Emotional Healing Guide: Learn to Process Your Feelings
If you’re going through hell, keep going. – Winston Churchil
Emotional healing is the antagonist of logic.
We may see ourselves as rational beings, capable of objective thoughts and observations–but there’s no such thing.
Every thought, action and inclination in our lives have emotional forces behind it.
We may not be aware of it, but it’s always there and guides us–for better or worse–towards what we’d think of as the “right thing to do”.
But whether we agree with the premise or not, a part of the human condition is to experience emotional overwhelm at some point.
Is emotional healing possible?
Emotional Healing or Flight?
Generally, the basic instinct when experiencing unpleasant feelings is to get away from them.
This has a ton of biological benefits and the reaction has served us well as a species over the years.
But perhaps for the first time in human history, we’re not experiencing stress as a temporary assault on our senses.
We’re experiencing something called chronic stress, and here’s where things start to get iffy.
You’ve certainly experienced a lot of different stress factors in your life that was unpleasant, but took care of itself.
Maybe it was a dinner with the in-laws or something as basic as a workout.
Ignoring those feelings and keeping yourself occupied–flight in other words–probably worked really well.
The event happened and then the stress went away.
But chronic stress doesn’t just go away (otherwise we wouldn’t be calling it chronic).
It assaults the senses at seemingly random times, filling the mind with dreadful images and feelings of resignation.
Flight isn’t longer an option, because there’s no seeming “event” to pass, where the stress can pass with it.
Chronic Stress and Emotional Healing
So how what is emotional healing and how does it work?
First, let’s look at what isn’t working, flight.
Running away from your feelings has no positive affect on chronic stress.
You’ve probably tried that already, thousands of times and it gives at best a temporary relief.
So what do we do?
We do the counter-intuitive and feel our feelings instead.
This is emotional healing.
It’s not about getting stuck in your mind, relating to images that keeps you stuck in the drama.
It’s about feeling your feelings, LIGHTLY.
You might say “I’m feeling my feelings all damn day long, that’s the problem! If just feeling my feelings worked I’d been free from the chronic stress years ago!”.
We’re doing this differently.
Generally when we think we’re feeling something, we’re usually thinking, and getting stuck in thought loops.
Instead, ask the question, how do you know that you’re feeling?
Sensating – The Key Skill
All feelings are made of sensations in your body.
The only way to feel anything, is to have sensations appear and then be interpreted.
When there are sensations we interpret as unpleasant, we call it a negative emotion, like stress, anxiety, pain, worry, whatever it might be.
And the reverse is true as well regarding sensations we regard as pleasant, that go under names of positive emotions.
Emotions are collections of sensations that we interpret a certain way.
When we understand what emotions are made of–sensations–emotional healing comes within our reach.
Practical Emotional Healing
Let’s get practical.
Whatever you’re feeling right now, positive or negative, notice where you’re feeling that.
Once you find the location, gently zoom in on it.
You’ll likely notice that it’s made of sensations that are constantly moving.
In the esoteric world this would be called energy.
Your only job is to lightly feel the feelings, and let them ebb and flow wherever they want to.
When you feel the sensations moving from pressure to ease, or just suddenly spreading outwards–this is called a shift.
Any issue that you’re experiencing might require multiple shifts to resolve itself, like layers of an onion.
Some issues may move into ease after a single shift.
Our job isn’t to judge or get stuck in the drama, it’s just to lightly feel.
Emotional healing, is lightly feeling your sensations until shifts occur.
Don’t hold any sensations in place, they’re dynamic, let them be, and do so lightly.
Once you’ve experienced shifts and moved on to a more pleasant place, make sure that you process something positive.
By simply saying a sentence such as “I’m thankful for…” or “I’m happy that…” and fill something in, you’ll trigger new sensations.
Process these sensations and it’ll leave you in a more open and pleasant place.
We’re not designed to handle chronic stress.
Hence our intuitive approach towards chronic stress seem to fail us.
But doing the counter-intuitive, feeling instead of fleeing–leads to emotional healing.
The key is to feel your sensations and not get stuck in the drama of your thoughts.
I hope this will serve as a compass in tough times.
Remember that no one is judging your progress, if you feel overwhelmed, take it slowly.
And don’t ever be afraid of seeking professional help, therapy is a young but potent area that has helped millions of people improve their lives.
For more reading regarding emotional healing, check out these articles: