We don’t get taught, how to feel our feelings, and yet it is at the core of so many other struggles. Often when a strong feeling arises we numb or avoid it: comfort food, flix binging, gossiping, distraction, etc.
The thing is, if emotions are not processed or released, they remain. They accumulate. They become stuck or “bottled up” and come out in unexpected, unpredictable and sometimes destructive ways. Un-processed emotion can block us from moving forward.
If we can “feel it to heal it” we can move onto the next moment, with greater relief, calmness, presence, clarity, joy… leaving the past in the past and avoiding harm to self/others.
The first step is noticing that an emotion is present: a heavy heart, a lump in the throat, a constricted chest, a tension in the shoulders, a fog in the mind, a rock in the stomach, staring into space…
The second step would be naming that emotion. Think “Inside Out” film. Here are some ideas as to what it could be: anger, sadness, happiness, joy, surprise, disgust… A shortcut is tuning in to the relevant part in the body, to receive information.
The third step is making a choice to release and process the emotion as soon as practically possible. Rather than continuing with the numbing or avoiding behaviour that we may have already begun.
The fourth step is finding safe, effective, non-destructive ways to release that emotion. Admittedly, this takes trial and error and may be unique to each person…ideas below:
– dance, movement, exercise and especially shaking the body brings emotion to the surface to be released: try binaural beats, kundalini music
– EFT tapping moves blocks that may be preventing release
– journaling and writing can touch the emotion to release it
– music that resonates with the sadness or anger can help release it
– try quality pillows to use for comfort while it all comes out
– for anger try direct communication of feelings/needs (NVC, Imago Technique)
Afterwards don’t forget to replenish: drink water, walk around the block, watch stand up comedy, get some sun on your face, call someone empathetic!
We also practise releasing and processing emotion through dance/movement in our supportive sessions, sign up to newsletter to stay in the loop,
Start somewhere, go slowly these are powerful processes, pause when you need, & remember that we don’t go into the feeling for no reason, we do it in service of self & others… and to be “free to feel something different” Nayyirah Waheed.
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