Releasing uncomfortable emotions in 7 simple steps
Updated: Sep 14
The way back to feeling energized and in balance.
We spend the day experiencing many different emotions, some of them pleasant, others not so pleasant. Sometimes we are so caught up in our minds, that we are not even aware that we are feeling anything. We tend to think that our bodies, minds and emotions are separate. But, in fact, they are totally interconnected. You think something and that generates an emotion that triggers a bodily response. Or you think something and it produces a bodily response that makes you feel a certain way. It has even been said that the way we think and feel influences our health and the outcomes of our lives. There are emotions that we classify as good, such as feeling happy or joyful, and other emotions that we classify as bad, such as anger, sadness, guilt, or fear. In my opinion emotions are not "good" or "bad", they are neutral. They can be comfortable or uncomfortable or bring you positive or negative results. Some of them feel good and others are really heavy and unpleasant.
When we become aware and notice that we have a difficult emotion or simply feel bad, we tend to resist it, push it away and/or try not to feel it. What you resist persists and fight against what is, costs you a lot of energy. Energy that could be used by your body to heal and repair itself; for creativity or simply to interact differently with life and feel good. Ask yourself, do I feel energized and vital? If not, one reason might be that you are being drained by the way you feel. There are many situations in life that we cannot control, the only thing we can "control" is the way we react to life and that, as strange as it may sound, is a choice. You can choose right now how you want to feel, but you don't have to believe me, try it for yourself, follow the next seven steps and claim your power!
1. Be aware of the emotion. Recognize, as best you can, the emotion that feels unpleasant, such as anger.
2. Locate it. Feel it in your body. Most of the time we feel our emotions in the torso (the belly, heart area, chest, back or shoulders) but anywhere you feel it is okay.
3. Be present with what you are feeling without labeling it or saying it is bad or wrong, stay as neutral as possible. Feel it even if it's counterintuitive and doesn't feel right.
4. Don't resist, let it be there and if possible embrace the emotion. Acceptance is the key.
5. Give it space to express itself either with your voice, movement or by writing it down on a piece of paper.
6. Breathe into your lower abdomen... as deeply and slowly as you can until you feel neutral.
7. Choose how you want to feel. Once the heaviness of the unpleasant emotion is no longer present, bring to mind a image of a moment when you felt the way you want to feel right now and while still breathing feel your "new" emotion.
The above steps are very simple but powerful. Although simple doesn't mean easy, all it takes is a little courage and willingness to do it. Like many things in life, it takes practice. The more you do it, the better and faster it will work. Some emotions are easier to release, others need more time or help from a trained practitioner to assist you, especially if there are old emotions linked to difficult past experiences or trauma. As I mentioned earlier, sometimes we have no choice about our current circumstances but we have the power to make the best of them. If you would like to deepen this practice, I leave you with a phrase and a very inspiring book.
“Letting go involves being aware of a feeling, letting it come up, staying with it, and letting it run its course without wanting to make it different or do anything about it.” ― David R. Hawkins, Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender
Certified Energy Psychology Practitioner