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7 Paths to Mind-Body Emotional M.A.S.T.E.R.Y.

ec32b2082ef61c3e81584d04ee44408be273ead71cb8124890f1_640_health-happinessEmotion mastery is a built-in capacity, often ignored yet always available.

It is a learned ability to thoughtfully respond in ways that disallow your body’s survival-system from controlling you and your life with ineffective automatic reactions, defensive strategies, and the like.

Emotion mastery involves growing an awareness and connection to your thoughts, emotions and body sensations, and step by step, cultivating a practice, or lifestyle of making conscious, informed decisions that keep you on course to reaching your goals, and in the process to build the resiliency and confidence you need to handle challenges more effectively.

Instead of giving in to despair, why not learn how to access the inner equipment you have to build your own sense of competency, and a growing sense of confidence that, yes, you can feel good about yourself and your life, regardless the circumstances around you — providing you do so in healthy and lasting ways, as opposed to quick-fix ones.

This post outlines seven interconnected paths that work together to grow your sense of competency and self as an increasingly authentic, courageous and confident you.

The acronym M.A.S.T.E.R.Y. is used to outline at least 7 Paths, and they are as follows:

M —> Live MINDFULLY to cultivate a practice of balance and wholeness in all aspects of your life.

Mindfulness is a path that allows you to consciously cultivate your capacity to live in the present moment. And since the present moment is, literally, the only “real” power you ever have access to at any given time to make changes or chart a new direction, and an ever better future, and so on, mindfulness gives you a fuller awareness of this “pure” power to take and hold the reins of your life — through the power of your choices create a new course or enhance a chosen path for your self and life. By strengthening or reinforcing your inner connection to inner resources and life around you, you increasingly experience life increasingly as more effortless, peaceful series of moments in time. Mindfulness makes changing any limiting thoughts and beliefs that may be preventing you from living a happy and health life and relationship easier, and more effortless.

A —> AVOID (or sparingly partake) sugary foods, drinks, taking a gentle approach to mindfully let go of all mind-altering substances and activities in the care of your self and body.

As part of overarching goal to lovingly care for your self and physical body, you need a gentle and compassionate approach of letting go of all mind-altering substances (or activities), as you become aware of toxic effects they have on your life and dreams. Sugar is now proven an addictive mind-altering drug that elevates anxiety, depression, mood swings, emotional suffering. It is also a highly addictive substance, as several studies show, which lights up the pleasure areas of the brain more than heroin.

First, know that all addictions disguise themselves as reliable feel-good friends, ever ready to please you. In reality, they’re life and dream stealing thieves! Look for proof how sugar has repeatedly stolen the sense of agency and lasting feel-good feelings (versus quick-fix ones) you need to be at your best. Because sugar is intertwined with so many meaningful traditions, it’s critical to remind yourself of sugar’s deceitful nature and toxic effects, then rethink and reprioritize what really brings meaning to special events and get togethers. educate yourself to get to know sugar’s deceitful pull, as well as toxic effects.

Next, as a mind-altering substance, sugar disturbs sleep, elevates anxiety and depression, and is associated with mood swings, anger outbursts, and other emotional issues, such as loss of control. This means sugar blocks a critical ability you are equipped with, and need, to make conscious choices, for example, to stick with your goals, or to thoughtfully respond to a triggering situation, and so on. Regardless the number of books you read on realizing your goals, happiness and peace of mind, your brain’s amazing capacity for possibility thinking choices is blocked when a powerful drug is in your bloodstream, causing havoc to your glandular system! Last but not least, sugar affects your physical health over time, causing inflammation of the brain and body, which is now understood as the cause of all major diseases to include heart, cancer and diabetes.

S —> Get regular and adequate amounts of SLEEP to enjoy feeling refreshed each morning.

Getting regular and adequate amounts of sleep not only makes you feel better, it plays a critical role in your physical and mental health and well being. Every aspect of your well being depends on a good night’s sleep. Vital functions, such as the healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels, take place during sleep. Sleep deficiency is associated with physical disease, but also a range of emotional disturbance to include what is referred to as “brief psychotic” disorder. By the way, note the relationship between avoiding sugar intake and getting a good night’s sleep.

