Teacher, blogger and creator of the Chakra Cards, this website has something for everyone to feel amazing.
When we break a bone, it's easy to see what steps need to be taken to help - straight to the hospital and then months of recovery. When we have a mental breakdown, it's easy to see we need to march ourselves into a hospital or book into see a competent psychologist or counsellor but when we have emotional pain, what should and do we do with it?
Emotions are neither good or bad, positive or negative - they just are what they are - an expression of our current state of being.
I recently saw a thread which mentioned everything from letting the feelings flow through you, to seeing healers in a variety of modalities, to stories of people who have held the pain in and covered it with addictions of food, sex, drugs or alcohol and the toll that the suppression of the emotion has on people. But all of us have emotional pain at times in our lives, but we don't have a quick go-to like we do physical or mental ailments. I've put down a few things that I have found that helps me to deal with my emotional pain when it comes up:
1. Professional psychologist
Find someone who you connect with. Having someone who understands you, but who can look at your life with the detached compassion of a stranger is worth the fees. In Australia, we have the Mental Health Care Plan which can give you six FREE sessions. See a GP for details. I cannot recommend psychologists or a reputable counsellor enough. Everyone should have one, just like they have a GP. But I find after our session ends, I often feel fragile and teary, so how do we then deal with that pain on our own?
2. Name the feeling and identify where in your body you feel it
One of the things I have found that helps me to deal with the pain is to identify what the pain is, name it, find a word to encompass the debilitating feeling. For me today, that's grief, but I've also experienced heartbreak, complete despair and a deep, deep sadness. The other aspect of this is being able to put your hand on your body in the place that you feel the emotion. Once you give it a name and can feel where it is coming from in your body, it's almost like you know what you are dealing with and you can talk about your grief as a separate part of you, it is not who you are. It can be seen as something external to you and therefore you can view it with detachment when you need that space from it.
3. Identify yourself as separate from the feeling
To be honest, none of us can live in a perpetual state of bliss or happiness, as much as we would like to, it's just not what the human experience is about. Emotions are neither good or bad, positive or negative, they just are what they are - an expression of our current state of being. Life is about feeling the full gamut of emotions including the ones we perceive as negative - anger, sadness, grief, despair and when we block them or hide from them, we lose the opportunity to do some amazing, deep healing. Our emotions are not WHO WE ARE, they are a transient state of being that come and go, the real us, lies much deeper within. Saying an affirmation such as: I am not my grief, but I am grieving almost gives us a self-acknowledgement of our pain and doesn't affect the greater self that we are.
4. Give yourself permission to feel happy
Sometimes I feel like I have spent so much of my life being melancholy that I almost feel guilty when I experience happiness, or moments of joy. Even though I know I am in the midst of enormous grief about my changing family, I have to remind myself that it's okay to laugh and be happy in moments during the day and to permit myself these moments of "positive" emotions without feeling guilty. Guilt is such a strange emotion which almost feels like an anchor holding us back from being truly free to go with the flow of life.
5. Sit with the emotion
This is a tricky one, I certainly don't advocate sitting with a "negative" emotion until it smothers you and ruins your quality of life, but I do suggest rather than running away or hiding from the feeling, let yourself be in it, to feel the depths of the emotion wash through and over you like waves. Grief in particular, is renowned for coming in waves and at the most unexpected times. When it comes up, find yourself a safe space and let yourself BE sad or angry or despondent, or whatever the emotion is for you. The same is true for happiness (if you are melancholy like me) when you are happy, sit with it and let yourself BE happy, or joyful or excited. Journal it, walk it, meditate it or be with the emotion and learn to be a witness to it, because remember, you are NOT your emotion, you are feeling an emotion and sometimes they can teach us so much about ourselves.
6. Seek out other people
One of my bad habits is to self-isolate when I am not feeling great emotionally. I retreat back into myself, hide in my house and rarely go out. We often feel like we are the only one in the world going through this roller coaster of emotional pain, but everyone experiences it and everyone deals with it differently and if you reach out, you never know what adventures might be around the corner offline. Talking to and with others reminds us we are not alone.
7. Self care
Don't forget to book yourself into a massage, wax, facial, haircut, gym, cook a healthy meal or whatever it is that helps you to look after your physical body. Just because our emotions are causing us to feel like we are facing an oncoming tsunami shouldn't stop us from caring for the physical temple that carries us through life. Your body will thank you when your emotions are feeling up to it. One of my favourite sayings is "fake it until you make it," even if you don't feel up to it, fake it until you do.
As always, this blog is MY experience of dealing with my emotions, but I always suggest that you seek professional advice and most importantly, follow your TRUTH of what FEELS right for you.
All the best,
©Alyssa Curtayne 2019
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