Always try to finish your sad thought journalling with something uplifting, like reading the uplifting news subreddit, spending time with someone you love, playing with a pet, or watching something entertaining on youtube or Netflix.
4. CATHARSIS (LET IT ALL OUT, BABY!)
When emotionally numbing ourselves becomes our default defense mechanism, we tend to have a huge amount of suppressed emotion lying just beneath our conscious awareness. In order to safely and effectively express your suppressed emotions, try some form of catharsis. Catharsis may involve screaming into or punching a pillow, using your sad thoughts journal (mentioned above) to stimulate sadness and crying, intense emotional-fuelled exercise, impassioned dancing, or dynamic meditation.
Regular catharsis should be a must on your journey. Without regularly ‘letting it all out,’ you run the risk of experiencing the repercussions of festering emotions (i.e. depression, emptiness, chronic illness, etc.).
5. YOGA AND SELF-MASSAGE
Yoga is a well-known way of helping to clear and balance your energy. Not only that, but yoga often has a way of releasing emotions stored in the body. I recommend doing slow and gentle forms of yoga such as Hatha yoga for at least ten minutes a day. Remember, the goal isn’t to become some Instagram-perfect yoga star; it is to connect with your body, mind, and heart.
Our unexpressed and repressed emotions are often stored within our bodies. I like to think of our bodies as being reflections of our unconscious mind: they are maps that help us to figure out what we are keeping locked away, and what unresolved issues we need to face. In my article about chronic muscle tension, I list the nine types of emotions trapped in different areas of the body. In order to release these emotions, I regularly use something called the ‘Acuball’ to introduce fresh blood flow and energy into these tense areas. I like the Acuball because it gives me a deep tissue massage, while also helping me to stay grounded in my body, relax, and release pent-up stress. (You can get the Acuball here).
6. CREATIVELY EXPRESS YOUR FEELINGS (OR LACK THEREOF)
Write a song, doodle in a journal, paint a picture, create a collage, find some way of expressing what emotion you last felt. If you struggle to feel anything at all, express that artistically. Grab those greys and blacks and turn that damn page into your own work of art. Pay attention to how you feel afterward. Does even the slightest feeling of satisfaction enter you? Journal about these emotions.
7. TAKE CARE OF YOUR INNER CHILD
As it was your child self that likely copped the trauma that caused you to default to emotional numbing, take care of this part of you. Practice inner child work and find ways of comforting and nurturing this vulnerable place within you. You may even like to create empowering affirmations for your inner child to help him or her access emotions. For example, you might repeat to yourself when you are in a difficult circumstance, “It is OK for me to feel,” “It is safe for me to feel sad,” “My anger is valid,” “Being vulnerable is being strong,” and so forth.