August 3, 2012 by
Categories: Coping, Emotions, Mindfulness

For the most part, out bodies have an effective immune system. Every day our body is bombarded by pathogens aimed at taking us down. Our immune systems fights against these pathogens and most of the time, we remain healthy. There are, of course, times when the system gets overloaded and we have to take additional steps to get better again. Even when we take medication for the illness, though, it’s not the medication that cures us. The medication just brings the level of pathogens down to where the body’s immune system is not as overloaded and can finish the job.

I think it’s amazing how the body can heal itself. Even watching a small cut heal demonstrates this capability of the body. But what about the parts of our body that aren’t entirely physical? What about emotional and physical health? What have we been given to maintain a balance in these systems when bombarded by pathogens, similar to the body’s immune system?

Over the years I have come to believe that our emotions are the mind’s and spirit’s immune system. How many of us have felt better after a good cry or a good laugh? Allowing the emotion to do it job, to cleanse our minds and spirits and return them to a state of balance, is the best mental hygiene available.

Similar to our body’s immune system, sometimes our emotions can get overwhelmed and we need additional help to get things to a point where our emotions can do their job. This additional help can come from a friend, relative, or therapist. Sometimes it is even medication.

Image by antkevyv

So many times I have seen people who are afraid of their emotions and so they stifle them. I’ve tried this strategy for a good part of my life as well. I honestly believed that being as Vulcan as possible was the best way to go. The problem is, when you stifle pain and sadness, you also limit your ability to experience happiness and joy. Being unemotional is not a balance, it is an extreme. The other end of the spectrum is holding on to emotions, not letting them go, which is a part of their natural process.

To really be in balance is to allow emotions to come and go and experience them while they’re there. For a lot of people, myself included, this is the challenge. But I know that for me, the more I do this, the more at peace I am.

How have you or are you trying to gain a balance with emotions?

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