We might think there are ways to control emotions, but the truth is, we can’t at all. It would be like trying to control the way the wind is blowing or which way a river is flowing. When we try to control our emotions what usually happens is we stuff them down inside of us which results in compounding negative feelings or the inability to feel grace and appreciation. Long term, this can translate into physical problems and diseases. This post will reveal how you can transform your negative emotions into something more positive and productive for you. Experience an ancient happiness exercise at the end of the post.
We want to use our emotions as a positive fuel for our life. Anything less results in feelings of depression, powerlessnes, anger and frustration in the long run. Emotions are our ‘juice’ in life-they have the power to motivate and inspire us, or act in self destructive ways.
Emotions Are Just Energy
As there is nothing tangible about our emotions, they are felt as energy. The energy is either something that elates us or depresses us or something in between. Emotions can be likened to music coming out of a radio-if we cut open the radio, we would not find the musicians inside. Our bodies are like the radio receiver where emotions are felt but are not able to be touched. Thereofore, sound and emotions could be seen as closely related-they are a form of vibrational frequency with specfic characteristcs that are intanagible in nature. This does not make them any less real to us however.
Emotions as indicator of flow
When we are feeling happy and vibrant and experiencing deep feelings of love and appreciation, our body is in a state of coherance. It pumps out the feel good hormones like dopamine, oxytocin and many others and results in a certain harmony within the nervous system. When we have these emotions we are living in harmony with our true nature. Everything in our body works more effectively. We are living in ‘flow’.
Negative feelings and our true nature
There is more and more research in western medical science which indicates that stress is the biggest factor in physical dis-ease and other maladies. Biologically we have not evolved much from prehistoric times where we had to hunt for our food and lived in danger that a wild animal might get us. When we are stressed our body pumps out stress hormones like cortisol which sends a signal to our digestive system to shut down and send blood to our limbs so that we may ‘run from the tiger’. This was useful to our ancestors and stress was released immediatley through the action needed to survive. Even though modern life does not have this problem of survival, we still percieve threats from our enviroment as dangerous and to be avoided, even though they do not present the danger that our ancestors lived with. When we live with more negative emotion than postiive emotion continually, it sends a message to our body to go into a defensive mode. Over time, this weakens our immune system, our mental coherance, the free flow of blood around our body which deliver nutrients and keep us healthy and feeling flexible in our muscles and joints.
Controlling emotions versus transforming emotions.
As mentioned before, trying to look for ways to control emotions is like trying to control nature. We don’t have the power to do that, but we do have the power to work with nature. We are instrinsically intertwined with nature and our emotions are a gift to let us know if we are heading in the right direction in our life or not. It would be pointless to wish we never had negative emotions because then we would not have our compass to guide us. The goal therefore is to first learn to listen to our feelings and transform unwanted feelings into feelings that are wanted.
How to transform negativive feelings and cultivate postive feelings.
The Chinese have been thinking about this for a very long time and have developed elaborate practices to cultivate our natural state of joy and happiness through movement, breath and sound. One such practice is the practice of Qigong (prounounced chi-gong) which was developed over 5000 years ago and stems from a branch of traditional Chinese medicine.
Emotions and the internal organs.
One of the practices in Qigong is known as The Five Elements. By practicing certain breathing exercises combined with flowing movements and sound you can release pent up emotions which are said to be stored withinin the internal organs. For example, anger is held in the liver, sadness and grief in the lungs, joy or hatred in the heart, fear in the kidneys and anxiety in the spleen/stomach/digestive system. What is actually happening when you release pent up emotions is a transformation of energy. The charge you might have been feeling about a certain aspect of your life is dissipated and you come back to a place of stillness to be able to make a better decision.
Lessons from our modern physics
Einstein once said “Energy cannot be created or destroyed; it can only change from one form to another.” Given that emotions are a form of energy, we can transform negative emotions into positive and back again if we so choose. This is central to the practice of Qigong as it works on the premise that we have all the energy we could ever want locked up inside of us, yet we just have to find ways to release it and let it flow again if we are generally not feeling good, whether that is on an emotional level or physical level. The Chinese do not see the emotions and the body as seperate, rather they see our mind, body, emotions and spirit as an integrated whole.
Transform stress into vitality with Qigong healing sounds.
The below exercise is an example of how you can use Qigong to come into a more integrated mindful state to be able to transform negative emotions into something that feels more managable. I can guarantee you will feel a shift very quickly into the exercise and get a sense of what a better flow of energy around your body is compared to the state you may have been feeling before trying the exercise. Have a go and feel free to comment below or ask me any questions!