Better out than in– is wise advice!
When we hold back or suppress our emotion, itseeps through the pores of our sub-conscious at a later stage, surprising us at a time when a big reaction may not seem so justified. But here is the core of the problem- we should not justify our emotions, they are indicators of a bodily need to express. Emotional health is as important as physical health- when we don’t address emotion, it creates physical symptoms in the body.
The wisdom is in the word: emotion, to release and relieve body, mind, spirit from emotional distress we need to move it physically- be it through exercise, punching a pillow, stamping in a tantrum, the physical act of crying (involves huge movement of the diaphragm and lungs especially) or through free expression with a friend/ parent or therapist where there is no judgment or fear. From my experience the wilder the better- the more you express the more you relieve, release, and heal.
Our social conditioning has us trained to hold-back and think twice. Suppression of emotions creates a toxic environment for the body over time, tension is stored and where no movement occurs it becomes stagnant with a decrease of vitality and breath which reduces the body’s potential to heal when it is not addressed, acknowledged, and most importantly expressed.
How to Support our Emotional Health
- Mindful self-compassion,
- Slowing down,
- Taking time alone to connect in with yourself,
- A healing therapy that offers relief ideally through movement- be that through physical or energetic movement,
- A long bath,
- Time in nature alone with no distractions/ phones.
These practices invite self-awareness, enable us to notice our choices, observe our needs, and somatically identify emotion/tension that needs time to be expressed.
Treat your relationship to your Self in the same way you would offer time, care and loving attention to a young child who feels vulnerable and needs loving support and patience in their process.
As I often share in my creative wellbeing programme for school children- the key skill is to learn how to be your own best friend. We won’t always have the willing ears around us that can dedicate the time our process needs.
An effective and fast-track way to support emotional release is to dance to a particular song that evokes the emotion you feel festering or to watch a film that encourages emotional expression because on some level you identify with it, the character’s fears or experiences. Through this empathetic response we access our own deeper emotions and have an opportunity to explore them- ideally watch the film alone so you can freely cry, shout or get angry in whatever means your body wishes to express. Give yourself space, time and full permission!!!
The irony of life and our engagement in it, is that most of the time the only person holding us back is ourselves- so think of yourself as a young child and let them express freely and wildly. Through such an experience- huge relief fills the body, floods the body with endorphins, energy flow, breath, mobility and enables us access to greater joy!
Our capacity for joy is often mirrored by our capacity for sadness, to feel joy we must know sadness. Emotions are indicators of health, they are there to warn, advise and help us. They are like voltage, they need to be released into the earth and expressed otherwise they burn out the fuse, damage the circuit board or cause a block that later maybe more dangerous to release.
It is always better out than in– we are all working to improve the clarity of our expression and communication in our relationships both personal and professional, but to affect greater change we need to start with the relationship within, generously offering compassion and listening to our Self.
Express don’t suppress!
Practice emotional awareness, all emotions are good and allow us to move through experiences in a way that integrates learning and encourages healing. Remember a time you cried so heavily or laughed so hard and the relief, euphoria, and lightness you felt after… let that motivate you to practice authenticity with your emotions as they occur. Sometimes it is not possible and you need to do it later- but it’s making sure you do it later and give yourself the time to express and process it that matters.
Hope this article gives you some encouragement and food for thought! As the saying goes- your health is your wealth and our emotional health is integral to this overall wellbeing.
So get in contact!