What is Emotional Health and why is it so important?
Within every human being, no matter what our age, there lives a realm of emotional response that, when we have access to it, is the source of our healing. Across cultures there is an understanding of what this is. For most of us however, accessing this realm and staying present to it without rules and judgments or secondary reactive emotions, is a very difficult thing to do. Our bodies are continuously sensing and responding to the world around us and often we react before our reason can catch up with us. Sometimes it can feel very intense - like the emotion is having us; is driving our behaviours and creating problems in our relationships. Other times it's the opposite - we can't seem to make contact, to feel, to really connect; something feels vague or blocked off. Most of us have been taught as children that some types of emotional expression are simply unacceptable. And so, as children we, quite remarkably, figure out ways to swallow back the tears, to hide, block or analyze our experiences. Others have difficulty doing this and often feel floods of emotion that seem like they will never come to an end. Sometimes this can be quite embarrassing and a secondary system of shame develops in reaction to the emotions that can't seem to be stopped.
Wherever we find ourselves on the spectrum, we can all benefit from gaining insight into our own values, rules and relationship with our emotional depths as a way of freeing up our lives. We can also benefit immensely from finding ways to bring our emotional realms into expression in order to find soothing or calm or peace. We do want to have contact with our emotional realms without the fear that the emotions will overpower us if they are felt too fully. There is a path towards doing this and when we step onto it we access the balance needed to align with meaning, purpose and healthy flow in our lives.
“The emotional wisdom of the heart is simple. When we accept our human feelings, a remarkable transformation occurs. Tenderness and wisdom arise naturally and spontaneously. Where we once sought strength over others, now our strength becomes our own; where we once sought to defend ourselves, we laugh.” ~ Jack Kornfield