Molecules of Emotion – The Science Behind Mind-Body Medicine- by Candace B. Pert, Ph.D., is a fascinating book which explains how our thoughts and the subsequent emotions they produce have a physical equivalent in the chemicals they generate, and how these chemicals have a profound effect on our physical bodies. There is a lot of science mixed in with a story about the author’s life as a scientist and a woman (not always a good combination in the last decades of the twentieth century).
I wish that the science was in a separate book (maybe it is) because I am now having to go back and reread sections of the book to get a good understanding of the workings of the brain, peptides, and receptors, etc. The first time I read the book, I was caught up in the story and didn’t “get” a lot of the scientific explanations.
It seems like the simplest way to describe what she is saying is “feel your feelings”. There are no “bad” emotions as long as you allow yourself to feel them and don’t stuff them somewhere in your body where they will cause you physical and emotional pain down the road (in the form of a melt-down, a break-down, or an explosion).
A lot of the addictions we have are an attempt to do something else or feel something else so we won’t have to experience our emotions. For maximum health and well-being, deal with your emotions as they come up as much as possible, and if you need help with this, then get it.
Some of the helpful tips she gives in the appendix are: take responsibility for the way you feel (other people can’t make us feel good or bad – we choose how we feel), pay attention to the quality and quantity of your sleep, spend time in nature every day, cut way back on sugar, don’t take prescription drugs unless absolutely necessary and only as long as necessary, drink eight glasses of unchlorinated water every day, always tell yourself the truth, never wind down before sleep with the nightly news, and live in an unselfish way. We don’t need to understand a lot of science to do these things, but they can be life changing.