T —> TREAT your body with loving care — as a 24/7 partner, dedicated to helping you realize your dreams and happiness.

A key aspect of optimizing your ability to become mindfu and make more creative or optimal choices is learning this language. Understanding the language of your body develops your sensory acuity; it’s like having inside information on how you — and your life — are wired to work together as one. It also connects you to experience life more fully, from the inside-out. Connecting to your body is like have your own personal consultant, a guide you consult with for more insight. This vibrant yet subtle language can assist you to transform your health and vitality, to energize your life with purpose, and to reveal deeper levels of expressing your authentic voice, creativity, talents and capabilities—ones you may or may not know you have.

E —> EAT nutritious foods that support you to remain in optimal states of mind-body when facing triggers.

The link between nutrition and emotional health is now proven. Whereas anxiety and depression have long been regarded, primarily, as psychological disorders, recent findings show insufficient nutrition causes biochemical conditions in the brain and body that may be at the root of debilitating emotional (and physical) conditions. It’s not enough to avoid toxic foods like sugar or trans-fats; your body and brain absolutely need key nutrients to optically work. And when your health is good, you’re ability to make optimal choices (versus reactive ones, by default) is enhanced. This not only makes it easier to remain calm in challenging moments, it also gives you the reins of your emotions, and that your ability to create more happiness for yourself and others.

R —> Get REGULAR exercise to oxygenate your brain and body, also releasing healthful, happiness-producing hormones.

Your body is designed to move. Regular exercise is not a mere option, it’s a necessity. Research has shown the positive effects of exercise on health, in the treatment of depression and anxiety, and in enhancing emotional wellbeing in general. Robust exercise increases hormones known as opiods and endorphins which lower pain and produce lasting feel-good feelings, as opposed to quick-fix ones. Studies also indicate that exercise fuels the brain in several ways; neurons better fuel themselves during exercise, in activating the rapid-fire messages that coordinate muscle contractions, vision, balance, and other complex interactions among all systems of your body. Your happiness counts to consciously choose to exercise, perhaps eventually loving to move and do what circulates oxygen in your body, ideally with a balanced program that builds stamina, flexibility and strength.

Y —> Take the reins of YOUR life to live and be authentically YOU, in roles of a conscious observer, creator and choice-maker.

Being authentically you is perhaps one of the greatest gifts you can give to yourself. Authenticity is the permission to be yourself, to be real, to be who you are, aware of warts and graces. It’s also a gift to those closest to you, as it frees you to live in relation to your self and others, and to give, from a place of love, and not fear. (And, this doesn’t mean to do only whatever you “feel” like doing or not doing. If you do that, you might get stuck in old comfort zones.) To live authentically is a choice to love and see your self and life around you through the eyes of compassion, with your whole heart. You are not your thoughts, you are much more, you’re the observer, the creator, and the choice maker of your life. You can choose to observe, rather than judge, and to consciously create what you want in your life and how you want to be, as the driver of your life ship — and not a mere passenger. At any moment, how you respond to events is always your choice, and you always have a choice between taking the reins to master difficult emotions of fear and anger, or to allow them to rule you. As an active and conscious observer, creator and choice maker, your life is your masterpiece or labor of love.

7 Paths to Mind-Body Emotional M.A.S.T.E.R.Y.

Athena Staik, Ph.D.

Relationship consultant, author, licensed marriage and family therapist, Dr. Athena Staik motivates clients to break free of anxiety, emotion reactivity, and other addictive patterns, to awaken wholehearted relating to self and other. She is currently in private practice in Northern VA, and writing her book, What a Narcissist Means When He Says 'I Love You'": Breaking Free of Addictive Love in Couple Relationships. To contact Dr. Staik for information, an appointment or workshop, visit, or visit on her two Facebook fan pages DrAthenaStaik and DrStaik

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APA Reference
Staik, A. (2017). 7 Paths to Mind-Body Emotional M.A.S.T.E.R.Y.. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 4, 2020, from


Last updated: 12 Jan 2017
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