Introducing Elemental Well-Being

Elemental Well-Being is a holistic approach to managing anxiety and depression. 

(I should point out immediately that Elemental Well-Being is not a substitute for prescribed medications or professional counselling- if you are taking medication or seeing a professional then continue to do so; medication and therapy help to bring balance to the mind and body through scientific means. We understand that anxiety and depression is a cause and/or symptom with physical and mental effects such as sleep issues, negative thought patterns, accelerated heart rate, bladder control, etc. The professionals- the trained doctors, nurses, psychiatrists- who have studied the mind and body recognise the chemical imbalances, and with experience can give us support in the form of prescriptions and counselling appointments which can help us cope in every day life.)

Elemental Well-Being uses the concepts of the Elements- Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Spirit-to help you reflect on your own personal well-being, enabling you to recognise the energies present within you. By understanding which Elemental energies are dominant or passive in your life, you can begin to bring more balance to yourself.

 

Earth- Eating & Sleeping

Physical body

Earth is the foundation for growth and our physical energy levels- how much physical energy we have depends mostly on what we eat and how we rest.  Our brains are first primed to demand food and sleep as parents of a new born will tell you!

Nourishment and time to regain our strength is essential to our growth, healing and development, with good diet and rest habits providing a healthy foundation to our wellbeing.  With a good night’s sleep and a decent breakfast under your belt, you feel ready to begin your day.

The Earthly aspect of our being is much to do with the physical care of our bodies including feeding it, resting it and cleaning it- all good hygiene practices sustain health and prevent infections and diseases from spreading thanks to the healing and cleansing properties of Water.

Exercise increases our strength and fitness levels, as well as releases happy chemicals in our brain to help satisfy our body and mind.  It is a good reminder to feel our muscles and bones working to keep us balanced, focused, poised and in touch with our physical selves, to raise our Earthly vibration. 

If you feeling very tired, or low in mood in could be due to diet (not eating enough or unhealthy eating habits) or lack of rest.  Similarly we might feel out of touch with the Earth element if we eat or sleep too much- we become blocked and feel sluggish, demotivated.  Balancing the Earth element requires a diet which satisfies our nutritional needs and enough rest to ensure our energy levels can be replenished sufficiently.

Lack of Earth energy: restless sleep and insomnia, loss of appetite and diet issues, body insecurities, nutritional defienency, restless energy

Excessive Earth energy: feeling physically drained, eating over–processed foods, lack of exercise, over-eating, over-sleeping

Air- Thoughts & Communication

Mental Process

The Air elemental aspects of our well being are things like our mental thought processes and communication; sound travels through air which is why these are interlinked.  Our memories, problem solving, logic and reasoning are part of our inner Air attributes, as well as our ability to communicate. 

When there is an lack of Air energy we may find it hard to concentrate or focus, or become forgetful.  Information seems to slip through our memory and we find it harder to problem-solve.  We may also find it more difficult to communicate our thoughts and feelings to others, or explain ourselves, or experience social anxieties and shyness, or feel at a loss for words.

Activities that stimulate our logical brain such as crosswords, Sudoku, or other form of puzzles are mental exercises that pleasantly challenge and refresh our internal Air aspects.  Reading, music, and any form of art is also very stimulating to our minds;  without inspiration or stimulation, our brains become mush and we feel stagnant, and unoriginal.  A flash of inspiration can sometimes feel like a sudden gust of wind, blowing away the mental cobwebs from our minds.

We become more vulnerable and uninspired if we spend hours in front of a screen where advertising influences every aspect of our modern lives.  Instead of becoming engaged with our environment, we are tuning out of it.  Television can be a relaxing, social aspect where a family can relax together to enjoy a film, or people converse about TV shows, and it can be a way to get information across to a vast audience, but too much television can damage our capabilities to socialise and think for ourselves due to media manipulation and carefully crafted subliminally advertising.

Excessive Air energy can also be harmful to us- we can over think situations and jump to conclusions or worry unnecessarily.  Learning to control our focus and manage our thoughts can be explored through meditation which can calm the mind and body, and cognitive behavioural therapy to encourage more healthy thought processes.

Lack of Air energy: creative blocks, Difficulty in voicing your thoughts, negative/pessimistic thoughts, indecisive 

Excessive Air energy: whirlwind of thoughts, immersed with too many projects, tendency to babble or go off topic, obsessive thoughts 

Fire: Ambition & Motivation

Energy of Will

Fire can be both a constructive and destructive force, depending on how it is used.  The “fire in our belly” is the Fire energy that fuels our ambition and gives us the driving force we need to complete our goals and succeed.  When we complete our task in hand, we often feel a warm glow of satisfaction from a job well done.

