How to process emotions
One common theme that has come up in my conversations lately is a significant increase in exhaustion, overwhelm, and emotional instability. My intuition is telling me that it's because our collective sensitivities and empathic gifts have been amplified. This is going to be immensely helpful in your healing and connection to the collective consciousness. However, before you understand that you're feeling more than your own feelings, it can be really freaking intense and confusing!
Today, I want to remind you of the importance of being supported, practicing discernment, and feeling the feels. This message is being sent from my heart to yours. To remind you that I see you and I love you. To let you know that I deeply appreciate your sensitivities because I know what the pain and the suffering that surrounds us feels like too. It may not feel like it right now, but this is a gift and a confirmation that you are growing spiritually.
I know that you're already on the path of healing and spiritual awakening. I want to remind you that no matter what is coming up for you right now, you're not alone on this journey.
It's ok to have big feelings, and I would actually be more concerned if you didn't. If you're thinking to yourself, "I'm not feeling anything." Just pause for a moment and notice if you've been pulled towards doing the things that numb, distract, or help you avoid someone or something. There is no need to blame yourself for any actions taken. I offer this reflection to help increase your awareness so that you can continue to make conscious choices.
I personally have felt the urge to drink more than I have in the last 2.5 years of my sobriety. I know that one glass of wine turns down the sensitivity of my body in a way that allows me to be physically present without feeling the energy of the people around me with such intensity.
Next time you feel overwhelmed or bombarded by emotion, take a moment to pause and check in with yourself. One of my favorite questions to ask my heart once I've identified a feeling is, "Is this mine?" This is the practice of discernment, and it will help determine what you need to process and what you can release.
Once you've determined whether the feeling is yours, the next question to ask is, "What does [insert feeling or sensation] need?" The response may come immediately, or you may begin to notice signs or messages in your physical reality that will guide you accordingly.
If you've identified someone else's feelings, you can decide whether or not you're available to support that person or their emotions. For example, you may choose to have a conversation with them where you say you're noticing a feeling or sensation in your body and see if they relate. Or simply ask how they're really doing and hold space for them in conversation. You may also decide to ask your Spirit Guides to support you in releasing the feeling or sensation from your body and offering love in exchange for this practice of discernment and energetic self-sovereignty.
If you've identified a personal feeling, know that it is coming up to be healed, held, and embraced with love. (If that makes you want to vomit, please keep reading. You need this more than you realize.) These things are coming up because you're ready to face them. That's how strong and capable you are of healing! The Universe believes in you so much that it is bringing this up for you to support your return to wholeness.
Processing your emotions is like blowing up a balloon. As the balloon starts to reach its capacity, it gets harder to blow more air into. At that point, you can feel the tension of the air within the ballon. And if you were the balloon, you'd start to feel like you're gonna burst. (Does that sound familiar?)
Emotions expand and get uncomfortable in the same way, and just like a balloon, they eventually pop to release the expanding energy within. Can you imagine how difficult it would be to move through your entire day holding a balloon that is at risk of being popped by the slightest touch? You would have to hold that balloon with so much focus and protection that it would be hard to do anything else.
That is what happens when you don't allow your body to process your emotions fully. In essence, you're walking around with a full emotional balloon and doing everything in your control to keep anyone or anything from touching it. The Universe knows all it takes is the right prickly situation to pop that balloon, so it'll keep sending you emotional triggers in hopes that you'll let the emotional balloon release itself.
I know it's hard to see when you're in emotional balloon protection mode, but this is truly happening for you. You're not meant to hold on to these things that are creating tension within you. It's time to release them and let your healing begin.
Your invitation is to sit with your emotions until you feel the release. It's going to be uncomfortable at first. The habitual part of you will want to run away, numb, or distract yourself. Resist the urge to bail on the process. The energy will dissipate if you give it time. And once you get the hang of it, this process becomes incredibly healing and empowering.
If it helps, imagine working with an emotional balloon next time you start to feel the feels. Sit with your emotional balloon and feel the tension build. Notice what is coming up for you and remind yourself that you are safe, you can do this, and you're ready to release this energy.
Use your breath to stay connected to the safety of your body until you experience the balloon pop and the emotional energy releases itself. This may take a few seconds or a few minutes. It all depends on whether you'll allow the process to happen or if you try to resist or suppress the emotion.
Let it get messy! Cry. Scream. Shake. Breathe! Express what is coming up. That will support the release.
When your mind tries to panic and tells you that you're gonna be stuck in this discomfort forever, remind yourself that what you're experiencing is energy in motion (e-motion). Remind yourself that this is the process, and you're allowing the process to complete itself. It will pass, and the more you breathe into it, the more you're helping that energy to release itself from your physical body.
Allow your body to feel what it's feeling with compassion and curiosity (yes, this will be easier said than done the first few times). If this feels too challenging to face alone, ask for support from a loved one or a professional. Let them know what you need to feel supported and allow yourself to receive it.
It may not always feel like it in the moment, but the feelings and emotions you're experiencing are a gift.
They let you know when you are in alignment, out of alignment, when a personal boundary has been crossed, or when a wound is ready to be healed. Feelings of joy, happiness, and love are good things—a clear sign to do more of what you're doing. Feelings of sadness, anger, and despair are also good things. These are clear signs that something is out of alignment or maybe coming up for healing or boundary reinforcement.
Let this exploration be a gentle practice of awareness and radical self-presence. The point is to let yourself be with the feelings as they come up and notice them. Listen to the message that they bring with curiosity. Then, use the journal prompts below to explore what you need and offer yourself compassion and gentleness for processing your emotions in a new way.
[insert emotion], what are you here to teach me? [insert emotion], what am I not seeing? [insert emotion], what do you need from me? [insert emotion], how can I support you? [insert emotion], what do you need me to say, do, or experience?
Emotion Code by Dr. Bradly Nelson