The ability to experience the full range of our emotions is essential to our mental and physical health. Learning to balance all our feelings is the key to our health and wellbeing. Why is this so difficult?
What is The Key to Wholeness?
Everyone wants to live a life filled with happiness, and we know our state of mind can influence our health. How do we learn to accept the hardships and maintain a healthy outlook?
To be happy, we must be whole; wholeness includes the full range of feelings. It seems simple, but this is not easy. We learn to link happiness with situations instead of living in a state where happiness underlies everything.
Our joy doesn’t depend on the situation, but our state of mind. Accepting who we are is the key to wholeness. It starts with the perspective of a realist. We must adjust our direction based on the situations, but remain grounded while doing it.
Life has its ups and downs. If we deny negative feelings from these tests, we do not address what is causing them. Denial is an unhealthy and ineffective coping mechanism. Denial keeps us from dealing with the cause of our feelings, and it creates stress, which is harmful to our mental and physical health.
It does not mean we should be happy when bad things happen. It means we learn to control our response to the negative. We can still be hurt, frustrated, or angry, but we must learn not to dwell or become fixated by these negative feelings.
Accepting The Full Range of Our Emotions
There are a vast number of possibilities with the human condition. Some people have more than their share of negative experiences. Although this doesn’t seem fair, it happens.
Most people learn their emotional coping skills by mirroring their family and friends. You spend a lot of time with your family, so how feelings are shared is part of your family tradition and your life story.
The people in your circle of influence typically use the same coping strategies. Whether or not these strategies are healthy, they are a part of the cultural fabric. People use them to adjust to and through various stages of growth and the hardships of life.
The cohesiveness of the family depends upon family tradition. The early modern age (1) began to take precedence over the family culture. It was all but gone by the end of the industrial revolution. (2) Corporate, religions and political subcultures have replaced the family system. (3) But although we have more choices for coping strategies, that doesn’t mean they are healthy.
So it has become even more important to find healthy, effective coping strategies. It is the reason for support groups to help cope with specific conditions are successful. Self-care becomes a critical part of a sound health strategy support system.
When we deny the full range of emotion, we negate the opportunity to live life to its fullest. Yes, the lows are part of the equation. Accepting the full range of what life offers is the only path that provides this entire experience. It helps us identify the things we want or need to change. It helps us to become more aware of both the good the negative.
There are lessons in both positive and negative emotions. We must learn to find these lessons to take advantage of the opportunities life presents. The more healthy coping skills we learn, the better we become at choosing the right actions. We learn not to give in to negative self-talk.
The Mind is Always Engaged
It’s far too easy to occupy ourselves every waking moment, and our modern culture wants us to be busy. The advertising culture helps to promote a short attention span. They learn and target our basic fears in order to sell us things we don’t need.
Day-to-day tasks, worries, and social pressures become overwhelming. However, showing any negative outward effect in the corporate environment is anathema. We must project a positive outlook at all times. But the long-term effects of suppressing negative feelings and opinions are destructive. It’s the root of depression.
Many people learn to “fake” looking happy because they teach us we cannot express negative feelings. Accepting the full range of our emotions can be scary. It makes us feel vulnerable. So, if the mind is engaged, it keeps us from feeling what’s going on. It’s a way of dampening our emotions. It’s a strategy that helps us fit in, but at what cost? We lose the key to wholeness. We learn to segregate feelings. But are these coping strategies healthy? Not really.
The promise of modern society to afford us more free time is just the opposite. Our minds are engaged nonstop. The handheld device becomes a new obsession instead of a tool. We forget how important for us to daydream, contemplate, and get in touch with what is going on inside. Our mind needs time to reset. We need to meditate. For that reason, we need to do this daily to maintain our health.
The Corporate Culture
The corporate culture pervades the modern life. Our culture demands a cheerful smile even when we are suffering emotionally. We learn to temper all emotions. Showing genuine social affection, like hugging, is strictly forbidden because this would place the corporation in jeopardy of a lawsuit.
Corporate culture demands we guard our words, actions. This is vital f to safeguard the assets of the corporation. Expressing any negative emotion is unacceptable behavior. It trains us to deny and repress negative emotions. Repression leads to mental stress.
So, learn to mute the full range of our emotions. Work culture teaches us to be monotone and emotionless. This training spills over into our personal lives, and we seek prescription drugs to numb out the negative. We lose the capacity to deal with what is causing the negative emotion. In this way, we can continue to be productive in the workplace. We become robots living a monotone existence.
Without highs and lows, life becomes meaningless, the full range of emotion is lost. We suppress negative feelings, like fear or anger. This trend is unhealthy in the long run. Even though this feels like a comfort zone, it’s a trap, and hiding our feelings becomes a pattern. When we resist or ignore our emotions, they can fester, which is unhealthy. You can’t medicate away your feelings forever.
Why Spiritual Exploration is Important
We are spiritual beings. And our emotions are a part of who we are. One of the common threads we have is the desire to seek the unknown. The inner quest requires us to experience the full range of emotions.
The above obstacles prevent us from accepting the full range of our emotions. However, it is vital to take the time we need, which helps us regain and retain our mental and physical health. The spiritual journey emphasizes this need to be whole. Learning to turn inward and allow yourself to “feel” everything has always taken courage. It’s a journey that is vital.
Getting in touch with the full range of your emotions is key to unlocking your intuition and spiritual gifts. It teaches us the difference between meditation and worrying.
Turning inward and getting in touch with your thoughts is not worrying or being caught up in negative thoughts. Getting in touch starts with learning two tactics. First, learning to be Kind to Ourselves. The second is learning to be mindful. Add Mindfulness Meditation practice to your daily routine.
Learn to be Kind to Ourselves
The first key is learning to be kind to yourself. Provide time and space to be with yourself and allow yourself to feel your emotions without judgment. Engage in self-care. To understand what’s going on inside, you need to embrace your emotional center. Sometimes this center is turbulent, and we block it off because it is uncomfortable, but this is the key to wholeness.
Seek professional help if you need it. Remember, we lack the traditional support systems and free time to sort things out independently. So, mental health professionals can help us get through the hard spots.
Learn to Be Mindful
The second key to getting in touch with your emotions is learning Mindfulness Meditation techniques. These aren’t accessories, and they are necessary tools to help you cope with the modern world’s increased stress.
One excellent strategy is to use modern technology to remind us. Set a calendar reminder at least once a day with a keyword like, “meditate or mindfulness break. Then, use your willpower to take a break. Once you’ve done this for a while, you’ll look forward to this mental oasis. That’s when your mindfulness and meditation breaks will start to pay off.
Some personality types find it easier to feel their emotions. Those who understand Enneagram Type 4 know that they can become fixated on their feelings. Type 9 would be more inclined to ignore their feelings as a strategy to “make it” through the day.
Enneagram Personality Profile
We highly recommend the Enneagram Personality Profile. It’s a part of the tools of our blended learning process. This tool can help you identify your burdens and guide you in learning to lay them down. The Enneagram Personality Profile is a set of scientifically validated questions. This tool will enable you to identify your default personality and instinct settings.
The full range of emotion is a barometer of our psyche. The key to wholeness is learning to accept the highs and lows. It’s not easy to do, but that is part of our journey.
(1) Early Modern Period: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_modern_period
(2) Industrial Revolution: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Industrial_Revolution
(3) Contemporary Period: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contemporary_history