With great freedom comes great responsibility. - Eleanor Roosevelt
When talking about food, most of us are familiar with the phrase "Junk in, junk out." Most of us, who have tried cleaning up our diet, found that we truly did feel better.
Did you ever stop to consider that this phrase applies to more than just the food we eat?
Some of the latest research is confirming that emotions have a profound impact on our body and our health. Many of us have literally worried ourselves to the point of being sick, or we know someone who has. Negative emotions cause inflammation in the body, leading to illness, just another reason to forgive and move forward.
I know that I have experienced this myself. In my mid 30's, life exploded, and I found myself under a tremendous amount of stress. My stomach was sick and nauseous all the time, and I would frequently throw up my meals from the stress. This is what brought me to meditation and Yoga.
It makes sense that if we can worry ourselves sick, we can also do the opposite. Current research is showing that in as little as 3 minutes a day, we can have a profound positive impact on our health, by focusing on the heart-mind connection, and feelings of positivity, such as gratitude and compassion.
This is such a simple process to provide support for our bodies and immune system.
Place your hand(s) on your heart or in prayer position over the heart, as this helps us with the heart-mind connection. Focus on feelings of gratitude, compassion, joy, or whatever positive emotions work for you. The key is to feel the emotions. (While watching a YouTube compilation of puppies, I thought this would be a great way for me to easily focus on feelings of positivity every day for 3 min, because just naming the emotion is not the same as feeling the emotion).
Considering all this, what emotions are invoked inside you when you watch the news, movies, sitcoms, reality shows, printed ads, etc? What emotions are being invoked by your music choices? What emotions are going through your mind as you commute to work, do household chores, etc? Are you experiencing emotions of anxiety, stress, jealousy, inadequacy? How are these emotions effecting your mind, body and health?
Several years ago, I decided to start being more choosy about what I allow myself to be exposed to. I started with my playlist of music. Since this was my go-to for a mood lift, I began to take notice of what the songs were about, how they made me feel, and I started ditching anything that was derogatory towards women or people in general, and anything that invoked negative emotions.
A year ago, I gave up cable TV. It was a great decision. Now, I control what I watch and what drama I am exposed to. The TV is no longer running in the background, exposing me to noise pollution, and subconscious messages. Our media is all about drama, shock & awe, and the more our society is exposed, the more dramatic and shocking the material must be to keep our attention. Since media is out to make money, they happily oblige us, but at what cost?
Depression, anxiety, hopelessness, anger and so many other negative emotions are dominating our society.
Throughout my life there have been, movies, photos, videos, etc, that I have been exposed to, that had a very lasting impression in my mind. Today, I reduce my exposure and I am happier than I have ever been.
I am thankful for our soldiers, and to live in a country with the freedom to watch, listen and explore almost anything that interests us, or catches our attention, but that does not mean we should necessarily allow ourselves to be exposed to something just because we can.
"With great freedom comes great responsibility." - Eleanor Roosevelt