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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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