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How Can Emotions Generate Physical Symptoms & Disease?

Updated: Sep 8, 2023

By Yumna Mahmood

It has been a pleasure to have Dr. Joelle Samaha in a Wednesday Webinar accompanying Coach Mousa.

Dr. Joelle, the founder of PhiloLife, is a health and well-being coach who holds a PhD in Philosophy of Health and Well-being. Her primary focus as a philosopher, coach, and teacher revolves around the principles of

Know, Heal, Evolve

She supports the view that balance in life can be achieved by harmonizing the soul, mind, and body, which can be attained by implementing philosophical principles in our lives. Philosophy is an invitation to introspect, embrace who you are and blossom into the best version of yourself.

Her research primarily focuses on integrating ancient and modern philosophical ideas into practical human lives to enable individuals to lead a healthy and happy life.

Definition of Emotion

Dr. Joelle defined emotion as "an experience of a strong feeling typically accompanied by physiological and behavioral changes in the body."

She further elaborated that the majority of humans tend to avoid admitting that emotions, whether positive or negative, have any impact on our physiology. Nevertheless, there exists a strong relationship between the physiological and behavioral aspects of an emotion.

The two primary emotions that humans experience are Fear and Love. When people experience these emotions, they often engage in various actions, demonstrating that emotions indeed have a behavioral aspect. Inside the human brain and body, a series of orders and instructions are issued, leading to these actions.

These messages and instructions represent the physiological aspect of emotion, scientifically referred to as the neuroendocrine system. Therefore, actions like smiling or expressing anger are fueled by hormones in response to the sensation known as emotion.

How are Emotions Related With Disease?

Understanding the physiology of emotions makes it easier to comprehend how excessive exposure to negative emotions can contribute to a decline in one's health. It's analogous to submerging iron in water, which, over time, leads to rusting.

Likewise, when our bodies are subjected to continuous stress, depression, fear, or uneasiness (negative emotions) for a long period of time, can pave the way for various health issues. These issues may manifest in different forms, such as chronic illnesses or acute conditions, the latter of which can lead to sudden and severe outcomes, including fatalities.

How to prevent an Emotion from becoming a Disease?

Dr. Joelle shared two philosophical well-being tips that can assist every reader, including you, in identifying the crucial step often overlooked in treating various health issues!

1. Sit with Your Negative Emotions:

If you find your school buddy, you both can sit for hours and talk about all the happy moments of your past, waving off the sad memories with wild laughter.


It is human nature. We desire to be happy than sad but sometimes we mix "being happy" with "escaping reality." We experience all types of emotions, enjoying the merry ones more than the gloomy ones. However, that gloomy emotion needs to be addressed. We have to sit with it, i.e. search for the core issues behind the feeling of sadness, hurt, or depression.

It takes a ride with yourself, and a few minutes of self-talk and introspection.

2. Treat Disease as A Friend:

First of all, the disease is just a shout-out of our body saying, "I need a break! Slow down..."

It's a way for our body to tell us it that our internal balance is being compromised and needs rest.


In a research* about the influence of Acceptance And Commitment Therapy (ACT) on women seeking divorce, while suffering from major depressive disorder, has revealed,

"From ACT's point of view, avoiding experiences creates a traumatic process and also brings tensions to other members of his family."

The scholars have found out that ACT "emphasizes values, ... and achieving a transcendent sense of self."

These findings weigh in favor of the idea that knowing what troubles your mind can really solve a lot! What's more that it can light up alternatives in a relationship where divorce appears to be the only step left!

As Coach Mousa mentioned in his eBook: The Beauty OF pain

Each of us are a set of emotions and it is healthy to express and feel each one without hesitation. This process aids our self-development and gives us the ability to understand life more.

We are constantly teaching kids how to behave and yet they are the ones teaching us how to live life and be in the moment.

Mastering the art of living in the present moment, creates the experience of eternity. We get old not because of aging but from the fact that we stop playing, we stop being ourselves and living in the moment!

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