. The problem is that this results in a depletion of tryptophan which is needed to synthesize niacin for cell respiration. Normally tryptophan converts niacin into enzymes that are used for cell respiration, glucose conversion, and the creation of ATP energy. Without niacin, the cell will ferment glucose instead, resulting in cell mutation and the formation of cancer.

Phase 5: Vitamin C depletion

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During chronic stress, the adrenal glands also release Vitamin C into the body to diminish the stressful impact on the heart and blood pressure systems. Vitamin C is essential for preventing cell DNA converting oxygen waste products into oxygen and water within the cell. The continual loss of Vitamin C during stress increases cell mitochondrial DNA damage and mutation, causing normal cells to mutate into cancer cells.

Phase 6: Immune Suppression

The immune system is suppressed by elevated cortisol levels. An individual experiencing severe prolonged emotional stress is exhausted, and therefore their adrenals and thyroid are fatigued. Mineral levels are depleted as stress decreases the amount of minerals in the body. Minerals are needed for the immune system to function. The immune system begins to weaken and stop production of interleukin-2-producing T cells, B cells, natural killer cells, macrophages, and neutrophils. Without immune system cells, viral-bacterial-yeast-like fungus that are pleomorphic within cells continue to grow and newly created cancer cells continue to multiply.

There is no question as to the role of negative emotions on health, especially when they are repressed. The research leads us to come to what could be a life-saving conclusion. If you are angry, find a healthy way to express it. Holding onto it really could be deadly.

Some healthy ways to express anger include:

  1. A good workout
  2. Practice controlled breathing
  3. Practice progressive muscle relaxation
  4. Use a stress-relief toy
  5. Find something funny or silly
  6. Listen to calming music
  7. Repeat self-calming statements

Featured photo credit: pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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Melissa Atkinson

Freelance writer

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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