We have all heard of the junk food but do you know there are junk emotions too? High in calories and low in nutritional benefit, that is junk food which can be easily identified and whose end results are lethargy, being overweight, low energy and medical issues such as diabetes, heart disease.
Just like junk food, these junk emotions don’t bring out our best and thus we need to get rid of them because we unthinkingly consume a diet so high in negative emotions, that there’s no room left for positive emotions (low fat). In order to get rid of junk emotions, we have to be mindful of the emotions we are consuming; we have to deliberately restrict our diet of high-fat emotions.
Think of how you examine the packaging of a food product for its nutritional content. How many calories? Is it high fat or low fat? Some products may look good, but it turns out they’re not good for you. Emotions are exactly the same: Some are good for you, others are not.
We developed the concept of psychological nutrition – not about food at all, but about how to assess and monitor the emotions that we consume. In order to get rid of junk emotions, we have to be mindful of the emotions we are consuming; we have to deliberately restrict our diet of high-fat negative emotions like fear, anger, worry, sadness, envy, which are neither good for us nor are they good for other people with whom we come into contact, and increase our consumption of low-fat positive emotions like joy, calmness, optimism. Just like we replace our fries with carrots, we need to begin a habit of ‘eating’ psychologically nourishing emotions.
Emotions such as anxiety, jealousy, anger, obsession, short-temper, greed, hatred, and so on are much harder, of course, to throw out with the trash, because we’ve inherited or cultivated them over our lifetimes. Healthiness in all things, as well as the removal of junk in our lives, don’t just happen accidentally. It needs to be worked at and cultivated, much as one nurtures a seed in the ground.
So here are 5 ways to better manage ‘high fat’ emotions and ‘nutrient dense’ emotions.
1. Lower your consumption of high-fat emotions.
High-fat emotions are negative and energy draining; they suck the fun and creativity out of your life and are bad for you. Examples: guilt, resentment, anger, envy, jealousy, frustration. High fat (or negative) emotions create and maintain a cycle of pessimism and low-energy. They are fatiguing and close the door to creativity and joy.
2. Increase your consumption of low-fat emotions.
Low-fat emotions are positive and increase your energy. Examples: joy, optimism, love, patience. Low-fat emotions should dominate your psychological intake. Low-fat (or positive) emotions energize you. They open up your world, both in terms of your inner self and the doors to opportunity.
3. Keep a count of your junk emotional calories.
Just as with junk food, a diet of junk emotions (like anger, resentment, and worry) leads to psychological malnourishment. How many junk emotions are you consuming in a day?
4. Look at relationships as products.
Relationships are products made up feelings. Some are nutritious, others are not. Think of how you examine the packaging of a product for its nutritional content. How many calories? Is it high fat or low fat? Some products may look good, but it turns out they’re not good for you. Relationships are exactly the same: some are good for you; others are not.
5. Make Psychological Nutritional Labels.
Just like food products have labels that describe their nutritional content, there should be ‘psychological nutritional labels’ for reactions, relationships, and situations. In this way, you will know (or at least have a good idea) whether a situation has a ‘high fat’ or ‘low fat’ content before you enter it. Are there people or situations that should have warning labels?