Your emotions can be such a wonderful source of healing and strength and I am sure you have had moments in life when you felt extremely happy and joyful. In these moments, your body mirrored your internal state and was able to function at optimum levels.
But the opposite is also true. Unresolved and difficult emotions can hinder you to not only find the physical healing that you are longing for, but also make it hard for you to live joyfully in the present moment.
Actually, what I am talking about here are suppressed emotions that have been stuffed down and not healed.
Many people carry with them a vast amount of unresolved and difficult emotions from the past that lingers in their bodies and create a disharmony and dis-ease within. Why? Emotion is nothing other than “energy in motion” and according to the laws of physics, energy can never be destroyed – it can only be transmuted.
When you experience a painful or upsetting event and you do not express your emotions in the moment, then this energy gets stored in the body as the energy of the emotion does not just vanish. Over time, this can will lead to a buildup in your body and not only cause resentment or a “closed heart”, but can also lead to physical problems. These negative emotions weigh heavy on your body and make it hard for it to function on optimum level.
In our society, most of us have never learned how to deal efficiently and in a respectful way with our difficult emotions, and worse, many have been told to “just suck it up”.
Healing your difficult emotions is an important step towards healing yourself. When you learn to heal difficult emotions that arise in the moment, or emotions that are tied to past negative events, you not only free your body to heal, but you also pave the way to create a new and healthier future for yourself.
I want to share with you an extremely powerful tool that I am confident will help you. This technique was developed by Thich Nhat Hanh, a Buddhist monk and author. I have taught this technique successfully to my clients and have used it for myself. Trust me, it really works!
You can do this exercise whenever you feel difficult emotions arise, whether they arise in the moment or stem from a past experience.
Please note: Even though this exercise was developed by a Buddhist monk, you can do this exercise regardless of your faith or belief, as this is not about religion, but is about reconnecting to and healing yourself.
I have simplified this exercise for you a little bit, so that it is easy to understand and do. What I like about it the most is that it not only helps you heal your difficult emotions, but it also reconnects you back to yourself, which is the prerequisite for genuine healing.
When a difficult emotion arises, rather than ignoring or stuffing it down, become aware of it and acknowledge it. (With acknowledging I mean that you notice it is there, but you do not judge it or wish it to go away)
This alone is healing in itself, as you are not abandoning yourself or your emotions, but instead are honoring your body and emotions, while increasing the connection with yourself.
Feel into your body. Is there a specific place in your body where you can feel your emotions the most? What do you feel? Maybe you can feel pain in your heart, tightness in your stomach, or perhaps you suddenly have a headache. It is also possible that you cannot pinpoint the exact location. Don´t worry. That is fine too and the practice will still work. Over time, you will become more sensitive and more aware of your emotions and how your body reacts to them.
Again, feel into the part of the body where you can feel it the most. (If you cannot locate where you feel it, just focus on the difficult emotion itself). Next, close your eyes and explore if the upsetting emotions or feelings in your body give rise to imagery. Maybe you can sense a color, a shape or a figure? Is it clear or vague? The trick here is to not force yourself to “see” something, but to give yourself some time and allow your body to show you a representation of your emotions. (If you cannot sense any type of imagery, just proceed to the next step)
This is the most important step: imaging holding the image (or lack thereof- it still will work) like a mother would hold her newborn baby. Imagine holding it close to your heart, wrapped in a warm blanket.
With lots of compassion and love, attend to the image and let it know that you will care for it and love it until it is ready to go. (You can say these words out loud or think them). Tell the image that you are there for it and that you love it no matter what. Do this with sincere compassion and with an open heart.
You are now, probably for the first time in your life, giving your difficult emotions space to be, and more importantly, you are giving them love. Instead of abandoning or judging your difficult emotions (and subsequently yourself), you are giving your emotions and yourself unconditional love. Love is the ultimate healer and when you do this exercise, most likely, the difficult emotions will disappear very quickly. However, sometimes it takes longer to heal them. That is fine too. As long as you remember to give your emotions the love they crave, you are on your way to healing them.
I have found this exercise to be an incredible tool for transformation and healing and it has helped me tremendously. I am sure it will help you too. Just stick with it and watch what happens.