The Emotions of Life
Emotion … emotion … emotion! What a rollercoaster of life. Emotions bring the most incredible experiences in life and also the most excruciating. Emotions are complex. There is no shortage of studies and information related to emotions. What they are, where they come from, how they impact the human condition. Emotions are associated with mental health. However it is important to remember that they impact not only our mental health but also our physical well-being. Consider emotions and the related mental conditions as one of the essential pillars of health along with physical conditioning, proper nutrition and a good healthy living environment.
Emotions are interrelated with stress. Stress can be a positive and a negative. Stress can lead to motivation and this motivation can be positive. This positive motivation can often lead to success in life and a healthy condition. Stress can also lead to negative experiences and impact our lives in very detrimental ways. Stress can be compared to a rubber band. A rubber band can be stretched and returns to its balanced state. A rubber band can also be stretched to the point where is breaks. Balance is the key. Stress must be kept in check and properly managed. Easier said than done! There is always the ebb and flow of our life experiences that bring adversity and in turn stress to our journey. These experiences are not always avoidable. Often times they are out of our control. However we can work to control how we let these experiences impact our life. That is a choice.
The mind controls all! Heaven and hell are concepts created by the mind. The mind is all powerful. Mental condition directly affects overall health whether positive or negative. Whatever the mind chooses, the body will follow. That is the core teaching of the “Power of Belief”. The Power of Belief teaches that “What you believe is what you have in your life, positive or negative.” It teaches us that we should be unwavering in our effort to seek the positive experiences in life and drive out the negative. There are those times when the extremes of life experience take over. There are those times when we are overcome and lose balance. That is life. However that is the lesson of balance. Sometimes we are a little to the left and sometimes we are a little to the right. The lesson is to put effort into maintaining our center as best we can. It is a journey for everyone. It is a challenge we must all face.
The Seven Emotions of Health
In tradition eastern medical and philosophical studies the study of emotions and impact to the human condition are a root for a healthy life. These seven emotions are the human condition’s normal response to external stimuli. As mentioned earlier, emotions in balance do not typically result in negative experiences when kept in balance. They are positives for our life. The issue is when these emotions are experienced very suddenly, in extreme excess or for extended periods of time. In this case, mental and physiological issues may arise. In these traditional studies, emotions directly impact our energy level and the condition of our blood, and thereby have a direct impact on our body and even our organs. In the modern day example consider just the concept of negative and positive relationships. How do feel when you are around a negative person? These negative emotions impact your well-being. There is that feeling of being drained of energy. You start to feel bad. It’s not a fun experience. How you do feel when you are around a positive person? It actually feels good! Those positive emotions have a positive charge like impact and bring about strong connections which promote health and a good overall sense of life.
So what are the Seven Emotions?
- Pensiveness / Melancholy
- Grief / Sadness
- Fear / Panic
- Fright / Shock
We think of joy as a good thing and it is! Joy is a great thing. Joy in life is our primary objective. The negative that results from joy as an emotion is not tied to that feeling of being happy. It is instead tied to excess and imbalance as a result of over-stimulation and shock from this over-stimulation. If we become overexcited we may experience heart palpitations, insomnia, fitful sleep and mental confusion. Remember it is excess we are looking at as related to these emotions.
Anger is often visible in the human condition through the resulting impacts such as a redness in the face. Excess anger may lead to a negative impact on appetite, problems in our digestive systems. Overtime these extended bouts of anger may lead to depression. When we are angry our bodies physiological systems kick into overdrive. Often times this results in bad decision making and negative actions. As we mentioned earlier the adversities of life will always surprise us along our journey. Anger is a part of life. The effort is to manage anger and put best effort into returning to a balanced emotional state.
Pensiveness is an interesting word. Pensiveness can be looked at as deep, often melancholy thought. A dictionary example of someone who is pensive is a person who may be observed staring out a window who looks sad and lost in thought. This emotion is often the result of thinking too much. It is also related to an excess of stimulation. This may lead to negative impacts such as fatigue and feeling sluggish. The inability to concentrate is another negative impact when our emotional condition is in an excessive state of pensiveness or melancholy.
