Here at Psycademy our students become experts at working with their own emotions and helping clients to work with theirs.
Firstly by resolving negative emotions from the past using a number of powerful techniques. Secondly experiencing profound transformation by becoming conscious of what is present for us in the moment and then attending to it.
When you can do this you can become the creator of your universe.
This piece of wisdom is more easily said than done because resolving your past and creating your future requires you to be able to actually feel your emotions.
Being aware of, or fully present to, emotion is not something that most of us are taught
In fact in many cases the opposite is true. Being aware and fully present to emotion takes courage and practice (speaking from personal experience) – but it is well worth the effort.
So – if we are not taught to be fully present to our emotions then what have we learned instead?
Most of us learn to do two things with emotion:
- To bury it or numb it out
- To blow it up out of proportion and allow it to overwhelm us
Burying or numbing out emotions
When you bury or numb our emotions, you bury them in your unconscious mind where they can cause all sorts of problems – over time this store of buried emotion bubbles away like a volcano which eventually erupts as anxiety, stress, dis-ease, addictions, depression, self-sabotage and the experience of being cut off from your spiritual side.
In addition you cannot selectively numb out “negative emotions” if you bury or numb out one emotion, eg anger, you also numb out positive ones such as joy and love. In order to experience joy and love you must also be able to experience negative emotions and not avoid them.
Positive Emotions are vital to our evolution. Barbara Fredrickson describes this when she says “by opening up our hearts and minds positive emotions allow us to discover and build new skills, new ties, new knowledge and new ways of being”
Blowing your emotions out of proportion
When you get sucked into your negative emotions, you over identify with them and become stuck in the story.
When you have over identified with a negative emotion you often wallow around in it, constantly ruminating and going over the story. You can feel very stuck here.
Most people do both these things – sometimes burying emotion and sometimes over identifying with it.
So would it be useful to learn what to do to feel your emotions and grow?
Learning how to become present to your emotions is one of the most transformational journeys of your life which enables you to resolve the past, be fully present in the now, create your future and improve your mental and physical heath. Worth doing ?
So what are the keys to feeling your emotions?
Be the non-judgemental witness, also known as Mindfulness.
This is a learned skill. Not only does being the witness enable you to feel your emotions, it also enables you to accept negative thoughts that inevitably arise and just let them be.
This is one of the reasons that affirmations do not work – if you are telling yourself to think happy thoughts, and then you notice a really negative thought – it’s tempting to start beating yourself up not only for failing to think happy thoughts, but for thinking negative ones – this takes you on a downward spiral that can be avoided.
HOW do you do this? Simply decide to learn and practice Mindfulness or Being the Non Judgemental Witness.
Start looking at your strategies for dealing with emotion and the reasons why you have them.
Here you will find some limiting beliefs and disempowering behaviours.
Eg it’s likely that you will uncover limiting beliefs such as “It’s wrong to show your emotion” “Boys don’t cry” “Girls shouldn’t get angry”
Also it’s very likely that you will uncover previously unchallenged, disempowering behaviours such as perfectionism, harsh self-criticism, lack of self compassion etc.
Remember and explore the mind body link.
If you tend to live in your head and are very mind orientated, you may find it especially challenging to begin the process of becoming more aware of your emotions. But you can really benefit from becoming aware of the physical manifestation of your emotions rather than the ideas and words that are associated with them.
The journey of learning how to feel your emotions is a very powerful one and one that we cannot afford not to undertake if we desire to grow, evolve and guide others to do the same.