February is the month that celebrates love — a human condition loaded with emotion. Astrologically, our emotional composition relates to the sign and placement of our moon. The moon provides insight as to how we naturally manage what we feel and the types of environments that support us.
Emotions play a huge role in our life circumstances, moods and how we interact in our relationships. Life cycles, transitions and events can all wreak havoc with our emotions. Stress is associated with several mental health issues, including depression, and our emotions of fear, frustration and anger are known to trigger negative chemical changes in our bodies — changes associated with inflammation, asthma, cardiovascular disease, and certain types of cancer.
On the positive side, the mind that contributes to our physical and mental illness is also the doorway that can help us to evolve into the fullness that we are, contributing to our health and well-being, even though each of us is unique in personality, potential and how we deal with our emotions. Just as we know what can cause poor health, we also know what can influence positive body chemistry. Having better control over our thoughts in the midst of emotional stressors — and being more consciously aware of who we are and how we act in the world — can automatically produce personal growth and overall better health. As a result, we will find it easier to return to the emotions of love, hope, faith and laughter.
So what does that mean for us going forward? How can we use this information for our good? Here are three areas of practice that can improve how we manage our emotions. They are: creating sacred spaces, journaling, and developing supportive relationships.
When we think of sacred spaces, we may think of places outside our homes. Yet, to really support our emotional and spiritual well-being, setting up a sacred space at home is a necessity. Think about how you benefit from retreating, and keep that in mind as you create your space. Simple things like colors can either calm or agitate us — the same with pictures and objects in and around our homes. Walk through your home and see what kind of emotional response you get from the colors and items that surround you. Do they make you feel comfortable, alive and inspire you? If not, clear out what doesn’t feel supportive.
Taking care of ourselves doesn’t always have to be serious. Norman Cousins found that laughter is a powerful way to tap into our positive emotions. Commit to watching some of your favorite comedies on a regular basis and don’t forget about healing sounds and your favorite music. Just as we store thought, we also store sound, scent and image memories. Have you ever noticed how a certain song can come on the radio and instantly bring you to a happy state? Or how the smell of a certain fragrance reminds you of a loving companion? All senses relate to our emotions.
We can’t speak about emotions without speaking of love. Our social connections contribute to our long-term health. When we have satisfying social connections, we are happier, have fewer health problems and live longer. However, as we know, all relationships are not equal. First and foremost, we need to spend time building the relationship with ourselves because that is the foundation out of which all other relationships stand. We can do this through a practice of journal writing.
I have found that having a journal and pen that I really like to write with on the nightstand by my bed keeps me engaged in the writing process. I use it to write about my dreams when I wake, tapping into the wisdom of my unconscious, and to write about what I am feeling throughout the day. Sometimes I work with prompts, and other times it is just a flow of expressive writing. All of it is meaningful in the scope of self-understanding.
Like the universe, we are continually evolving, and what we surround ourselves with in our home interior also supports our emotional interior. If one of these ideas resonates with you, incorporate it in your everyday life and take note of how things grow and change as a result.