Are you numbing your emotions instead of feeling them? Do you take the time to sit with yourself in stillness and tune in to your inner awareness?
The biggest block to hearing your “wise mind”, or inner wisdom, is the fear that you will feel something uncomfortable. Instead of fixing whatever is off-balance and causing you to feel bad, you shove it down or distract yourself, causing that same feeling to come up again and again with greater intensity. In order to truly heal yourself, you must feel all of your feelings, letting all those emotions you’ve been avoiding and putting on ice to melt so that you can resolve and release. Here is what you can do instead of numbing out:
Light a candle and sit quietly with yourself
Take the time to really go within and sit with whatever emotions come up. Validate these emotions. “It is okay that I am feeling sad right now.” Don’t force them to leave just because they are uncomfortable, and don’t shame yourself for feeling the way that you do. Once you are brave enough to sit with yourself and look within and feel what you have been avoiding, you will discover that the emotions you were so afraid of are actually a wise teacher. Beneath the layers and layers of fear and discomfort is your inner awareness, which will know exactly how to resolve and release whatever you are struggling with.
Identify your feelings
Whenever you are experiencing a negative emotion, it helps to put a name to what you are feeling. Start by tuning in to the body–what is going on in the heart? The gut? The throat? Do they feel tight? What triggered the emotion, and how would you describe it? Sometimes, our emotions are layered. For example, you might be feeling anger, but once you sit with it, you realize that you are really just feeling scared. Whatever you do, make sure you approach this process with curiosity and wonder rather than judgment. This wheel of emotions is a great tool to help you identify emotions whenever you get stuck:
Question your feelings
In a non-judgmental, compassionate way, ask your feelings what messages they have for you at this time. Remember that feelings are not fact and that sometimes, the message is to simply feel that feeling until it goes away. Other times, that feeling wants you to take action. Tuning into your emotions will help you realize what it is that you need at that moment and encourages you to act on your realizations. Instead of acting impulsively on the feeling, you’re taking the time to pull back the layers, discover what the feelings are telling you, and then taking the necessary steps to meet your own needs.
Mindfully express your emotions
Once you have unpacked your feelings, you now need to release them by expressing them in some way. For some people, this looks like crying and writing about it in their journal. For others, it can look like a painting, dancing to your favorite song, or even cleaning. Any form of physical activity can help you release the build-up of energy that comes from your emotions. You can also repeat these affirmations to yourself to help you feel your feelings:
- “I’m not okay right now, and that’s okay. There’s still light here. I can grow through this. I can choose another thought that feels a little better. I won’t always feel this way.”
- “I don’t need to change right away. I don’t need to feel better right away. I just need to listen. I trust this feeling will move through me in its own time. I trust myself to hear what it has to say. I trust myself to learn what I need to learn from it.”
- “The greatest gift I can give and receive is the awareness of what I need right now. The inner work that I do directly benefits the people around me, too.”
- “I am not defined by what I feel. This experience doesn’t control me. This feeling doesn’t have to determine my whole day.”
You will feel so relieved once you have released what you have been suppressing.
Accept where you’re at
Our intense emotions strengthen when we try to shove them down rather than accepting them. If you want to be free from the feelings that weigh you down, you must accept them. Holding on to certain events and asking “why” they happened keeps you trapped in your emotion because you are refusing to face it. Release the hold your expectations have over you and accept reality as it is.
*Sign Up for our free 9 Essential Ingredients To Court Your Creativity PDF. Learn nine crucial skills you can implement RIGHT NOW to increase your creativity by stepping back into your right brain! Click here to sign up.
Alli Cravener is a social media coordinator and writer who is passionate about connecting people through words. Alli studied English at Arizona State University and has found her niche uniting concept and content in the realm of mental health and the expressive arts. Alli’s interests include painting, history, learning about other people, and wearing the color pink. She likens herself to a “mouse in a palm tree”, and she loves it that way.