Psychosomatics is a field of medicine that investigates the influence of psychological factors on the appearance or aggravation of physical diseases, as well as the impact of somatic diseases on a person’s mental state. In the psychosomatic approach, disease is understood as an interaction of biological, psychological, and social factors. How do we experience discomfort related to anxieties in our bodies?
So far, it has been shown that there are significant connections between emotions, thoughts, behavior, and diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, gastrointestinal diseases, skin conditions, allergies, migraines, angina, and many others. Anxiety also has an impact on psychosomatic disorders.
How do we experience anxiety in our bodies?
Anxiety disorders can affect the nervous, hormonal, and immune systems. Anxiety can manifest in various bodily symptoms associated with tension and stress, including decreased immunity or changes in bodily functions, increased sympathetic nervous system activity, and decreased parasympathetic nervous system activity. Symptoms may include breathing problems, headaches, muscle tension, digestive issues, sleep disturbances, heart palpitations, or increased sweating. Stress can also trigger the release of hormones like cortisol, which affects bodily functions, including the immune system, and can lead to conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, asthma, psoriasis, and heart diseases.
The relationship between psychosomatic symptoms and thoughts
In psychosomatic therapy, patients learn to cope with stress and negative emotions such as anger and anxiety, and how to impact their health through changes in thinking patterns. Psychosomatics acknowledges that not only stress but also positive thoughts and emotions can influence health, including the immune system, mood, and physical well-being. Research suggests that people with greater resilience to stress also have better mental and physical health, and practices like meditation, yoga, and relaxation exercises are effective methods for reducing stress and improving psychosomatic health. In psychosomatic therapy, the focus is on treating the patient as a whole, considering their physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects. Physical and mental health are considered interconnected.
Psychoterapy for psychosomatic symptoms
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of therapy that focuses on changing thoughts and behaviors that contribute to psychosomatic symptoms. CBT can help identify and reduce negative thoughts that cause stress and emotional tension. Other therapeutic approaches are also effective. It is important to identify the source of tension, negative thought patterns, and behaviors that affect physical health. Pharmacological therapy, such as taking anti-anxiety and antidepressant medications, may be used to treat psychosomatic symptoms if they are related to mental disorders such as anxiety or depression. Additionally, relaxation therapy can help reduce stress and emotional tension, which, in turn, may help alleviate psychosomatic symptoms. It is essential to pay attention to both the physical and emotional aspects to provide comprehensive care and improve health.