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3 Healthy Habits For Releasing Negative Emotions

When was the last time you scheduled an “emotional work out session”?

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t think much about your emotions, but rather respond or react to them as life happens. Finding ways to manage your response to stress and negative emotions is the most important thing you can do to for your health.

How often do you say, “I’m fine”, when someone asks how you are? What does being “fine” really mean? When I was in acupuncture school, I heard a comedian say that fine means, frustrated, insecure, neurotic, and emotional. I’d say that most times when you say fine, that’s actually what’s going on for you.

The truth is, emotions affect every element of who we are – from our physical health to our happiness. As both a medical doctor and acupuncturist, I assess people’s emotions as part of my system of diagnosis.

Unlike the western medicine perspective, in Chinese Medicine, emotions are integrated into diagnosis. According to Chinese medicine, every organ has an emotional function and spiritual functions in addition to many physical functions that are different from our Western medical viewpoint. In Chinese medicine, emotions generate energy that flows through our bodies according to the organ it influences. For example, the liver and gallbladder rule anger. So when we have anger, it can affect the liver. Fear is ruled by the kidney and urinary bladder. Therefore our fear may cause an imbalance in kidney energy.

Even if you aren’t aware of having emotions in your daily life, you are affected by your response to everything in your environment. We often call that “stress”.

When you begin to allow yourself to experience your emotions, oftentimes anger is what comes up first. You may find yourself more irritated than normal in traffic, or when someone does something stupid at work. Whether you are dealing with anger or other negative emotions in your life right now, here are 3 healthy habits to practice to release negative emotions from your body.

1) Exercise: Routine exercise is a great way to put your body and nervous system at rest. If you can imagine that your body is a sponge for negative emotions, you are constantly getting soaked, and at some point, you’ve got to be squeezed out so that you can be fresh and new again. You can use your exercise consciously to push out anger or frustration from your job while working out. Even just doing 100 jumping jacks in the middle of a trying day will help.

2) Loving communication: How many times do you lie to your loved ones because you don’t want to hurt their feelings, or you think you have to do what they ask? When you find ways of expressing your true feelings in a loving manner you are practicing healthy living.

3) Eating well: A poor diet aggravates negative emotions. You may not realize that your frustration, irritation, fatigue, and anger may have been triggered what you ate for breakfast. Sugar, processed foods, chemical sweeteners, skipping meals, low blood sugar, and more, all affect your physiology in a bad way. Not only do they hurt your immune system, they make you cranky. If you find yourself grumpy at work, try this food experiment. For 3 days, have protein with every meal and don’t skip any meals. Especially make sure to have a breakfast with protein before you go to work or school. See what happens to your mood.

Read more posts by Shiroko Sokitch, MD, JenningsWire blogger.