You know that feeling of relief after a good, hard cry?
That relief is the release of stored up negative energy inside you. We bottle these emotions up until eventually, we reach our breaking point. Something triggers us and it’s like an emotional purge. You find yourself feeling all of the emotions you had tried to hard to ignore, stifle, push down.
But what if, instead of burying all of those unwanted feelings, you manage them as they come up, and allow them to move through you?
I used to be an emotional ticking time bomb. I spent so much time and energy avoiding my feelings and pretending that they didnt exist, only to blow up, oftentimes over something or someone completely undeserving. I’d let all of my negative thoughts and emotions build up until I’d inevitably reach my boiling point. Even worse, I was always on edge. So all it took was a slight inconvenience, a misunderstanding, or a bad day for me to completely lose my shit. And unfortunately, those closest to me got the worst of it. Co-workers, friends, family members, no one was safe from my wrath. Especially not my boyfriend. (Infinite apologies!)
That’s what happens when you don’t allow yourself to feel your feelings. You continue to push them down, ignore them, pretend they don’t exist, but they don’t go away. They stay inside you and create resentments and blocks, and believe me when I tell you, they will keep showing up until you allow them to move through you.
So how do we prevent these blocks?
Practice these 5 Steps to Feel Your Feelings
Allow Yourself to Feel
The first step is to simply allow yourself to feel whatever it is you’re feeling. Too often we judge ourselves for feeling a certain way, instead of just allowing it to be. Give yourself permission to feel whatever is coming up for you.
Create A Safe Space
The second step is to create a safe space for yourself to feel whatever emotions you need to move through you, whether it’s anger, annoyance, even heartbreak. This could be a special place in your home, or any place you can just be alone for a few minutes, like your car or the restroom.
Get It Out
This step is all about expressing exactly the way you feel. We never hold back a smile or laughter when we are joyful, but we have been taught not to express our negative emotions. Because there are inappropriate times or ways to express these negative emotions, it is important that you have created a safe space to do so first. 6 Ways To Scream is a brilliant resource for learning ways to quickly get our feelings out. Journaling is also a great way to get all of your feelings out of your physical body. There is a greater sense of realness when you put something on paper. Take your time, allow whatever you’re feeling to come to the surface and do a complete emotional dump.
Another reason journaling is helpful in truly feeling your feelings is that once you’ve got it all written down, you can read through it. Chances are, something that you’re feeling right now, you have already felt at another time in your life. If so, you can use your past experiences to help you. First and foremost, whatever it was, you survived it! Think about how you may have handled similar situations or feelings in the past. Were there things you could have done differently? Or maybe there are things that you did to help you through, that you could do to help yourself now.
Let It Go
The final and most important of the 5 steps is to LET IT GO. Do not stay stuck on your feelings, particularly those of anger, resentment, or fear. These seem to do the most damage to us when we cling to them for too long. Although in theory it seems so simple, this is often the most difficult step, so it is important to find a way that works best for you. Sometimes moving your body, maybe going for a run, or practicing yoga, allows you to work out these feelings. Listen to your body and choose the best way for you. Another super goddess-y option that I love is to write these negative thoughts or feelings on a piece of paper, then burn it. This can even become a weekly ritual to clear negativity.
So, 5 simple steps, but it takes some work to break the habit of trying to hide or ignore our feelings. Be gentle with yourself and find what works best for you.