Worry is a common emotion in our stressful existence. Worry is a very common emotion that many people can associate with in the life experience. Worry is a drain of our mental and physical energy in excess. When we are excessively worried is truly shows to have both emotional and physical impacts. Much like anger, it can impact our digestive health. Sometimes people lose their appetite because they are overly worried. Fatigue is also a result of feeling overly worried. Consider the expression used often to describe how an emotion such as worry feels like a physical weight on your shoulders. This emotion of worry can fee crushing.
Grief is similar to Melancholy. Grief is a more extreme state of emotion and this extreme condition may result in negative impact on our physical and emotional state. Grieving is a part of life. This is a very tough and unforgiving emotion. It is truly life shattering. It’s the excess that we look at as negative. Similar to other emotions and very recognizable is the negative impact such as fatigue. In a very extreme state of grief our energy is zapped and often times all we want to do is stay in bed and sleep. There is also in extreme cases a shortness of breath often experienced with extreme bouts of crying. It’s a common and sometimes healing experience. As will all things, remember the extreme is our lesson from managing our emotions.
Fear is closely related to Fright and is also one of those emotions that is commonly experienced. One thing to remember is that all these emotions are normal adaptive human emotions. They are not bad. They are normal. Like all emotions when fear becomes excessive or chronic it leads to imbalance. Often times the causes of fear is not immediately recognizable and it becomes a path of discovery to use common phrase “conquer your fear”. Fear can lead to the path to worry. This is a good example of how emotions are connected and often become interrelated experiences. Insecurity and anxiety are often manifested as a byproduct of fear. There is a great expression that says “On the other side of fear lies freedom.” This freedom is the feeling we experience when we shed the weight of burden related to overpowering emotions.
Lastly there is fright. Another word that is synonymous with fright is shock. A common phrase used is “Scared to death”. Fright is looked at differently than fear due the very unexpected and sudden aspects of fright. Fright is related to the “fight or flight” response. The rush of adrenaline that results in palpitations, anxiety and insomnia. Fright translates to stress on the body in all forms and fashion. Post-traumatic stress is a long term effect off fright. If left unmanaged and out of balance it may have a severe long lasting impact on health. Balance is never more essential in the management of these frightful and shocking experiences of life.
Emotions directly influence all areas of life. This influence and the impact are unique to each individual. Just as the body needs oxygen to remain healthy, the mind needs balance to be fresh and free of stress and anxiety. If the mind is clear it will be able to perform to maximum potential. How do we manage emotion? It takes effort. It is no secret. Emotional balance is about awareness and then practice.
Our mind is the essential resource to help us balance our emotions. Our mind create these extremes of emotions through our interactions with our surroundings and experiences. Mindfulness is a really great word we can use to describe the management of emotion. We must be mindful of our emotions. Mindfulness may be achieved through many practices. One such practice is meditation. The practice of meditation invokes a wide array of response from individuals. Some people immediately think of monks in the mountains on the highest peaks when the word meditation is used. What meditation is at its most basic level is a tool to be mindful of our own internal processes. To be mindful will enhance the body’s ability to relax, relieve the body of stress and lead to a more peaceful mental state. As we practice, skill increases through repetition and we gain better control of our mind and in turn our emotions. This improvement of control will contribute to an overall healthy life.
Don’t over complicate the practice of meditation for better controlling the mind. Find a comfortable position, close your eyes and focus on your breath. Establish a balanced relax breathing rhythm. Work to clear your mind of all thought and concerns. This is a tough practice. Count. Count to a designated number and back again. For example, count to 20 and only count on each exhalation. If you miss count, start over. If thought comes into your mind, do not fight it. This creates stress. Simply, let that thought come in and send it away. This simple practice can be a tremendous tool for a healthy life. It will lead to further practices and increase the ability to better control the mind and in turn emotions.
Emotion is natural. As mentioned, it is a true blessing and equal curse at various times in life. Life is a rollercoaster ride of emotion. There are the highs and lows. The key word is always balance. We’ll get angry, we’ll get sad, we’ll be scared and it will be very painful at times. However, we can manage impact through practice and find a better balance in life and health through greater understanding and effort. The work is worth the result. It is for sure one of those easy to say, hard to do type of endeavors. Health is wealth. Make the effort and make the emotional ride of life a balanced healthy journey.