In traditional Chinese medicine the emotions can cause weakness or strength in the body. Specific emotions are tied to specific organs. Fear is associated with the kidneys.
In the book When the Body Says No by Gabor Mate, Gabor explains that our repressed or poorly expressed feelings can cause disease in the body. It is not something that many “rational” types want to hear. Modern science is not open to the idea that the cause of any disease could be anything other than genetics, bacteria, or viruses.
It is quite rational to see that repressed emotions or poorly expressed emotions can cause disease. Every emotion we feel or repress creates a hormonal reaction, and a hormone is a chemical. Chemicals act on our genetics and through epigenetics can either create a beneficial environment in the body or a hostile environment.
For this reason it is in our best interest to learn about how to express our emotions in a healthy way. This helps us to stay well.
Meditation, journaling, going for walks are three things that we can use to be in touch with our emotions.
Meditation works well because we sit silently and focus inward. A great way to meditate is to sit in a comfortable upright position. A position that allows the breath to be full. While sitting, breathe in fully and slowly and notice the breath and how it expands in your belly and ribs and when you exhale how your belly and ribs fall. As you inhale repeat silently to yourself “rising” and as you exhale “falling.”
Spend ten minutes doing this daily and you will start to see results.
You might think you are failing when you drift off into thoughts but that is not failure. That is the nature of the mind. But to learn more from these thoughts try to label them, and accept them. If you drift off into an emotion you can label that too. Say to yourself silently “feeling fear” or “feeling happy” as you notice which emotions you are having.
Once you have labelled the emotion move your attention back to the breath.
With journaling you can just take some time every day to write what is on your mind. This can help you to become aware of any emotions that you might need to be aware of.
Walking seems to be one of the easiest ways to find out what is going on. You don’t need to go for a walk alone, but it can be good to do that too. As you walk and look around, thoughts and emotions will come into your awareness. Oftentimes you will be able to solve problems (sometimes related to emotions) while on a walk.