Emotion Hygiene: the fundamental principles, skills, and habits of feeling good.


emotion hygiene tools

Meditation

Meditation for spiritual growth has been practiced and studied for millennia, whereas meditation for stress relief or emotional regulation is a very new field. And though my great-grandmother founded a buddhist monastery, the type of meditation I teach and practice is more like positive emotion hygiene. In these practices, the focus is upon cultivating emotional mastery, as opposed to retreating or 'dropping-in'; we're finding the remote control to our bodily-based emotions and cultivating an internal support system. For brain rewiring, meditations don’t have to be long, they simply need to be repeated consistently. We consider meditation a brain hygiene essential.

Meridian Tapping

Tapping is a comprehensive tool to rewire our brain. We give a voice to our negative emotions while tapping on meridian points—incorporating the thinking brain, the emotional brain, and the reactive brain (the body). And, when you’re tapping along with someone else or into a mirror, the mirror neuron systems are integrated, helping us to feel like we’re not alone in dealing with the issue, which is an under-acknowledged and very necessary component of soothing and of health.

Hypnotherapy

Even though we consciously want to change, our brain can sometimes feel 'stuck' in stubborn, frustrating old patterns. Using hypnosis for our emotion hygiene means clearing out negative subconscious belief systems; we "de-hypnotize" ourselves of unwanted beliefs. Hypnosis is a natural process (we all drop in and out of hypnosis everyday) and it's an incredible tool for managing your mind.

Positive Resourcing

Most advice about how people might improve their physical health calls for increased physical activity, improved nutritional intake, and reductions in tobacco and alcohol use. This good advice can now be expanded to include self-generating positive emotions. Recurrent momentary experiences of positive emotions appear to serve as nutrients for the human body. — Barbara Fredrickson, Kenan Distinguished Professor of Psychology

Pattern Interrupts

Though it seems more complex, feeling good comes down to changing the habit of feeling negative emotions like worry, fear, hopelessness, etc. Developing positive habits requires interrupting unwanted patterns as quickly and as frequently as possible. The pattern interrupts we use are ones that you can carry, wear, or display to help you interrupt that negativity bias and return to feeling good.

Education

Learning why we feel negative emotions is usually the first part of feeling good. Then you really understand that feeling anxious or hopeless doesn't mean something's wrong with you. Rather, feeling good is a skill that absolutely requires education and support.

Just as we teach about physical hygiene in the interest of good health, 

we now need to teach about mental or emotional hygiene too.  

— The Dalai Lama

get really good at feeling good