We can all relate to how emotions affect our bodies.
Just think about the last job interview you had and the pit you felt in the bottom of your stomach or the sweat collecting on your forehead. You weren’t exercising; you were anxious. Or think about the time when you decided not to buy those jeans because the deal was just too good to be true. It turned out that your “gut feeling” was right; the pants were black-market fakes.
The ancient Chinese philosophers believed that emotional and psychological factors could be causes of illness. Emotional health is a big part of Chinese medicine, in fact, as a Chinese medical practitioner, treating the emotions and the physical body cannot be separated. What can you do to have more balanced emotions? Well, it seems counterintuitive, but let yourself feel what you’re feeling!
- If there is something happening in your life that is upsetting you, acknowledge it. This is the first step.
- The second is to allow yourself to feel it without judgment. We often judge our feelings and that act of judging can be much more destructive than having the emotion in the first place.
- Be gentle with yourself. Feel what you are feeling. I like to think about what I would say to a friend. I can be much more sympathetic and forgiving with friends than I am to myself. Now apply that compassion to yourself.
Once you allow yourself to feel that emotion, then you can let it go and move on.