Studying traditional chinese medicine which has its origins in ancient daoism, we learn that emotions will affect our health. Emotions are energetic in nature and are related to certain organs in our bodies.
- Fear affects the kidneys. The phrase of wetting oneself (or worse) when they were so scared is not fiction.
- Anger affects the liver. This will show up as red eyes and face. Alcohol stimulates the liver so it might release pent-up anger. The phrase ‘add alcohol-instant asshole’ is poignant here.
- Stress affects the spleen and stomach. Lack of appetite is common.
- Grief impacts the lungs. This will affect the breathing. Common displays of sighing or shallow breathing.
- Overjoy or excitement is related to the heart. “I was so shocked I almost had a heart attack’
These were essential in understanding how are emotions affect the body. I wondered to myself if there were positive emotions that could enhance our health and spirit. I discovered there were through the study of ancient daoism, a person can move past earthly survival emotions, not by repression, but by expression from leading a path of virtuosity. We can turn from:
- insecurity and fear to self-confidence and wisdom
- jealousy and anger to love and compassion
- worry and obsession to trust and faith
- sorrow and shame to integrity and dignity
- shock and excitement to order and peace
Obviously we should strive for balance between the positive and negative emotions because for example, its easier to get angry at the people we love the most.