Even though we are humans filled with emotions, we try to suppress them. We don’t want to be vulnerable, and sometimes we live in households where people don’t allow openness. The result – we never learn to process our emotions. But repression never really helps.
As a child, I repressed my feelings for a long time. When I became an adult, I tried to confront them. Turned out, I’m suffering from headaches, chronic back pain, anxiety and sciatica. So, it’s terribly unhealthy to hide emotions, especially those of shame, fear and anger which we call negative.
Here are certain steps to make sure you can release the emotions inside you properly:
Step 1: To become aware of our feelings
Sometimes, when we feel really scared or shameful, we don’t acknowledge our feelings. Even before it reaches our conscious brain, we try to suppress it. This is the first thing that we need to stop doing. Being mindful of our emotions, accepting them completely and experiencing them is a step towards becoming more self-aware. You should learn the process of R.A.I.N as provided by Tara Brach about radical acceptance – (R)ecognize, (A)llow, (I)nvestigate and (N)ourish. We should first recognize what’s causing us distress and then allow it to take over us. Brach claims that even if the emotions stop at cognitive levels and do not become completely embodied, it’s not complete healing. So however painful it is, let yourself feel. Practice mindfulness to feel and recognize the patterns of your body.
Keep your eyes closed and sit still. Listen to what your body says. How does it feel? Is it heavy? Is there a tingling sensation? What does your body want?
Step 2: Express yourself
We tend to repress our emotions and it really doesn’t help. So we should do the opposite – express. When we let our entire body feel our emotions, it’s time that we let it all out. Self-expression is the best way to do it but it must be genuine. There’s no specific way of self-expression. Everyone has their individual way. But self-expression must include the active participation of both our mind and body. What is the best way for you to vent out your feelings? Going out for a walk or bawling all over the pillow? Maybe you want to paint or swim? Whatever it is, go and do it – catharsis is what you are seeking. Journaling helped me express my emotions. Writing is therapeutic. Write your thoughts every day, both negative and positive. Give your inner voice the language and the paper to pour onto. Don’t censor anything. Feel the emotions and then write it all down in a journal. You don’t have to look into it again if you don’t want to.
Step 3: Try to restart yourself
We have escaped our true feelings for a long time now. It’s time that we recognize them, and start aligning ourselves with our true self. Well-being and balance are the keys. Take some time out from everything. Go out in nature, write, go for a vacation – acknowledge yourself in the universe as a significant entity. Feel the connection around you. Absorb the energy all around and make sure it nourishes you – your mind, your body and your soul.
I have taken charge of my healing. It’s a really difficult thing to process your emotions, especially after repressing it for so long. But it’s working and I’m reconnecting with my inner child. Now it’s your turn. Are you ready to find your authentic self?