People Do Suffer From Emotional Hangover: Study Emotional health and mental health are intrinsically intertwined. A person’s emotional experience can induce physiological and internal brain states which can linger for a prolonged period even after the emotional events have ended, a recent study by the New York University (NYU) has found. The study, published in the journal Nature Neuroscience in December 2016, also revealed that emotional “hangover” plays a part in how people attend to and remember future experiences. “How we remember events is not just a consequence of the external world we experience but is also strongly influenced by our internal states and these internal states can persist and color future experiences,” said senior author of the study Lila Davachi, an associate professor in NYU’s Department of Psychology and Centres for Neural Science. Emotional vs. non-emotional experiences Emotion is a state of mind and the study reinforces the fact that cognition of humans is highly influenced by past experiences and that emotional brain state can persist for longer periods of time, said Davachi. This is an extension of the earlier understanding that emotional experiences are better remembered than the nonemotional ones. For the study, the researchers allowed the participants to view a series of images that contained emotional content and elicited arousal. After a gap of 10 to 30 minutes, one group also viewed a series of non-emotional, ordinary scene images, while another group viewed non-emotional scenes first, and followed by the emotional ones. In both the groups, physiological arousal, measured in skin conductance and brain activity were monitored using fMRI. When the subjects were given a memory test of the images previously viewed, six hours later, it showed that the subjects who were exposed to the emotion-evoking stimuli first, exhibited better long-term recall of the neutral images presented subsequently. Whereas it was not so with the group that was exposed to the same neutral images first, before the emotional images.
The fMRI results were an evidence of this outcome. The data revealed that the brain states linked with emotional experiences carried over for 20 to 30 minutes and influenced the respondents in their processing and remembering future experiences that are non-emotional. â€œWe see that memory for non-emotional experiences is better if they are encountered after an emotional event,â€? Davachi said. Emotional health and mental well-being An emotional upheaval for a longer period can lead to mental problem. Being emotionally stable is a healthy state of mind. Hence, mental health programs lay great emphasis on the emotional well-being of the subjects as it helps in maintaining a sound mental health. Mental health problems are mostly uprooted emotional thoughts and perceptions that people carry. So being emotionally stable is a great protective blanket. At no time should an individual betray his or her emotions and neglect them during times of any discordance. Seeking immediate help from experts who deal with mental health conditions is the best way to deal with them. Recovery road map Mental problems are bound to worsen if neglected for a longer period. However, if intercepted at the right juncture, one can manage the symptoms and lead a normal life. There are many credible mental health organizations in the country that offer comprehensive treatment and provide long-term recovery. If you have someone suffering from any mental condition, contact Sovereign Mental Health Services, a preeminent organization in the U.S. which provides world-class treatment to mental patients. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-973-7164 to know about our inpatient mental health treatment centers in Los Angeles. Whether it is the residential mental health treatment in Los Angeles or at a place closer your home, we offer long-term recovery to our patients.
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