Emotional Wellness Dimension ExercisesJoy is one of the basic emotions. If we loose the joy we cannot enjoy the wellness i.e. we loose our wellness.
It may happens even with affluent and prosperous people it they don't make emotion exercise i.e. their life is too monotonous. Actually wealthy people may be even at greater risk because their money allows them to make their life too predictable. The disorders that may cause the dull wealthy life became the subject of numerous movies.
We name just two of them selected mainly because they show not only what happens when we neglect the emotional exercises but also what kind of the exercises may help. First is "The Game" with Michael Douglas and second is "Shall We Dance" with Richard Gere.
In both movies the main characters restored their emotional wellness with the games of different kinds and this is not accidental.
The language of emotions is the language of animals that had appeared before the conscious and may work independently. We all know that even infants and animals have the emotions. They are innate and universal, though as with any language if we have no practice we may forget it. For example, we may forget what it means to be happy.
The point is that as any animal we stop to respond to the repeated stimulus or, in other words, we stop to experience the emotions, when the life is predictable. On the other hand society requires from us to be predictable to cooperate with other people. Therefore for emotional exercises we need specially organized events where rules are different from regular ones and life is less predictable, though still safe for us and for others. It may be such different events as a vacation trip, listening to music, watching the movie or a sport game, but "games" where we interact with other people are better because in such games we not only experience the emotions but may observe the unmasked emotional reaction of other people and learn the emotional language.
We need to specially learn the emotional language (or in more broad terms body language) to bring it to our conscious. Otherwise we will still speak it because it is innate but do it as a parrot speaks English, i.e. often not understanding what we tell and even not recognizing that we tell something. Even worse, we will not understand what others tell us emotionally and this often different from the words that they tell us.
The skill in the emotional language, more exactly the skill "to perceive, assess, and manage the emotions of one's self, of others, and of groups" in called Emotional intelligence and here we are different from the animals that cannot control the emotions. There are even the evidence that the emotional intelligence more correlates with the success in life i.e. wellness than traditional Intelligence quotient (IQ).
The table below shows the process of the answering the question with the emotional intelligence "turned on".
To sum up, we need two types of the emotional exercises, one for the emotions themselves and other for the emotion language.
There are six basic emotions that are universal across human cultures as well as their face expression: anger, disgust, fear, joy, sadness and surprise. Of course. It is difficult to exercises in each of them separately. Similar to the physical wellness exercises, where it is worth to combine all motions in one aerobic "dance", it is worth to combine all emotion exercises in one game. Though the choice is highly personal we believe that in general the most suitable game for the emotional exercises it not "live action role-playing game" like in the film "The game" and not ballroom dancing like in "Shall We Dance " but rather Golf.
Indeed in Golf it is possible to experience all type of the emotions and, which is probably more important, observe the emotion of other players and talk with them exactly knowing what emotions they are experiencing when they are loosing or winning. In other words Golf is the excellent game to learn the language of the emotions as well as exercise in emotions themselves.
Naturally, if you have no opportunity to play golf three time a week, you may, especially as for emotional language is concerned, do the emotion exercises at work, at parties, at home and other places where you mix with people. The most important is to remember to do it and it is virtually impossible without the wellness monitor.
One word of caution. The emotion design is not perfect. They are designed to respond to unpredictable environment but it is easy to deceive them. This however will do no good.
For example, it is good to enjoy the meal when we a hungry but it is no good to eat to experience the joy. We have no embedded protection mechanism to stop us because in the ancient time it was difficult to find the meal and people ate more than needed as a reserve. It takes up to 20 minutes before your brain realizes that you are full up. So if you would like to preserve you health and form it is better to use your emotional intelligence: control your emotions when you eat, eat slowly, stop when you are still a little hungry and keep tasty meal out of sight, at some distance so while you walk for it you may turn on your intellect and think whether there is a better way to exercise in your joy emotion. And if it stops you from the eating just for the pleasure without actually being hungry you may add this time to Activities and Priorities in Emotional Intelligence activity row. Use your intellect to have the slim figure!