Situations that encourage competiveness stimulate Fire energies; competition can be healthy and constructive- we have much to learn from others and putting our skills to the test can be fun, although some people can be dominated by Fire energy and become too competitive.  There is grace in both winning and losing!

Challenging others in healthy competition can be fun, but ultimately challenging ourselves is a good way to get in touch with the fiery determination that we evoke to master a new skill or complete a deadline.  Fundraising for charities is a positive way to channel competitive energies and give a boost to motivation in doing something positive for others.

Passion is an effect of Fire energy- it is not love or lust…we can hate or love something with a passion. This kind of passion is a force, and it can inspire us to do great things or terrible things when it is the sole drive of our desires.  If we are all consumed with Fire energy, we become obsessive, destroying whatever gets in our way.  We must learn to recognise what triggers us in order to control our reactions to it.  We have the power within ourselves to turn potentially damaging energies into more positive and constructive ones, often using creativity as a venting process and expression of our feelings.

Adrenaline could also be heavily linked with Fire energies; people get thrills from going on roller-coasters or doing extreme sports, and some even become “hooked” on experiencing these fierce bursts of Fire energies, continuously seeking activities that hit their survival flight-or-flight button.

Lack of Fire Energy: feeling undesirable, unmotivated, no ambitions or current goals, lack of enthusiasm, unable to feel excited

Excessive Fire energy: issues controlling anger, easily irritated, overly sensitive, sore loser/bad winner, dominating/aggressive 

 Water- Emotions & Reflection

Feelings

The energies of Water are closely linked with our emotions and feelings; we cry tears of joy, laughter, happiness, and we also shed tears in grief, anger, sadness.  Water as a key element is also known for its purifying and healing properties.

Tears are a physical expression of emotion, our body’s release of extreme feelings.  Crying can be a form of physical and emotional release, and is a healthy part of a healing and cleansing process. As well as tears, the human body also produces water in the form of sweat which is a biological process that helps our bodies to regulate our internal temperature and gets rid of toxins.

Everyday life is filled with stresses- some more draining and emotionally provoking than others- and we all experience some kind of trauma in our lives whether it be a job redundancy, family break up, test failure, health scare, relationship problem…things are, of course never always easy and we all have various ways of coping.  Ultimately life is full of experiences we can learn from, where what we encounter has a rippling effect on what we think and how we react. 

Getting too caught up in our emotions can make us drown in extreme feelings, and finding some way to safely release our emotions by expressing how we feel is a way of healing and moving forward.  Channelling emotions positively can be through a physical outlet such as exercise or through an expressive outlet through creative means.

Lack of Water Energy: emotionally blocked, feeling numb, unable to empathise, suppressing feelings, feeling unloved
Excessive Water energy: controlled by emotions, depression, take things personally, over-empathising with others

Spirit- Identity & Awareness
Connection
The energies of Spirit are both receptive and projective; Spirit is what connects us, our unique imprint on the world, within the cosmos and how we see ourselves, what guides us and encourages us to grow and develop.  This is our sense of Self, what makes us who we are.
Feeling disconnected from your own spirit can feel like being lost, lacking a sense of belonging or oppressing who we truly are.  Some of us may feel we have to live up to people’s expectations of who we should we be, or we feel pressure to conform to society’s or the govenment’s or the media’s standards of “success”.
By becoming in touch with our Self, we acknowledge what it is that makes us tick, celebrate what makes us unique and feel connected to our own individual identity.  We feel good about being ourselves, comfortable in our own skin and confident of who we are.
The gods and goddesses also inspire us to be more than the sum of our parts, and give us comfort when we feel we are alone and out of touch with those around us. We contemplate the hidden teachings that have shaped us through difficult circumstances, what we have survived and learned as a result of the challenges that are also a part of our lives.  
Lack of Spirit energy: feeling lost/disconnected, suppressing true aspects of yourself, lack of faith/personal beliefs
Excessive Spirit energy: feeling ostracised by society, lost in inner-world, imbalance between realities
Elemental Well-Being can help you observe and assess which energies are present in your own life, and can give you an idea on where positive changes can happen in order to bring better balance to your self.  I will be posting ideas for making positive changes to the elemental aspects that influence us, such as an elemental assessment quiz, holistic wellbeing information and meditations to explore and understand our inner world and outer lives.
(For a recap of my theory on anxiety and depression please see The Phoenix Theory.)

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