Pent-up Emotions Can Have Physical Consequences

If you experience pain in a specific place, make sure that you reflect on your emotions and address them in order to alleviate your physical discomfort. This is because psychological problems can cause physical symptoms in our body.
Pent-up Emotions Can Have Physical Consequences

Last update: 09 December, 2018

All our pent-up emotions build up and fester in our body and this can cause physical illnesses. Yes, you read that right.

“What we can’t express with words comes to light in the from of physical pain.” Remember this sentence because it will help you when you need to talk about your feelings and thoughts.

In this article we will tell you why pent-up emotions can make us sick, and of course, how to avoid this.

The body can send us many signals even if we’re not paying attention. When we bottle-up our emotions for a long time, they start to build up on top of each other and this can cause physical illnesses.

Fear, envy, criticism… Some people store each of these feelings in a sort of emotional trunk. This only helps to make us feel mentally and physically unwell.

Illness is a message that our body sends so we know that we’re experiencing an emotional block, or that we need to change or get rid of some aspect in our life.

When we take the wrong path, which means that we don’t speak up because we don’t want to cause an argument or talk about something that may break ties with someone, the symptoms and pain start to crop up.

Many illnesses are caused by holding in emotions. An organ or other part of the body will be afflicted, depending on the feeling we suppressed.

Pain is a warning signal and we cannot turn a blind eye to it.

When such symptoms appear, we should take a break from our activities and determine which negative thoughts or beliefs are so ingrained in our life that they can hurt us.

Pent-up emotions are illnesses

There is a sort of psychosomatic connection that links thoughts with a symptom.

Maybe you shouldn’t settle with just going to the doctor for an examination or prescription. Instead, it’s better to take part in some introspection to improve your thoughts, and consequently, how you feel.

For instance, stress can cause ulcers or heart attacks. Furthermore, depression can cause loss of energy and an increase in appetite. Speaking in somatic terms is easy. The most frequent pain and problems stem from our emotions:

This is arguably the center of our body. You can experience headaches due to an increase of the speed at which your blood is pulsating or because of the constriction of arteries.

This last cause indicates the inability to communicate or express basic emotions, such as love.

Man with a headache


This part of the body connects the mind with the body. When it’s difficult to move your neck, this could be due to more than a bad night’s sleep. In fact, it could be an indication of having a limited and rigid vision of life.

Pigheadedness and a narrow mind can cause neck pain. Too much stress does this as well.


When you solve a problem, it feels as if a load has been taken off your back. This load that you carry is related to the feelings and the experiences you’ve had in the past, which you still haven’t forgiven or forgotten.

Moreover, the spine supports your back, and allows you to do all of your activities. Pain in this area is a warning that something isn’t right, and maybe you should release some of those pent-up emotions.


Man balancing his heart and his brain

People associate this organ with love, but also with other emotions such as hate. It is the center of our feelings. This is why heart complications can arise from being immersed in complex or hopeless situations.

Maybe you have gone too far with a relationship or paid attention to things that don’t bring anything good to your life.


Our feet allow us to move forward, but they also give us stability. Moreover, they provide us with security. Therefore, feet problems signify that you may not feel secure, that you don’t know which route to take or how to think about the future and your projects.

Did you know that allergies are a sign of experiencing a high level of fear, and that high blood pressure is caused by being alert for too long? Did you also know that UTIs are the product of negative feelings about our personal relationships?

Tips on how to channel our emotions and prevent illnesses

Maybe you thought that only negative emotions could make us sick, but this is not entirely the case. For instance, too much joy can cause hyperexcitation which could harm the heart.

Some recommendations that help to channel your emotions and avoid illnesses are:

Free yourself of disproportionate emotions

A good way to start is to identify which are your most frequent and excessive emotions. Whether they’re positive or negative, pent-up emotions can have harmful consequences.

For example, bitterness and resentment are unhealthy emotions. How do we break loose from them? Through forgiveness.

This is a very brave technique, because it allows you to get rid of what is tormenting you. It also helps to let you leave behind the heavy burdens you’ve been carrying.

Distance yourself from triggering situations

Fearful man

Once you discover which emotions hurt you and you work hard to eliminate them from your life, the next step is avoiding a relapse.

If, for instance, you recognize that a lack of tolerance is a big problem for you, then don’t gravitate towards situations that make you intolerant.

Until you’re certain that you have eliminated the root of the feeling in question, remove yourself from triggering situations.

Meet up with family members and friends

Spending time with the people we love is a great remedy for sorrow of the soul. Maybe this is the moment to tell them everything about what you’re feeling, and that you’ve kept to yourself all these years.

It doesn’t matter that you believe it’s best to not tarnish old memories; forgiving and healing is good for you and others around you.

Be in contact with nature

Taking a walk around the park, going on vacation to the mountains, practicing yoga or meditating on the beach, swimming in a river and exercising outside are excellent activities that allow you to release negative and unhealthy pent-up emotions.

It might interest you...
Four Healthy Activities That Will Help You Discover How Wonderful it is to Live
Step To HealthRead it in Step To Health
Four Healthy Activities That Will Help You Discover How Wonderful it is to Live

Learning to connect with yourself through mindfulness or helping others are healthy activities that can help you discover the positive side of life...

  • Cano-Vindel, A., & Miguel-Tobal, J. J. (2001). Emociones y salud. Ansiedad y Estrés, 7(2–3), 111–121.

  • Garrido-Rojas, L. (2006). Apego, emoción y regulación emocional. Implicaciones para la salud. Revista Latinoamericana de Psicologia, 38(3), 493–507.

  • Vecina Jiménez, M. L. (2006). EMOCIONES POSITIVAS. Papeles Del Psicólogo, 27, 9–17.

  • Piqueras Rodriguez, J., Ramos Linares, V., Martínez, A., & Oblitas, L. (2009). Emociones negativas y su impacto en la salud mental y física. Suma Psicológica, 16(2), 85–112.

  • Punset, E., Mora, F., García Navarro, E., López Cassá, É., Pérez González, J. C., Lantieri, L., … Planells, O. (2012). ¿Cómo educar las emociones? La inteligencia emocional en la infancia y la adolescencia. Observatorio de Salud de La Infancia y La Adolescencia, 24–35.

  • Vázquez, Hervás, G., Rahona, J., & Gómez, D. (2009). Bienestar psicológico y salud : Aportaciones desde la Psicología Positiva. Anuario de Psicología Clínica y de La Salud, 5, 15–28.

  • Ortega, M. del C. (2010). La educación emocional y sus implicaciones en la salud. Revista Española de Orientación y Psicopedagogía, 21(2), 462–470.

  • Salleh M. R. (2008). Life event, stress and illness. The Malaysian journal of medical sciences : MJMS, 15(4), 9–18.
  • Uchino BN, Eisenberger NI. Emotions in Social Relationships and Their Implications for Health and Disease: Introduction to the Special Issue of Psychosomatic Medicine. Psychosom Med. 2019 Oct;81(8):676-680. doi: 10.1097/PSY.0000000000000741. PMID: 31599821.