Monday, May 14, 2007
Stress - The Immune System and their relations to UNFORGIVENESS!
Data from the expanding area of psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) show that how people feel and how people appraise their living situations can affect their immune systems via white blood cells, which eliminate or incapacitate viruses, cancers, bacteria, and other microbes. So psychological factors do play a vital role in the immune system and general health, and the susceptibility to the common cold. People who feel unable to deal with life’s stresses display an exaggerated immune reaction that may intensify their sneezing, coughing, and other physical symptoms once they’ve contracted a common cold virus. Changing peoples’ perspectives on life and their resultant feelings, through psychological interventions, such as promoting forgiveness, can enhance immune system functioning.
Unforgiveness arouses often hostility, which releases stress hormones (Williams & Williams, 1993). These individuals experience less social support, which puts them at greater risk for both mental and physical problems. Berry & Worthington (2001) have conceptualized unforgiveness as a stress reaction to appraisals of interpersonal stressors that include transgressions, betrayals, offenses, and wrongs. Activity in the brain during unforgiveness is consistent with activity in brain structures involved in stress and other negative emotions. Hormonal patterns – notably glucocorticoid secretion – in unforgiveness is consistent with hormonal patterns from negative emotions associated with stress.