Look to nature — emotions ebb and flow like the ocean, they shift and change like the direction of the wind, sometimes they are strong and heavy and other times they are soft and quiet. None of us feel the same way all the time. Fully living includes being with the full range of our human emotions. The ups and the downs.
You can’t force/control your emotions — emotions are a natural occurrence, a natural rise and fall, a fundamental part of being alive. We can’t just snap our way out of it, force positivity upon ourselves or others, nor can we will ourselves into feeling differently.
And although you can’t control how you feel (what rises emotionally), you can control how you respond to the emotional experiences you are having.
We are responsible for what we do with how we feel.
7 ways to work with your emotions, to support your response:
01. FOCUS ON YOUR BREATH
Rebalance your breathing pattern and rhythm — when we feel big emotions, our breathing often becomes inhibited or off balance. By focusing on the breath, consciously breathing deep into our belly’s, we can help to rebalance our system, body and psyche.
My favourite tool for supporting the health of my breath and body is Block Therapy.
02. CHECK IN ON YOUR POSTURE
Your body, mind, and emotions are interconnected, because we can have direct control over our body, starting here can be helpful. Root your feet, rise up out of your pelvis, and drop the shoulders back/down.
03. NOTICE YOUR FACIAL MUSCLES
Try to turn the corners of your mouth up into a smile, notice how that shifts the heaviness of the moment even just slightly.
Unclench your jaw, relax your forehead, turn the corners of your mouth up (aka give me a little SMILE) and breathe in relaxation - letting go of any stress and tension on the exhale.
04. LET GO, RELEASE, SURRENDER
Check in with your body, where are you feeling tension. Can you release it now? Drop your shoulders, unclench your jaw, wiggle your toes and shake your arms. Allow the energy to begin flowing through you again.
If it feels right for your body - dance or shake it out.
05. CHANGE YOUR ENVIRONMENT
Our environment (external world) has huge impacts on our emotional experiences (internal world). Changing the scene can help you open up to different aspects of yourself.
Go to a different place in your house, sit in the backyard, go for a walk, or find a favourite place to visit where you live.
Laughter is the often the best medicine and can gift us with the lightness we need to navigate through life toughest moments. It doesn’t take away the pain, but it can sure help the process of moving through.
Call up your funny friend. Watch a funny video. Spend time with kids. Find laughter wherever it is available to you.
07. SELF CHECK IN, RESPOND TO YOUR NEEDS
In times of stress we often overlook the needs of self as we are busy tending to everything outside of ourselves. Take a moment to tune in right now, and ask yourself - What do I really need right now?
Whatever the answer, can you go and do that for yourself right now?
As we tend to our own needs we build and strengthen the trust with ourselves.
INTEGRATION (your next steps)
You have the power to work with your emotions rather than against them.
What is one thing you can do today to work with your emotions?
(HINT: choose from the list above)
Remember, emotions aren’t inherently bad or good, they just are. You get to choose how you respond.
3 Effective Ways to Release Emotions from your Body
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About the Author:
Hayley Yarish is a Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC), Grief Therapist, Compassionate Bereavement Care Provider, and Certified Grief Recovery Specialist®. She specializes in supporting individuals who are navigating loss and grief of any kind. Her own experiences with grief and loss have cracked her heart wide open and led her to doing this sacred work in the world.
Specific areas of focus: death of a loved one (recent or past), life changing transitions, relationship transitions and break ups, pregnancy loss, grief around family planning, and supporting entrepreneurs through the grief that comes with growth.
To learn more about Hayley or to book a session with her, click here.