The Energy of Emotion
“Wow, that book was an emotional roller coaster for me!” I told my sister. I had just finished reading Kristin Hannah’s Night Road. The story had me laughing, crying, feeling happy, sad, angry and frustrated. Sometimes, in a very short time span.
When it comes to real life, the emotional roller coaster is something we would all prefer not to ride. Our cultural norms view emotional stability as a very desirable trait. The truth of the matter is that what we refer to as stability is very often a numbing out or shutting down of our emotions. When we do this overtime it diminishes our capacity to feel emotions…. both the pleasant ones along with the unpleasant ones.
Emotions are essentially energy in motion and they elicit to response in us that we call a feeling. Everyone experiences emotions and feelings differently for many, many different reasons. Your perception, state of being, the blocks that you have, your past experiences and beliefs all color your experience.
All of these factors together make up your emotional ecosystem, the intricate interplay of a variety of factors that is unique to you. Learning to feel your emotions without becoming lost or stuck in them is a cornerstone of managing your emotional ecosystem.
Emotions are part of our human experience and offer of a valuable source of information. Studies show that we have “mirror neurons” that allow us to empathize or feel what another person is feeling. This helps with connection and bonding.
When we experience emotional pain like fear, guilt, rejection, undeservability, or anger it can be a personal alert. Often these painful emotions flag for us a moment to look more deeply at the situation that actually triggered it.
Positive emotions can provide us not only a sense of feeling good but an indicator of where we are connected and energy id flowing well.
Emotions are not always easy or comfortable but the numbing or burying of them ultimately results in blocks that impair your experience of other emotions as well, making it more difficult to connect with others on a deeper level.
I don’t know if the book that I was reading was a particularly evocative one, but for me the timing of it was quite telling. I had recently brought my youngest child to live on campus in a dorm and my role as mother was shifting. My level of interaction with her and role in her life was changing. The story line of the book really hit home for me. And hence, I felt a very strong reaction.
If you want to open up to experience life more fully, next time you experienced draining emotion or a negative reaction to a pleasant emotion, try this activity. Either in the moment or after the fact, it’s perfectly okay to process strong emotions in a setting that feels really safe to you.
- Take a step back from the trigger situation and remind yourself that energy in motion or emotion is just part of the human experience. Remove the judgment from it: For me it was the emotional roller coaster of the book. It’s not a usual response for me to be so emotional in response to a book, and to have it linger.
- Then notice where you feel it in your body. Close your eyes and gently ask the energy to move. Allow it to move through your body. Imagine it as a river allowing it to flow right through you and then to the earth, you are the rivers bed so there is no danger of getting swept away. This addresses the energetic piece and the flow of the energy. The emotion wants to move. It doesn’t want to take up residence and live inside of your body unless you block it. I had a very constricted feeling in my chest, allowing it to move left me feeling a little drained(no pun intended) but much calmer.
- Sometimes, this might be accompanied by crying or laughing or other physical triggers. For me: I imagined a gentle shower just washing over me, allowing all of those emotions to just move through. (To see what was behind the strong reaction that I had I also combined this with some Chakra work.)
- Once you allow the emotion to move, check for a pattern, or emotional trigger and see if you can notice one. For me, this was directly tied into my strong sense of not belonging that was triggered by my shifting role and brought to the surface by the book. I looked to the pattern and I did a little bit of energy work(web work) on it.
- The next step would be to release the pattern. You can do this by either tapping and intentional release of the pattern or any technique that works well for you. If you need some ideas or some specifics on tapping on intentional release, you can check the blog for more tools.
At first, this process may feel quite cumbersome, but quickly it becomes fast and efficient and it really does help keep the energy moving and helps prevent those emotional blocks that end up sometimes weeks, sometimes months or even years down the road as a stumbling block. It also opens the door for more authentic intimate relationships with those around you.
What are some of your favorite tools for dealing with strong emotions?