The Science 

Why emotions, emotion regulation & emotion patterns?

Experiencing emotions too intensely and for too long has a negative impact on our mental and physical health. By making people aware of their emotions and activating their resources to strengthen their emotional competence, we increase their wellbeing and resilience, while reducing symptoms of depression, anxiety, stress, physical and emotional pain, psychosomatic problems.

Emotion regulation difficulties underlie the whole range of mental health difficulties, which is why it is increasingly targeted in psychological interventions. 1,2

Awareness

Self-awareness, (or self-reflection & insight) are the essential ingredients to experiencing personal growth and psychological well-being. 3

Self -awareness allows us to achieve our goals, adapt to changes.4

Increased self-awareness is associated with increased well-being, self-esteem life-satisfaction and resilience to stress.5

 

Identity

Identity confusion is linked to mental health problems, including depression, personality disorders, anxiety, impulsive behaviours.

Identity clarity, so knowing what you want and need, is linked to resilience against stress, better decision making, mental health and wellbeing.

Identity, similar to emotion regulation, is one of the core factors that impacts our mental health and wellbeing.6

 

Success

We spend most of our adult life at work. Intense work demands and the related stress are one of the main factors contributing to adult physical and mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, sleep problems, cardiovascular diseases, chronic inflammation.

More than 40% report that their pressure is too high at work (2006).7-11

Body

A growing body of research demonstrates the significant effects of nutrition, physical exercise and other lifestyle choices on our mental health and wellbeing and vice versa. By helping users make positive adjustments, we help them thrive both mentally and physically.12,13

At the same time, recent data (2019) has shown that one in five adults (20%) felt shame, just over one third (34%) felt down or low, and 19% felt disgusted because of their body image in the last year. Over one third of adults said they had ever felt anxious (34%) or depressed (35%) because of their body image. One in eight (13%) adults experienced suicidal thoughts or feelings because of concerns about their body image.

Higher body dissatisfaction is associated with a poorer quality of life, psychological distress, depression, anxiety, and the risk of unhealthy eating and exercise behaviours. 14,15

 

Love & Relationships

Feeling socially connected to others is one of our basic emotional needs. Feeling understood and socially connected to others, has been shown to foster wellbeing, happiness, satisfaction with life and boost our immune system and makes us less likely to experience symptoms of mental and physical illness. Epidemiological studies have shown connections between social isolation or lack of social support and increased risk of various disease outcomes and reduced length of life.

Attachment theory or the mental models of self and others that individuals develop at the beginning of life influence a host of outcomes throughout life, including relational and health-oriented outcomes.16,17

References

1. Ciarrochi, J., & Scott, G. (2006). The link between emotional competence and well-being: A longitudinal study. British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 34(2), 231-243.

2. Calkins, S., Dollar, J., & Wideman, L. (2019). Temperamental vulnerability to emotion dysregulation and risk for mental and physical health challenges. 31(3), 957-970.

3. Harrington, R., & Loffredo, D. (2010). Insight, Rumination, and Self-Reflection as Predictors of Well-Being. The Journal of Psychology, 145(1), 39-57.

4. Cowden, R., & Meyer-Weitz, A. (2016). Self-Reflection and self-insight predict resilience and stress in competitive tennis. Social Behavior and Personality, 44(7), 1133-1149.

5. Stein, D., & Grant, A. (2014). Disentangling the relationships among self-reflection, insight, and subjective well-being: The role of dysfunctional attitudes and core self-evaluations. The Journal of Psychology: Interdisciplinary and Applied, 148, 505-522. http:// doi.org.libproxy.ucl.ac.uk/bchd

6. Lee-Flynn, S. C., Pomaki, G., DeLongis, A., Biesanz, J. C., & Puterman, E. (2011). Daily cognitive appraisals, daily affect, and long-term depressive symptoms: The role of self-esteem and self-concept clarity in the stress process. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 37(2), 255-268.

7. Lundberg, Cooper, & Cooper, Cary L. (2010). The Science of Occupational Health Stress, Psychobiology, and the New World of Work. Chicester: Wiley.

8. Melchior, M., Caspi, A., Milne, B. J., Danese, A., Poulton, R. & Moffitt, T. E. (2007). Work stress precipitates depression and anxiety in young, working women and men. Psychological Medicine.

9. Reichenberg, A., & MacCABE, J. (2007). Feeling the pressure: Work stress and mental health. Psychological Medicine, 37(8), 1073-1074.

10. Bonde, J. (2008). Psychosocial factors at work and risk of depression: A systematic review of the epidemiological evidence. Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 65(7), 438-445.

11. Eurofound (2017), Sixth European Working Conditions Survey – Overview report (2017 update), Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg.

12. Rucklidge, J., & Kaplan, B. (2016). Nutrition and Mental Health. Clinical Psychological Science, 4(6), 1082-1084.

13. Mikkelsen, K., Stojanovska, L., Polenakovic, M., Bosevski, M., & Apostolopoulos, V. (2017). Exercise and mental health. Maturitas, 106, 48-56.

14. (Mental health foundation: How we think and feel about our body, retrieved online: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/ publications/body-image-report).

15. Patalay, P, Sharpe, H, & Wolpert, M. (2015). Internalising symptoms and body dissatisfaction: Untangling temporal precedence using cross-lagged models in two cohorts. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines

16. Ryff, C., & Singer, B. (2001). Emotion, social relationships, and health edited by Carol D. Ryff & Burton H. Singer. (Oxford scholarship online). Oxford: Oxford University Press

17. Agnew, C., & South, S. (2014). Interpersonal relationships and health : Social and clinical psychological mechanisms / Christopher R. Agnew and Susan C. South. (Oxford scholarship online).