Emotional Wellbeing and Catharsis

CATHARSIS is the process of releasing or cleansing oneself of emotional tension. It’s recognized as a form of healing in many cultures and is a common technique used in psychotherapy with conversation. It is this combination of catharsis and personal insight that can bring about positive change and provide emotional wellbeing.

For example, crying after the loss of a parent is a healthy way to release emotions and a great form of catharsis. The tears from crying contain cancerous substances that are flushed from the body.  The cause, of course, is the end of a close relationship. The positive change may be to expand your social network so you are not reliant on too few people in the future. Emotional wellbeing occurs because spreading your emotional bonds to many sources may help you not over react to the loss of one in the future.

There is a theory in psychology that repressed(unexpressed) anger leads to depression. This is a trap that many people get caught in because the culture doesn’t accept outright anger expression and it’s inappropriate in many situations like work. Depression also effects your physical health by reducing your immune response, your social and sexual interest, and disrupts your sleep and appetite. Depression impairs your mental sharpness and is significantly correlated with obesity. So, finding a way to release anger in a healthy manner goes a long way toward our mental and physical health.

Your emotional wellbeing and physical health are so connected that we can treat them as one. That means we all need various emotional outlets like talking to a friend, a sports where you hit something(ball), writing in a diary, acting in a play, artistic expression, volunteering, or helping others in some way. When I’m angry, I walk around the house cussing out loud when no one is around. Then I look to go out for some exercise. I never feel depressed when I do that and I’ve improved my emotional wellbeing and health instead.

Catharsis is a coping mechanism that helps us manage life better and is even a trait for longevity. Having healthy coping skills not only reduces stress and improves health, but also increases self-esteem. That’s right, you feel more confident about yourself when you cope with life effectively.

To maintain our good health, we need regular catharsis on a daily basis.  I actually feel that following your passions socially, at work or in sport is a form of catharsis.  Yes, it’s okay to get angry and expresses it when appropriate. I personally find that a verbal and physical outlet works best for me. But, don’t forget those dependable friendships and a positive attitude to increase the range of your coping skills.

L. Johnson from creativeretirementforwomen.com

Photo: virturalworldslets. net

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