Emotions, and the way you deal with them can affect your health. This guide will help you understand the impact of nine primary emotions in maintaining health. The positive emotions create a positive field which fills your blood with the chemicals of happiness and wellbeing. They are conducive to the building or rebuilding of the healthy heart. The negative emotions create a negative field which fills your blood with the chemicals of unrest and unhappiness.
Navarasas are a two-thousand-year-old Indian concept of emotions which see the mind as a space filled with positive and negative emotions. These emotions are: love, laughter, compassion, chivalry, anger, fear, abhorrence and wonder. Shantha or peace is the result of handling all these emotions correctly.
Obviously, the positive emotions or states like love, humour, compassion, chivalry and wonder put the mind in a happy and enthusiastic state, thereby fostering health. On the other hand, the negative rasas like anger, fear and abhorrence produce a state of mind which creates, as described in Daniel Goleman’s book, an ‘emotional hijack’.
The Big Five negative emotions are Lust, Anger, Arrogance, Greed and Jealousy. They are listed both in Hinduism and Buddhism as generating an atmosphere of unrest in the mind. In this state, the fog of negative emotions slows and confuses the mind. During meditative practices, the chemicals of peace and tranquillity flow into the blood. Breathing, heart rate and pulse rate stabilise. The mind is able to function calmly and freely. An alert and relaxed attitude is required for the teamwork involved in building ideas and analysing them. Self-awareness of your state of mind can help you get the most out of life and lead to a healthy heart.
Each of the major rasas has a few stable sentiments and many passing, transient emotions. The permanent sentiments are pleasure, laughter, grief, anger, zeal, awe, disgust and surprise. All the major rasas will have elements of these feelings. In love, there will be the pleasure of union and the grief of parting. Many scholars add the ninth rasa, Shantha Rasa (or the rapture of peace). The mutable sentiments are not present in all the rasas. A few are present in each of the rasas. They are like passing clouds and there are thirty-three of them