I, like many of you reading this book, suppressed my emotions for most of my life. I took on the role of the invisible child in my alcoholic family and kept everything inside because I felt unsafe and afraid of my father’s violence. Through years of suffering low self-esteem, unrecognized low-grade depression, and unhappy codependent relationships, I gradually discovered my high degree of codependency and the inner child inside me sad, lonely, and buried in agonizing pain.
Stone faced, appearing unemotional on the outside and protected by layers of energetic armor to numb my feelings for most of my life, you may ask how I would be qualified to teach about healing the emotions. Challenged by doubt of my self-worth and continuously swinging back and forth between the two poles of the victim, anger or powerlessness, I emerged from a long journey of forty years learning how to recognize, feel, and express my emotions in a healthy way.
Researchers now show the link between emotions and physical health. I find the following study amazing.
We've known for a while now that emotions play a critical role in physical health, said Sarah Pressman, assistant professor of psychology at Kansas University in a 2009 study from the Gallup World Poll. The findings with adults in more than 140 countries provided a sample of 95 percent of the world's population.
Participants reported their physical health issues and answered questions about their basic survival needs for food and shelter. Pressman described positive emotions being linked to better health, even with the lack of basic needs being met.
The study showed the association between positive emotion and physical health being more powerful than the link between health and adequate food.
Christine Northrup, M.D. quotes from Acupressure for Emotional Healing by Gach and Henning, Today, the mind/body research is confirming what ancient healing traditions have always known: that the body and the mind are a unit. There is no disease that isn't mental and emotional as well as physical.
My experience has taught me that gaining greater emotional health involves the courage and willingness to face and go through the pain of our emotional suffering. As the poet Robert Frost says, Very often, the only way out is through.
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