The 3 step process to release rather than suppress negative emotions

Cheat Sheet

Emotions play a vital role in our existence

  • Emotions, sentiment, and passion are part of being alive and connecting with others
  • Emotions often alert us to issues which we must choose to either work to resolve (take action) or choose to accept (allow the emotion to be released and return ourselves to balance).

Suppressing emotions is bad for you

  • Suppressing emotions causes stress.
  • Suppressing emotions can cause serious mental illness.
  • Suppressed emotions negatively affect your physical health and well-being.
  • Suppressed emotions wreak havoc in your subconscious mind and contribute to future negative life experiences.

You have 3 choices when a negative emotion comes on the scene

  1. Address and/or fix the issue, if possible.
  2. Express your emotions if you can’t fix or address the issue.
  3. Suppress your emotions by denying that something painful happened to you!

Monday evening I found out that a friend of mine had passed away unexpectedly. Tuesday afternoon I received news that made me equally sad and joyful (that’s a weird feeling). So I spent the better part of the rest of Tuesday afternoon on the kitchen floor, propped up against the cabinets with my legs spread out like a four year old, crying and drinking iced tea.

I’m proud of myself for this! The more we take offthe “I’m ok mask” the more able we become to live our true, fullest and healthiest lives. Much of what we learn through our societal conditioning teaches and encourages us to adopt the practice of suppressing emotions. That’s insane when you consider that emotional suppression causes system wide dysfunction and disease.

How suppressed emotions affects our bodies, our minds and our life experiences.

When you suppress an emotion it does not go away, it goes deeper! Rather than absolving and dissipating the negative emotional energy, we hold onto it unconsciously. Deeply rooted in our subconscious it then affects our bodies, our minds and our life experiences. Emotions create peptide and chemical signals which are sent to our cells. The idea of sickness and disease being related to emotional dis’ease is now well documented in science. The suppressed negative emotions can often be a constant undercurrent to thinking patterns and loss of awareness and presence. They contribute to ongoing and worsening mental health issues, again this is not speculation but well documented. Deeply rooted and hard at work in our subconscious mind, the ramifications of the suppressed emotions play out time and time again subconsciously drawing us toward negative life experiences as we move forward.

Signs you are suppressing an emotion

  • You distract yourself.
  • You avoid triggers that bring up an emotion (such as talking about a painful subject).
  • You find ways to blame others or circumstances for the pain.
  • You are using Substance abuse, eating disorders, or other additive type behavior as an escape.

The 3 step process to release rather than suppress negative emotions.

  1. Stop and fully acknowledge and explore what happened to create the emotion. Remind yourself that you are not what happens to you. For example if a someone is cruel to you and you suppress the emotion you are likely attaching it to some feeling of self-worth, lack of self-love, some sense that you might somehow be deserving of the treatment. By spending time acknowledging the experience you become able to see it more logically and release the emotion in a healthy way.
  2. Let it out. A good practice can be to change your location, go to a place and body position where you will be free of distractions and allow the emotions to become fully present and released in whatever way feels natural. I sit on the kitchen floor crying. Some people may like to moan, to scream, to bang their fist on something (be careful!) but allow all of that energy to just be released in way it feels called to be. Focus on your breathing, try not think, process or attach thoughts to the emotion at this point, just let it surface.
  3. Thank your emotions and look for the good that can come. Negative emotions are often illuminating something for us. A place to learn and grow, providing a catalyst for change perhaps? What light can you see within the darkness?

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Originally published at www.iamkristenbecker.com.