Some articles just flow, research is done, words written and pop, there it is. Some articles start from my editing and reading of the other experts; their thoughts trigger new avenues of thought and exploration. This article on the other hand is really stumping me, in fact I’ve missed the publishing deadline, but I’ve been given some leeway to squeak in the day after.
I guess the reason why I struggle with writing about emotions is because I struggle with them in life. Hard to put pen to paper about something that you don’t care much for, or if possible engage with. I’m not 100% sure why I struggle with such a basic human element as feelings, I just do, and always have. This could also be why one very important person in my life likens me to Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory; I don’t disagree.
Interestingly it could be argued that Google sort of agrees with me; a search for ‘Physical Health’ yields over a billion results, while ‘Emotional Health’ is a relatively paltry 282 million, just a little over a quarter of the volume. But why is this? Even in my emotionally challenged state I know that if I’m feeling depressed then I’ll catch colds like a bucket does water. And if emotions didn’t help us somehow, surely they’d have been discarded after tens of thousands of years of evolution?
But of course emotions do help us; at the simplest level they help us survive. Fight or flight is a survival instinct; love gives you a bond with people that is likely to help you live longer, either just together or in a wider community. And even emotions that could be called negative, such as loss and sadness, or depression and anxiety are all really helping you. Sadness helps you remember the past, allows you to grow and move on. For me depression is an indicator that the situation I’m in is not good for me and I need to change it. It is only if you stay in the negative emotions do they become harmful and damaging.
At a higher level you could even think of reason as part of the emotional system. Such is our level of self-consciousness that we have taken the primitive emotions and moved them to a new plane that we call rational thought. This allows us to embellish the basics with more intricate constructs that also help us survive in this very different world than the African Savannah being chased by tigers.
For example, today instead of having a fear of going hungry, which will all ways result in a physical empty feeling in our stomachs, we have a fear of not having enough money to buy food. And how do you have a fear of something as abstract as money, unless we have feelings that do cause a physiological response to the loss or lack of money? Emotions have always affected the physical body and always will.
Humans are fundamentally like a coin with the physical being on one side and the emotional on the other. One cannot exist without the other; we need the physical body to carry around the emotional, spiritual self. Both affect each other, both need to be looked after, and this edition will give you some great thinking as to how to do just that.
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Cassandra Jones – Editor At Large For Holistic Living Magazine