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Jackie Woods

How Emotions Affect Your Health
by Jackie Woods

Does your fitness plan include healthy emotional expression? The following tools will help you create a healthier, more integrated life.

Journey to Ultimate Spirituality by Jackie Woods

Did you ever feel you were walking through quick sand just because you were emotionally down? Did you ever feel bad all over just because you were bored? Did you ever say, "I feel like a millions dollars," just because a special friend called? These examples indicate the immediate impact emotions have on one’s physical vitality. They also have long-term impact. Long after a feeling has passed through your awareness it may be "hanging out" in your physical body.

This concept of the emotions and the physical body working together may be new to you, but not alien. If you just think back, you will remember how these connections have happened in people you’ve known. For instance, have you known someone who was never able to completely express all their anger each time it came up? This person may have had several bladder infections, or even developed kidney stones. Often times after a death, the body will cry in the form of a cold. Or if a person never totally passes through their grief for a loved one, they may develop lung problems. This is because they are emotionally congested around their heart.

If you can respond to any of those examples or come up with some of your own, then you certainly are able to see the necessity of gaining tools to help clear the emotions so they won’t get stuck in your body and make you sick. Never fear, this does not mean you have to become a raving maniac. You must simply become comfortable with feeling, and then expressing, every single emotion to its full intensity, in order for your physical body to have emotional health. Not only will you be healthier, but you will also be happier.

There are a few simple tools that can make this health project easier:

*LIST all the unhappy EMOTIONS that you can think of, like anger, guilt, sadness, rage, shame, frustration, etc. Then put each one on a separate 3x5 card.

*WRITE down on your cards three POSSIBLE WAYS of expressing each one.

*JOURNAL DAILY to increase your awareness of what you are feeling. Simply take note of what went on during your day and list the feeling that accompanied each happening.

*Take special care to EXPRESS each emotion to the person (and/or about the situation) it is connected with.

When listing all the unhappy emotions you can think of, it helps to list the varying emotional intensities as separate feelings. For example, frustration is just a variation of rage, but the difference in intensity requires an entirely different mode of expression. Take note as you practice the four tools, to see if your range of intensity increases. Some people only express mildly, while others only know one volume of loud. You will need to be aware of the full spectrum and have possibilities listed for expression of each level.

As you become proficient with this simple formula, you will probably want to add to your list more emotions and more possible ways of expressing them. Eventually you won’t need to carry your cards with you because the ways of expressing will accompany the feeling. At first, however, the strong emotions will override any new ideas, and cards will need to be handy to serve as reminders of how to express in appropriate ways. The whole point of the card-carrying tool is to retrain your mind toward healthy expression patterns. Few people are born with those. They need to be developed.

Journaling doesn’t have to be a time consuming thing, but you will need to schedule around ten minutes per day if it is going to serve as a tool for awareness. Too often people’s actions are near to robotic. Why shouldn’t brushing your teeth or even cooking supper be accompanied by an emotion? You are a total person with all cylinders engaging at all times. Neither your mind, nor your emotions, nor your physical body are part time. They may not be in charge, but they are functioning through every detail of your life. It is just that awareness usually gets cut off after a certain number of repetitions. Journaling helps you to search beyond the part of you that is in charge of an activity to find the other parts.

The last tool of expressing to the appropriate person or addressing the appropriate situation is probably the most difficult. How often have you complained to a friend about what is going on at home or at work? Or are you one of those people who doesn’t tell anyone; you had rather change the subject by directing your attention elsewhere? The originator of the emotion holds the key to its completion. Just as dust can’t be swept under the carpet to have a truly clean house, neither can emotion be swept under the carpet. The dirt in the house must be addressed. The emotion in the situation must be addressed!

This formula for keeping a healthy body is as important as eating right, exercising, and brushing your teeth. The only reason emotions didn’t make your original health list was because they were considered to exist in a different part of your life. As you understand that all parts of you must work together to create a healthy integrated whole, then you will be grateful you have these four tools to assist you in having a healthier life.

©Copyright 2002 Jackie Woods. All Rights Reserved. 

Jackie Woods
Jackie Woods, founder of the Adawehi Healing Center in Columbus, NC. She is author of the books, Spiritual Energy Cycles and Journey to Ultimate Spirituality. She has also published tapes and compact discs addressing various areas of health. She can be contacted on the Internet at www.adawehi.com or by telephone at 828-894-0124.






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