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Your intellect may be confused, but your emotions will never lie to you.
– Roger Ebert
Emotions are an inseparable companion on life journey every moment. Of course, there is no way to escape from them. Yet, many of us are unwilling to deal with them. Every day, I meet people who try to get over some unwelcomed emotions. Instead of allowing themselves to feel whatever it is that they?re feeling, they instead try to get over it. They?re eating over it, thinking over it, shopping over it or working over it.
This ?getting over it? mentality adds to depression. And as a result, people continue burying their feelings, erroneously believing, that they have them under control. But any suppressed emotions are controlling us. Because we don?t allow ourselves to be internally free and do what we want.
We live in a time, when ?the faster, the better? and ?go and get it? mindsets don?t allow us to take time and heal old wounds.
It?s not something that the society would value. We all have to be better, smarter, more productive, faster, and keep trying. Often we try so hard that we lose ourselves in the process. And when we eventually gain our ends, we realize it doesn?t satisfy us. It?s not what we wanted.
What do suppressed emotions cause?
If you don?t face suppressed emotions, you?ll stay stuck in getting over it mentality, and it?ll become impossible for you to heal.
You might believe that the pain is long gone, but it only moved from the conscious to the unconscious mind where it gained more power over your behavior.
Your ego knows all your suppressed emotions and uses them against you. Every time, you choose not to heal them, you allow the ego to project your hurts to your present and future through unloving beliefs about yourself.
How do suppressed emotions translate to thoughts?
Let me give you an example. A 9-year old boy is cheerfully playing with his new toy. Suddenly, he hears his parent?s quarrel in the next room, so he walks there to stop them arguing.
He walks into the room and sees his mum cry, so he hugs her and tries to make her feel better. He feels responsible for his mum, so he starts to feel her pain along with his pain from unloving relationship of his parents.
However, the dad tells him to buck up and go and play again. The little boy is left with his pain alone, not knowing how to deal with it, so he listens to his dad and buries it deep within. Next time, when the same situation occurs, he stays in his room pretending that he doesn?t hear the quarrel, pretending that he doesn?t feel the pain.
He begins to feel unworthy, unloved, insecure and he learns that he cannot trust. The ego uses these feelings and convinces him that when someone argues, it?s his fault.
He suddenly has beliefs like: ?I can?t please any woman? because he couldn?t help his mum. ?It?s not safe to love or trust someone.? ?I?m alone with my pain. No one understands me. It?s safer to be alone. I?m not worthy enough.?
Denied feelings turn into limiting beliefs that make people choose harmful behavior. It paralyzes people from saying stop and making changes that would bring them more joy and sense of self-worthiness.
We all have experienced moments when we have buried hurt or pain instead of dealing with it.
The funny thing is that, like in a case of the little boy, the harmful situation wasn?t about self-worthiness at all. It wasn?t his fault that his parents had problems. Yet, he didn?t know how to respond, so he internalized unhealed wounds of his parents.
He took on himself their pain, and his mind made him feel that it?s his pain. I know it can sound a bit crazy, but this is how our subconscious mind works. Therefore, we have negative thoughts and patterns that don?t make logical sense yet they hold a powerful grip on us.
5 Simple ways how to release suppressed emotions
- Motion unleashes emotion. Dance, jump, run, move. The unhealed wounds are stuck energy in our body. Therefore the motion releases these energetic blocks from your body. Whenever it feels difficult to connect with your emotions, move your body. For instance, next time when you get upset instead of start arguing with someone, do some sport. Or just start stomping (preferably where no one can see you becuase it could be a bit difficult to explain :)).
- Stay with your wounds and feel them. If you don?t have a hard time to get emotional, that?s good! You can take it as an advantage and feel your emotions fully. The most efficient way how to get rid of negative emotions is to feel them, accept them (it?s okay to feel sad) and then release them. You can observe your body and see where the energy is stuck. You can feel it as tension, sharp pain, muscle twitching or heaviness. So just stay with your feelings for a while, don?t judge or think about what you feel. Just be present.
- Use the magic phrase. Anytime, you feel gloomy say out loud to yourself: ?I feel xxx because I chose to feel it this way. Or, I feel xxx because it felt safer for me to feel it this way. But I?m ready to let it go now.? (Fill any emotion that you want behind xxx.) This simple phrase rewires neuron paths in your brain.
- Accept your suppressed emotions. Sit down, close your eyes, breath deeply in and exhale. Then scan your body and when you have any unpleasant feeling then focus your attention on it for while. Just observe it. Then, express the emotion somehow and see it with your inner eye. You might have any images in dark colors, or you see a cloud-like image of a particular color. Try to feel gratitude and love for it and then you?ll see that the image gets dull and it slowly disappears.
- Write it down. This is an old yet powerfully working technique. Write anything that is on your mind for about 15 mins. At the beginning, you might think, it?s worthless and that you write just stupid things. But, after couple of minutes, you?ll get to the core of the limiting belief. If you don?t know how to start then ask yourself questions like: ?How do I feel at the moment?? ?What kind of person am I in this situation?? ?Why does it hurt me?? Or, ?Is there something that I should understand about the situation??
All above tips help you to feel old wounds so that you can let them go for good. Once, you feel them and realize the limiting beliefs, you can consciously let them go. By doing so, you end the circuit.
Remember that any energy (emotion) has to be either transformed into lighter energy or released.
Otherwise, it stays with you until you face it. It?s a long process, we?re piled up by many unhealed issues but you?ll see the results right after you start.
One moment at a time, this is all it takes to transform your life.
Let?s Connect Deeper
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Originally published at sylviasalow.com on February 9, 2016.