The 5 Dimensions of Health: Part 3- Emotional Health

In Chinese medicine each emotion is associated with a different organ system and meridian. For example worry is associated with the stomach meridian. Ever notice when you’re really nervous that you get an upset stomach? Emotions like our mental thoughts directly influence our bodies. When people are severely depressed they have no energy, a hard time getting out of bed, headaches, etc. This is an example of how emotions manifest into physical symptoms. When we are in love, having a great day, feeling confident and happy we feel like we are on top of the world! We are not always going to have days like these but it is important to remember that we are in control of our emotions. One of my favorite books is called the four agreements. The author, Don Miguel Ruiz, describes 4 rules to live by, one being that you should never take things personally- good or bad. What really matters is what you know and feel on the inside. What he means by this is that if you don’t allow others or events to influence how you feel then you are in true control of your emotions. Obviously bad things happen sometimes that understandably make us feel down in the dumps but it’s how we react and what we do next that can make or break our emotional health. It’s easier said than done but I find that when I’m having this type of day I check in with myself. “How am I feeling right now? Where am I feeling it in my body?” Next I sit with this emotion or emotions because it is important to process how you are feeling and not just stuff the emotions down (this would be another form of suppression!) Once you’ve sat with it for a short time try to move it from your body or release it by mentally letting go, or maybe writing a letter and burning it. Ways to work on emotional health daily are to journal, smile often, find cherishable memories and moments in your everyday life, detox yourself from relationships that are negative and bringing you down, and do things you enjoy doing like being outdoors, connecting with people, reading a book or listen to music!