So here’s where all of this has been leading. When we look at how humans balance physically, we see at least four completely separate systems, all working together. Only one, the vestibular system. seems primarily focused on balance itself. The others — vision, proprioception and foot sensation — are used for other important purposes. But they got pulled in because balance is so important in a biped.
Given the importance of emotional balance, I’ll bet there are multiple subsystems at work, all contributing to our ability to concentrate, to focus, to remain on an even keel, to not react rashly in difficult or dangerous situations.
So maybe, if we start to look at it this way, we can eventually find separate mental subsystems, each with its own unique mechanism, that work together to help us maintain our mental balance.
If we can identify them, and understand better how each one works, then maybe we can strengthen them better, just as understanding the nature of vision or proprioception can help us find ways to improve or exercise those senses.