Disturbing emotions that are extreme or chronic are very painful to experience and deal with. According to our observation people actually tend to choose physical pain over emotional pain. When we advised patients to quit drinking coffee because it worsens their gastritis (worsens their stomach pain) they were not too motivated to take the advice. But when we explained to them that their chronic irritability and afternoon anxiety is provoked by the "heating" nature of coffee, the hesitation was instantly gone. Apparently chronic disturbing emotions are experienced as being more unsettling and painful than actual physical pain. This is another affirmation of the various Eastern teachings which point out that disturbing emotions are the very base of people’s suffering.
There are many occasions when we experience emotions without being aware of what emotion we experience, or even without being aware that we experience an emotion at all. In the case of disturbing emotions it is an issue. Being in a constant state of discomfort without realizing that we are can be truly frustrating. Humans are creatures of habits. Often habits are not realized – we may act them out without being conscious of it. The same thing applies to emotions - they will just appear based on our habitual mental tendencies without us being often aware of it. Thus emotions are like habits or emotions are habits!
So how do we approach disturbing emotions when we often do not even know that we experience/manifest them? By becoming mindful of them. We first need to develop awareness of our emotions. This way we can attach a face to “the enemy”, which now makes it easier to concur it. We can simply start by being aware that we feel discomfort - that we are tense, that we are grumpy or unsettled and then try to identify what emotion lays behind this experience. We need to be completely truthful to ourselves without editing the emotion because of shame or guilt.
Although we are now aware of the emotion it is essential not to identify with it. We now clearly see "the enemy" but we refuse to feed it and let it grow. Emotions are conditional, temporary, empty and non-lasting experiences, and we should treat them this way. Although the clouds may sometimes cover the whole sky they are unable to define the sky. The same can be said about our being - although we experience negative emotions on a daily basis they are unable to define our true essence, therefore we should not identity with them either.
An effective approach when we experience a disturbing emotion (when we have developed awareness of it) is to imagine that we are transparent and let the emotion go through us freely, without giving it anything to grab and hold on to. After the emotion has not received any attention and energy for a while it will gradually vanish. If the painful emotion is chronic this practice will help weaken it's continuous grasp and slowly thin it out until it can be controlled or simply be ignored.
Disturbing emotions are very effectively transformed through meditation. Eastern teachings such as Buddhism offer great methods that directly work not only with disturbing emotions but with thier very roots and causes.
This project offers the opportunity to learn how to address painful emotions through the levels of physiology and vitality. In traditional Chinese medicine there are 7 negative emotions that are associated with a different organ or body system. Whenever the emotion is extreme or chronic it distorts the balance of the organ it corresponds to and vice versa - if the organ is in disbalance the emotion that corresponds to that organ manifests and is intensely or chronically experienced. Thus knowing to which organ the painful emotion corresponds to, allows to address the emotion by attending to this organ, using traditional Chinese medicine's unique healing tools of food therapy and acupressure.
How to use this project to learn to address disturbing emotions: determine what negative emotion bothers you the most than visit the Mentality chapter or select the emotion from the links provided below. Then go to the Physiology chapter and read about the different syndromes of the organ that corresponds to the emotion.
If we are unaware of our disturbing emotions and do not know how to deal with them we will not only constantly live in frustration and discomfort but impose them on our loved ones and everyone around us. When you think about it that is the same as to throw our trash wherever we feel like... It is important to remember that as disturbing emotions are painful to us they are also painful to others. Therefore just like we are responsible to preserve the environment from our waste the same way we need to be responsible to preserve other beings from our negativity.
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