Ten Ways I Achieved A Healthy Emotional Balance

By Barbara Altman

In “Cry Depression, Celebrate Recovery” I document a story of utilizing a combination of traditional counseling and alternative healing modalities in the process of building emotional stability. Since early childhood trauma often results in an addiction to excitement, it is important to establish a new reality consisting of the ability to maintain calm, stop and smell the roses, and be comfortable with a normal life minus the violent swings of erratic emotions.

In Chinese medicine, too much joy and happiness can precipitate heart problems. Excessive anger can manifest in liver problems. And too much fear can adversely affect the kidneys. The idea is to sustain moderation in all things, including feelings.

Recently I was granted a marvelous opportunity. When I received news of this I immediately went into chest pains. Fortunately my heart is fine. But I had to receive energy medicine and acupuncture to ease the discomfort. Too much adrenaline caused some problems.

This was a wake up call. I had to learn ways to handle strong emotions. The following is a list of personal strategies that may be helpful when dealing with excess anger, fear, and happiness.

  • When a situation arises that has the potential of eliciting overwhelming emotions, one can simply say “that’s interesting.”  Failures can become learning experiences. Joyful events can lead to further feelings of adequacy and competence. Sadness can become an opportunity to move forward. Learn to keep everything in perspective and to grow from life events.


  • Learn to say “oh well.” One Saturday morning Dr. Patch Adams called me and left a message on my phone. I was ecstatic for at least a week. My friends all had a challenge when they tried to pull me back to earth. Calling upon “oh well” brought me back to reality. Even good experiences can be a drain if some sense of equilibrium is not established. In these situations doing something that brings one back to the mundane realities of life can be beneficial. Balancing the checkbook or emptying the kitty litter can bring about renewed focus.

Dynamic Living Magazine Issue Vol. 3  May/June 2011 continued on next page