The beginning of a new year presents wonderful opportunities to improve ourselves and our environments, to create goals, and make resolutions. We also tend to look for things to add to our physical and mental lives: new vacation plans, new gadgets, and other distractions. But what about our emotional health?
Emotions are a normal part of life. Being stressed, depressed, or shocked is nothing to be ashamed of. Every one of us reels from emotional stress from time to time. It’s when emotions go unchecked that mental, and even physical problems can arise. Many will readily admit that typical stressors can get that old knot in the neck or back to act up. That’s your mind literally creating physical disease.
You can take proactive steps with that same mind to undo those physical issues, by way of working with your emotions. Your mind (and muscles) will thank you, and you'll help fend off, or improve the condition of many other diseases ranging from the common cold and headaches, to cancer, infertility, arthritis, chronic fatigue, depression, anxiety, and fibromyalgia.
Chinese medicine recognizes comprehensive organ systems in the body. No one system is isolated from the rest of the body. We associate the physical
organ to certain bodily tissues, sense organs, and even emotions. Each organ system is responsible for the balanced expression of an emotion. When those feelings pile up, that system can become sick. The five emotions associated with these organ systems are anger, shock, worry, grief, and fear.
You can try a guided meditation, such as my Meditation for Emotional Detoxification CD, which is a simple visualization based on these five emotions. You can do this on your own or in the company of a supportive friend, spouse, or counselor. This meditation will help you purge emotional buildup, allowing you to move into the future clearer and lighter.
Other tools to help keep you emotionally balanced include tai chi, qi gong, yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises. Be sure to get enough sleep, time with your loved ones, and get regular physical exercise and time outdoors. Counseling, life coaching, acupuncture and herbal medicine can also be very helpful in dealing with the mental and physical manifestations of stress and emotional imbalances.
Using a combination of all these tools for regular emotional detoxification will keep your mind, your body, and your emotional health resilient for years to come.