Most people have at least heard of one story or another involving someone who seemingly died of a broken heart; but is that something that is even possible? When I was a child I heard stories about my grandparents and how they followed each other closely in death. Because of those anecdotes, I have always been fascinated with the way emotions affect a person’s overall health. Could it be that the proper functioning of our immune system is directly connected to love, or lack thereof?
Understanding the System at Work
How we deal with love or the loss of it depends heavily on our psychological habits, but the consequences of our joys and pains can be seen in the way our bodies function. We all have an endocrine system – a regulatory internal coordination of hormonal glands that maintains your health and promotes cellular growth. The endocrine system is comprised of seven major glands:
That last gland, the thymus, it is the one that regulates your immune system; and it is generally connected to the heart in holistic and spiritual practices. On a strictly scientific level, the condition of your thymus directly reflects the condition of your overall health as well as your ability to fight infection and maintain crucial energy levels.
Grasping the Connective Tissue
Now, the heart is an organ that is most commonly associated with love and emotion; and though the thymus gland has little to do with emotion, it does play a huge role in how our emotions are translated into the way we feel and behave. For example, a person who is heartbroken will most likely suffer from things like anxiety and depression, which are known to cause serious and even permanent bodily damage if they experienced for long periods of time. Perhaps this connection between love and the immune system is why we typically feel physically ill when our heart is betrayed.
So, as the story in my family goes: my grandparents fell deeply in love, which meant that when one of them died so too did a part of the other . . . literally. Now there is scientific data that is proving that our views on the losses we experience is what determines how we ultimately feel. Could my grandparents have lived longer than they did? Sure they could have. But it meant that they would have had to deny what was closest to their hearts; and trying to do so is what made them the sickest in the end.
*(Photo source: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/agree-terms.php?id=100247003)