Article #2: In Search Of Emotional Well-Being
Mental and emotional well-being is conditioned by far more influences and factors than physical well-being. While physical well-being arises from meeting the physical needs of the body correctly, this is not always enough to assure mental and emotional serenity.
In ascertaining the conditions necessary in achieving mental well-being, we must consider more than the requisites of physical health. We must take into account those elements in our ecosystem that promote mental and emotional health and, likewise, those factors and influences which undermine it.
There are many who assure us that we are responsible for how we feel and act, that we are the architects of our feelings and moods. We can control the factors that affect us or at least so rationalize our attitudes in response to external factors that we are not adversely affected.
Those who are under emotional control are said to be poised: calm, cool, and collected. They respond rationally.
Individuals who do not have strong emotional reactions to stimuli and phenomena, be it adverse or favorable, are rare. Most of us react to unexpected conditions in an involved rather than in a detached manner. This is how almost all creatures of nature react to abnormal situations or extraordinary circumstances.
If there are very few humans who can view affairs in objective fashion, there are fewer nonhumans that have this capability—perhaps porpoises (dolphins) and whales. Where there are immediate and dire threats that require timely action, even the most poised may forego their usual detachment and objectiveness.
In Natural Hygiene/Life Science we teach that every effect is the result of foregoing causes. Hence we need to explore causes—causes over which we can exert control and causes which are beyond our control—in order to improve our mental and emotional condition. Essentially we all seek mental equilibrium, poise, or stability within the context of our respective lives. Within this setting we have certain desires and expectations. Thus we become disturbed and upset when something we expect or want appears to be or is denied to us.
Whatever the causes of depression, all are within the province of our control. We can take several steps to fulfill most of the requirements necessary to live a joyous life.
Some significant areas in which we can exercise control of our emotional and mental well-being are:
- Our health regime. We can adopt and closely observe our biological requirements. Though we may be subject to many of the stresses modern society imposes upon us, we will fare far better if the basics of life are correct. The Life Science/Natural Hygiene program is scientifically correct, for it is based squarely upon our natural adaptations. It is within our province to decide to live healthfully and to pursue it diligently.
- Our thoughts. We can think constructive thoughts instead of destructive ones. If we harbor animosities or the disapproval of others, we injure our minds. We must psyche ourselves into thoughts that are optimistic and positive in nature, and quash our thoughts that are negative in nature. It is said, “As you thinketh, so shall you be.” By focusing your thoughts and reflections upon yourself and your relationships with the world, and directing your attention to how you can improve yourself and your interaction with others, you’ll be laying the foundation for mastering your own destiny and happiness. Should you feel defeated or depressed, despondent or in despair, you can refuse to indulge in those thoughts that perpetrate these mental states.
- Accept the world as it is. Accept and adapt to changes and look upon them as challenges rather than trying to resist them.
When we are in rapport with the world, we can take advantage of events and conditions rather than lose out by resisting them. In doing so, we create a positive influence on ouselves and those around us. We must be committed to what we believe but we must be realists and know what we can and cannot do.
We must, finally, address ourselves honestly to the limit of our reach. Each personality has its limits—to extend ourselves beyond our capabilities will only lead to self-pressure and our bodies will automatically become stressful. And that mental serenity will escape us.