4 2 50-64 2015

A Holistic Approach to Regulating Negative Emotions

Robert Beshara


If emotions are the link between the body and the mind, it makes sense why unregulated negative emotions (e.g., fear and anger), particularly when repressed by those who are suffering from trauma, understood as dukkha, can make them feel dissociated. The practice of mindfulness can serve as a bridge between the body and the mind; in combination with other holistic approaches, mindfulness can help trauma sufferers regulate their negative emotions, hence, allowing them to experience higher degrees of emotional resilience. To explicate the importance of working with negative emotions references will be made to the mind-body problem since it lies at the philosophical foundation of all the social sciences. Also, the relationship between the mind/consciousness and the body/the unconscious vis-à-vis selfhood will be discussed in relation to psychoanalysis, Buddhist psychology, and mind-body medicine. 


Archard, D. (1984). Consciousness and the unconscious. La Salle, Il: Open Court Publishing.

Berceli, D. (2009). Evaluating the effects of stress reduction exercises employing mild tremors: a pilot study. Retrieved from http://traumaprevention.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/Revised-disssertation-for-publication.pdf

Brown, B. (2010). Brené Brown: The power of vulnerability [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability

Capra, F., & Luisi, P. L. (2014). The systems view of life: A unifying vision. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Descartes, R. (1998). Discourse on method and Meditations on first philosophy Indianapolis, ID: Hackett Pub.

Dreher, H. (2003). Mind-body unity: A new vision for mind-body science and medicine. Baltimore, MA: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Epstein, S. (1994). Integration of the cognitive and the psychodynamic unconscious. American Psychologist, 79, 704-724.

Felluga, D. F. (2011, January 31). Modules on Freud: On repression. Retrieved from http://www.purdue.edu/guidetotheory/psychoanalysis/freud3.html

Gardner, H. (1983). Frames of mind: The theory of multiple intelligences. New York, NY: Basic Books.

Gergen, K. J. (2009). Relational being: Beyond self and community. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Goleman, D. (1995). Emotional intelligence. New York, NY: Bantam Books.

Hanh, T. N. (1998). The heart of the Buddha's teaching: Transforming suffering into peace, joy, and liberation. New York, NY: Broadway Books.

Hanh, T. N. (2007). This silence is called great joy. Retrieved from http://www.shambhalasun.com/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=3124&Itemid=247

Hanh, T. N. (2013). Peace of mind: Becoming fully present. Berkeley, CA: Parallax Press.

Harper, D. (2014). Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved from http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=emotion

Hofmann, S. G., & Smits, J. A. (2008). Cognitive-behavioral therapy for adult anxiety disorders: a meta-analysis of randomized placebo-controlled trials. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 69, 621-32.

Johnson, G. (2014). Internet encyclopedia of philosophy. Retrieved from http://www.iep.utm.edu/emotion/#SH4c

Kwee, G. M. (2013). Relational Buddhism: An integrative psychology of happiness amidst existential suffering. In S. A. David, I. Boniwell, A. Conley Ayers, S. A. David, I. Boniwell, A. Conley Ayers (Eds.) , The Oxford handbook of happiness (pp. 358-370). New York, NY, US: Oxford University Press.

Mennin, D. (2010). The Corsini encyclopedia of psychology and behavioral science. Retrieved from http://search.credoreference.com.ts.isil.westga.edu/content/entry/wileycorsini/emotions/0

McGilchrist, I. (2009). The master and his emissary: The divided brain and the making of the Western world. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Miller, M. C. (2010). Unconscious or Subconscious?. Retrieved from http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/unconscious-or-subconscious-20100801255

Nietzsche, F. W., & Smith, D. (1996). On the Genealogy of Morals: A Polemic by Way of Clarification and Supplement to My Last Book, Beyond Good and Evil. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Panksepp, J. (2010). Affective neuroscience of the emotional BrainMind: evolutionary perspectives and implications for understanding depression. Dialogues in Clinical NeuroScience, 12, 533-545.

Pert, C. (2004). Your body is your subconscious mind. Boulder, CO: Sounds True.

Plumvillage (2014). 51 Mental Formations. Retrieved from http://www.plumvillage.org/transcriptions/51-mental-formation/

Plutchik, R. (2001). The nature of emotions. American Scientist, 89, 344.

Reber, A. S., Reber, & Allen, R. (2009) The Penguin dictionary of psychology. London, UK: Penguin.

Shaheen, J. (2013). Tricycle talks: Buddhism & psychotherapy. An Interview with Mark Epstein [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from http://www.tricycle.com/web-exclusive/tricycle-talks-buddhism-psychotherapy

Shouse, E. (2005). Feeling, emotion, and affect. M/C Journal - Journal of Media and Culture, 8. Retrieved from http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0512/03-shouse.php

Siegel, D. J. (2010). Mindsight: The new science of personal transformation. New York, NY: Bantam Books.

Stanley, S. (2013). From discourse to awareness: Rhetoric, mindfulness, and a psychology without foundations. Theory & Psychology, 23, 60-80.

Taggart, F. (2012, November 5). This Buddhist monk is the world's happiest man. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/how-scientists-figured-out-who-the-worlds-happiest-man-is-2012-11

Xiong, K., Zhang, Y., Qiu, M., Zhang, J., Sang, L., Wang, L., Xie, B., Wang, J., and Li, M. (2013). Negative emotion regulation in patients with posttraumatic stress disorder. PLoS ONE, 8, 81957.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.7565/landp.2015.009


  • There are currently no refbacks.

ISSN 2049-324X