Peace that Passeth All Understanding: Emodiversity

A recent post of mine (http://postinstitute.com/blog/2015/02/18/the-way-to-find-peace/) discussed how peace is not about feeling good, it’s about feeling everything–a concept that may have astounded some people. As parents of very challenging children, we are often at the edge of our wits and emotional tolerance, and want more than anything, just a little peace. We have had it, we are tired, worn out and in some cases desperate for a break. It may be that the break we seek is always right there/here with us - closer to us than we are to ourselves.

A recent article (http://www.mindful.org April 2015) entitled Emodiversity: The Key to Happiness, asked if the route to happiness was simply to feel more positive emotions and fewer negative ones?

Research is beginning to show a strong rebuttal to the argument that feeling good is the way to be happy. It appears that Emodiversity–a measurement that includes positive emotions and negative emotions, and considers the level, the variety and abundance) showed that people with a mixture of both, (high emodiversity) were less likely to be depressed than people with positive motions alone. Two research studies from four countries and six institutions–including Yale University and Harvard Business School–surveyed over 36,000 people, found that emodiversity had a positive effect on people’s emotional health as well as on their physical health (less medication use, lower government healthcare costs and fewer doctors visits/days spent in the hospital.

Although this may be considered astounding to some, those who practice mindfulness can attest to the reality that experiencing whatever emotional content arises within us, and is allowed to be experienced non-judgmentally, yields a greater ability to both endure, allow and remain open to whatever is present for us circumstantially, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Mindfulness equips us with a powerful tool, not to protect us from our boat being rocked, but to be able to enjoy the swim if such occurs. Jesus once said, “Resist not evil” (Matt. 5:39). Mindfulness is one of the best ways I can think of to resist not evil.

Be at peace.

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