By Aine Belton ©
As mentioned in Part 1 of “The Gift of Emotions!”, there are many possible techniques for releasing emotions, from the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), the Sedona Method, writing them down, the Release Technique, the ZPoint Process, NLP, acupuncture, expressing them through creativity, energy healing (such as Reiki), communicating them to a friend or loved one, flower essences, and many others.
What’s not mentioned here is feeling your feelings, which, whilst so often avoided, is a fast and effective way to release them!
I share a step-by-step Releasing Emotions Process below you may like to explore to help with this if it calls you/resonates to do so.
If you are not used to being in touch with your emotions, you may feel numb and dissociated, in which case be patient as you flex your feeling muscles and do your best with the exercise.
If you are feeling particularly shut down, you can try bringing to mind a past experience when your emotions were particularly vivid and charged, and see if you can get in touch with those feelings again as a place to start, particularly if those feelings are ones that tend to resurface as part of a repeated pattern/life-story and you’d like to release.
If you would prefer to not get in touch with past feelings or think you have already processed them, obviously don’t do so. Just go with what feels appropriate for this exercise.
The idea of the below exercise is, clearly, not to wallow in negative emotions or rehash them unproductively, but to clear possible repressed or existing feelings through allowing them to be felt and expressed, hence move through you and be released. Hold that as your intention.
There can be layers of emotions and you may find it easier to access certain ones more than others, typically those more surface. For example, you may be able to get in touch with anger, yet there could be sadness, pain, or grief buried underneath that anger that it may serve you to release. Getting stuck in anger can be a way even of distracting yourself or avoiding these other more painful feelings.
As you give yourself permission to feel your feelings, they may shift and change. Allow this movement of energy as you experience your emotions and their relationship to each other.
It takes courage to feel your emotions. Painful feelings can be scary, and people can fear losing themselves or being overwhelmed by them.
Emotions bring great gifts for you however, and the more you allow yourself to be in touch with them, even the darker ones, the deeper and richer your emotional experiences will become, which includes the heights of blissful states and love, joy, wonder, delight, enchantment, and so on.
Before I move on to the Releasing Emotions Process below, I wanted to share Rumi’s poem called “The Guest House” as it is both poignant and relevant to this article.
The Guest House
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
Releasing Emotions Process
For the below process, ensure you are in a place where you will not be interupted or disturbed and where you feel free and relaxed to get in touch with your feelings.
1. Identify a feeling or emotion you wish to release. Perhaps it is one you are currently aware of or have recently experienced.
Become familiar with it. Name it. Let yourself experience it. Do you feel it somewhere in your body? If it had a colour or shape, a sound or picture, for example, what might that be?
Don’t think about it too much, just try to hone in on it as best you can to get in touch with the feeling and then experience it more fully.
Be immersed by it. Step into it. Allow it to move through you and be felt.
2. Own that you are the source of this feeling. Whatever this feeling is, it is yours. Whatever the outside circumstances are that have triggered this emotion, or whatever you believe may have caused it, it is yours nonetheless.
Let go of the story around this feeling and just experience it as it exists within you now.
3. Accept this feeling without judgment. Welcome it and allow it to be there. View this emotion as energy – neither right, nor wrong, just a current of energy of some nature, whether you understand what that is or not.
4. Now really feel the emotion. Let it consume you or dive into it. Sink into this feeling further and further and get in touch with its depths.
Allow it to fill you and immerse yourself in it. It may start feeling more and more intense as deeper levels are experienced, or it may change to a different emotion. Other feelings may arise as layers that exist beneath this emotion are accessed.
5. Have you felt this feeling before/does it trigger familiar or not so unfamiliar memories or thoughts? Can you remember an earlier time in your life when you felt this same emotion? When, and what was happening at that time?
Don’t try to analyse too much, just let yourself drift back to a previous time in the past when a similar or the same emotion/state was experienced (if it feels natural and flowing to do so).
Allow yourself to travel back to the earliest time you can remember feeling this feeling and saturate yourself in the emotion (this is what I call sourcing the emotion).
6. If you find it difficult or distracting going back to a previous time or occasion, just stay with the emotion as it is in the here and now, and increase its intensity until you feel totally immersed in the feeling. Perhaps you experience it in a certain area of your body, or cursing through you. Notice any sensations and be as ‘in the emotion’ as you can.
Feeling a negative emotion can, of course, be unpleasant, painful or uncomfortable. You may try to distract yourself or belittle the process or opt out. Do your best to stay with it.
7. The feeling may begin to change or dissipate as it is released. Keep feeling as fully as possible whatever occurs. You may experience layers of emotions, as said. They may become more intense, darker or lighter, yet will inevitably lead to an experience of relief and freedom through their release. Ride the waves and allow your emotions to be experienced, whatever they be.
8. It may help to breathe deeply to release the emotions at times in this process. You may shed tears, feel like shouting out or screaming, or clench your muscles. If there’s no one around you will disturb, feel free to vocally express your feelings (you may want to scream into a pillow so as not scare the neighbours!). You can also journal and write down your feelings at any stage if this helps, but avoid getting into your head and stay in the emotions.
• As a guide, I recommend 20 minutes for feeling a given feeling in an intense magnified way as described. Any more with one specific emotion can possibly lead to wallowing or mean you are caught up in the story or drama surrounding the emotion rather than the feeling itself. Emotions will start to shift, move, release and change when you allow them to move through you and be felt.
• During this process, notice if any particular thoughts, attitudes and beliefs come to mind about the way you, others or life is, though again, refrain from analysing. Just observe as a witness whilst being in the emotions.
After the process is over you can always reflect and ask yourself the question, “What must I believe to be feeling this feeling?”
• After this exercise you may like to imbue yourself with love. Let love embrace you, wash around and through you. Ask your Higher Self, the universe, angels or guides, God, Source or whatever name appeals, to surround you with love, and allow this to gently fill you and the space created through the release of this emotion.
You might like to imagine it as a soft light surrounding you. Lilac or violet can be very healing, soothing and a high vibration, dissolving any remnants of denser energy and ‘softening your edges’ energetically so-to-speak. Pale pink can be a very nurturing and loving colour, blue calming and cooling, green healing and loving, and so on.
A ‘Colour Imagery’ process is described in exercise 4 of my “How to Meditate” article at this link
Or you may just like to ask to receive love, and open up to let it in, imagine it surrounding you and imbuing you.
Let love embrace you, wash around & through you”.
• After the exercise you can also ask to receive insight, information and learning around this emotion. Just close your eyes and be open to any insights from your Higher Self.
You may like to ask your Higher Self questions, such as how that emotion serves or disserves you, what its main root is for you in this life-time, its light and dark sides, and so forth. See if any insights surface/are revealed and note any down.
Having released the intensity of an emotion after an exercise like this, you can experience a calm and still space after, in which left-brain will be less dominant and you are more open to intuitive insights.