The Importance of the Mind-Body Connection
PART II FEEL
CHAPTER 4 Making the Mind-Body Connection
Let’s talk about feelings. Understanding – and accepting - them can be a daunting proposition. I know, I know – maybe just the thought of “emotions talk” makes you uncomfortable. It doesn’t have to! Just stay with me on this. What is the big deal about feelings anyway? As you reflect on past experiences, positive or negative, notice how no emotion has ever taken up permanent residence in you. Even if feelings linger, they don’t stay.
We fully expect most things in life to be in a constant state of change. Though we rationally know our own feelings are also dynamic, we can still be really thrown off by the power of them. When we’re in the midst of a particularly strong emotion it can be really difficult to see our way to the other side of it. It can seem intolerable, making us feel hopeless. But in the same way you know it won’t keep raining forever, for example, you can be equally certain you won’t feel joy, or sadness, or grief, forever. When you learn to accept the inevitability of life’s emotional highs and lows, and their very temporary nature, the less distressing they will feel to you.
I think we can agree, on a rational level at least, feelings will eventually pass. Sometimes, however, we can feel flooded or overwhelmed by powerful emotions, particularly negative ones. In the midst of this, calming the chaos in one’s mind can feel nearly impossible. We’ve all had this experience at one time or another. Unfortunately, one of the most negative aspects of being overwhelmed is that it diminishes our ability to think clearly. We just don’t make the most carefully thought out choices in this state – the kinds of choices we would really prefer to make. And when we make unhealthy choices, boom… they’re usually followed by unhealthy behavior. It doesn’t matter much if the overwhelm is positive (love) or negative (hate)…in a state of overwhelm, your judgement is clouded.