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Emotional Wellbeing

Updated: Jun 14, 2022

A woman in her workspace meditates and finds peace from within her responsibilities.
Stress free work flow

Previously I covered why fear anger and guilt were poisons to the modern mind/heart/body. Well it's time to paint a more comprehensive and even nuanced picture. Yes... even fear, anger, and guilt may occasionally be what the wise doctor orders.

We are also going to cover situations where "desired" emotions, like joy, cross the threshold into toxicity. It happens

Why does this matter? Emotional wellbeing means hormonal wellbeing, and hormonal balance is a pillar of physical health and strength.

So here are some ground terms.

Feeling- an impression or sensation

Emotion- an impulse to outward expression

(What are basic emotional needs?)

Thoughts- inward reasoning and planning of the mind

Beliefs- the acceptance of truth or actuality without certain proof

Feelings and emotions are the domain of what we call "the heart," while thoughts and beliefs belong to "the mind." These aren't absolute boundaries, but I find them very functional.

So how does knowing these things affect your health? In a production-oriented culture, the importance of emotional and even spiritual comprehension is often neglected. This means we're often confronted with disabilities and illnesses that have no satisfying explanations, or solutions! If you want to find the answers, you have to know where they reside.

If you want to find the answers, you have to know where they reside.

What if you could move through life with more grace and less suffering? Would you take this path if all you had to do was rework your belief systems? Could you handle it if required diving into things that make you uncomfortable, angry, scared, insecure, guilty, thoughtful, sad, or elated?

Emotional distress is a gateway to illness. The longer the distress, the more likely the illness is to arise. So if "distress is the gateway to illness" then why would the wise doctor ever order something like fear, or anger? Enter Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

TCM organizes the observed functions, and emotions of the human body into 5 categories called "elements." In no particular order, the primary illness-causing emotions of the five elements are: anger (belonging to wood), fear (water), worry (earth), sadness (metal), and joy (fire). Yes, joy is in there too, but that doesn't mean joy is outright poison.

TCM is about the art of balance, so joy in proper doses is good for a healthy person, but taken too far will dry up your faculties. It's not hard to imagine how constantly seeking joy, like a drug high will become unhealthy. By this same reasoning, anger, fear, sadness, etc., these are all emotions designed to complete the human experience!

In stoic cultures, people tend to look down on anger, as well as the other "undesirable" feelings, but sometimes we need to be angry. There is a time and place for everything, of course you should not give in to angry outbursts at the work place, but anger becomes poison when you don't allow for avenues to express or even channel it. This is when feelings will eat you from the inside.

Is there a way to tell when I need to experience a particular feeling, or emotion? Yes, very much so. I'm going to lay out the basic map without an explanation.

Pensiveness is remedied by Enlightened Thought, or Anger

Grief is remedied by Letting go (of attachment) or Joy

Fear is remedied by Trust, or Pensiveness

Anger is remedied by Compassion or Grief

Overjoy is remedied by Patience or Fear

If you want to know why these "formulas" exist the way they do, look into the five element control cycles, or stay tuned for future posts. For now, just know that if you are troubled by any of the primary antagonizing emotions, you have both a virtuous antidote, and another primary antagonist which can neutralize your distress. I'll use the first line as an example:

  • If you are someone who suffers from over-analysis or "pensiveness" and worry, then maybe you need to come to some framework for seeing the world that pacifies your distress (an enlightened thought), or maybe you just need to get angry about the thing that has you locked in contemplation. Think about it...

  • On the other hand, if you've been experiencing some grief in your life for an extended period of time, you might need to let go, but you could also seek some activities which impart joy into your day. We all have options.

This is only the beginning, but it's enough to work with because everyone has experienced some degree of these primary emotions. Try it out, experiment with your life, have an adventure. You might be surprised at what issues resolve upon stepping outside of the emotionally correct culture.

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