Emotion influences the intensity of pain: www.npr.org

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Follow this link to a really nice 4 min clip on pain and emotion. A little bit of the text is copied below.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2015/02/18/387211563/pain-really-is-all-in-your-head-emotion-controls-intensity

‘”Soldiers in the heat of the moment don’t recognize the pain that’s happening,” Linden says. But once that moment is over, those same soldiers may feel a lot of pain from something minor, like a hypodermic needle, he says.

The brain also determines the emotion we attach to each painful experience, Linden says. That’s possible, he explains, because the brain uses two different systems to process pain information coming from our nerve endings.

One system determines the pain’s location, intensity and characteristics: stabbing, aching, burning, etc.

“And then,” Linden says, “there is a completely separate system for the emotional aspect of pain — the part that makes us go, ‘Ow! This is terrible.’ ”

Linden says positive emotions — like feeling calm and safe and connected to others — can minimize pain. But negative emotions tend to have the opposite effect. Torturers have exploited that aspect for centuries.’

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