How often do you feel? Really feel your feelings?
Feelings and emotions are a huge part of the human experience, but so often we bypass our emotions. We block them out, numbing them with substances, refusing to let them linger to avoid discomfort.
Many in the spiritual and psychological world believe that when we suppress our emotions, not allowing ourselves to fully feel the depths of them, they can become stuck in our body, creating energetic blockages that can build up, draining our energy, creating imbalances and eventually potentially disease.
“Happiness is not the absence of problems. It is the ability to deal with them.”
Often our thoughts can take over our minds, catastrophising or dwelling on the negative. Emotions and feelings may arise that we might want to push away to avoid feeling bad. There are many good reasons for manifesting positivity and using the law of attraction, however there can be a darker side to the “good vibes only” and “love and light" culture when avoidance comes in.
When we believe we should only focus only on the positives, this can often be interpreted as suppressing or blocking out the negatives. There are polarities to everything; light and dark, positive and negative, yin and yang.
This human experience is not going to be without its fair share of hurdles; as the Buddha said: “Life is suffering”. Although it sounds very pessimistic, the meaning behind this teaching is not that life is full of suffering and suffering alone, but more that we have access to find liberation from suffering. We have a choice to alchemise pain into a source of power for ourselves. If not power, then perhaps life’s difficulties can teach us a lesson - a way for us to grow emotionally and spiritually; to be able to hold empathy and compassion within us for others.
Sit with Your Feelings
Sitting with your feelings might, at first, seem like an abstract idea, and something that, if you have tried to block out or numb your feelings for most of your life, can be quite challenging. It just means to allow yourself to fully feel. Don’t stifle the tears, or the rage that wants to come out.
Ensuring that you are in a safe environment where you can let go, perhaps by yourself or with a trusted loved one, and try to fully experience your emotions. If a strong emotional response to a situation or feeling comes up for you, let it out and observe what happens. You could start by acknowledging and naming what the feeling is. Whether it is sadness, anger, frustration, anxiety, jealousy, insecurity, shame, or guilt, you might also notice a particular part of your body feels tense, or constricted.
Try not to over-analyse what or why they are there – just feel. Approaching any physical sensations with curiosity can help you explore the feeling further. If things become overwhelming, remember that the feeling won’t last forever. Some research has shown that the average emotion lasts for only 90 seconds before it begins to dissipate and change.
Connect with your Body
Connecting back into your body, breathing, grounding yourself again can be a useful way to come back from feeling your emotions.
If you feel disconnected from your body, as many people can, you may be unable to recognise where you may be out of balance. Physical activities to improve your wellbeing such as yoga, dance, walking, jogging or breathwork, done with presence and awareness can help you to start reconnecting with your body.
Practices like mindfulness and meditation can regulate our nervous systems, boosting our immune systems, and the way we think and respond to external situations. Energetic Healing such as Chakra work, Reiki, Light Language, Qigong, Crystal healing or Sound Baths can also complement your healing journey, whether emotional, spiritual or physical.
It is important to try and cultivate an inner sense of calm, a peace within yourself and an ability to regulate your own nervous system that you can rely upon to support you when life challenges you.
You should seek the help of a professional counsellor or therapist if you are really struggling; there will always be someone to support you.