Welcome to part 3 of my 5 part series on balanced living! I talked a bit about our Earth aspect, as well as our Fire aspect, and so today I wanted to talk a little about our Water aspect. Water represents our emotional self. It is the ebb and flow of our feelings. It is our mental well-being. When I spoke about our fire aspect, I referred to the aspects of stimulation and brain power. This differs from Water- our emotional and mental health.
In our society, we treat our mental health a lot differently than we do our physical wellbeing. Our society loves to focus on a “healthy” body (although it often feels the definition of healthy is dictated by good looks.) But our mental health is often ignored, denied and even punished. Depression, anxiety, drug addiction, and mental illness are frequently dismissed as a choice, a weakness or a joke. That fact is that mental healthcare is just as important as our physical healthcare.
That said, there are many ways to keep balanced with our water aspect. Being in touch with our emotions is a good start. This isn’t about toxic positivity, forcing ourselves to smile and be happy at all times. That’s an imbalance as dangerous as frequent depression. Love and light is not healthy all the time. We, as humans, have emotions for a purpose. Kendra Cherry, Psychology Expert, summarized the five main purposes of emotions quite nicely: Emotions motivate us into taking action, to avoid danger and survive, to make decisions, to understand others and in return, help other people to understand us. Only focusing on so-called “positive” emotions, while ignoring or repressing negative emotions creates an unhealthy balance.
When our emotions are out of balance, we dwell on things from one side- too much anger, too much sadness- or we can ignore important feelings like anger, depression, anxiety because someone in society said they are “bad”. Pretending to be happy, pretending to laugh and not addressing what’s bugging us can lead to pent up emotions that will one day explode. It can lead to resentment, poor self care, and stagnation. Just as we have to communicate to others, we need to communicate with ourselves. Acknowledging our emotions, whether they are “positive” or “negative”, helps to reduce the amount of shadow work we have to do later in life.
Healthy ways to keep our water aspect balanced:
Journal your feelings
Meditate and breathing
Talk to a friend
Talk to a therapist, counselor, or clergy
Take a break
Prioritize your self care
Enjoy a treat! Seriously, get a cup of delicious coffee, a pastry, a chocolate bar (dark chocolate is actually good for your brain) or something you thoroughly enjoy and indulge a little!
Express gratitude (Keeping track of your gratitude is a great practice)
Disconnect from the everyday- turn off the computer, the internet, your phone and get away!
Take a warm bath (if that’s something you enjoy)
Cuddle your pets
Take a walk, hike or spend a little time in the sun (vitamin D is a good thing!)
Let yourself be sad, angry- don’t hold it all in, let it flow and pass.
Ask for help
Having an emotional support system is one of the best ways to keep balanced emotionally and mentally. It should be people you trust, friends and family, as well as professionals. These should be people willing to listen to you without judgement, lift you and give you a hand when life and your emotions are too much. In return, do the same for them!
On a related note, starting in September 2021, I will be accepting clients for spiritual and pastoral counseling. If you need someone to talk to because of depression, anxiety, life troubles, spiritual troubles, or just in general, and you’d like someone to help you approach problems from a pagan friendly, spiritual perspective, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for details. Help is out there!
Stay tuned for parts 4 and 5 of Balanced living!
**If you or anyone you know is suicidal and needs help, reach out, please! The suicide prevention lifeline is an incredible resource- the number is 1-800-273-8255 and you can explore their website here. **
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