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Emotional Muscle Memory: How To Release Painful Emotions Trapped In Your Body

Here are some powerful tools that can help you dissolve trapped muscle memory and release muscle tension when you feel emotionally triggered.

1. Give yourself permission

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You must have your own permission to feel and express your innermost emotion. Feeling is the key to healing. Most of the time, we suppress our feelings as we believe we are not allowed to feel certain emotions like anger, anxiety and depression. Due to social pressure, we often feel compelled to feel happy and act nicely and be ‘strong’. So we refuse to face our emotional pain as crying is considered a sign of weakness, albeit wrongly.

When you give yourself the permission to feel all emotions and express them freely, you gain power over yourself. Then you’re able to control your emotions by releasing them instead of storing them and getting controlled by your feelings. This is how you start the healing process. Although some of these feelings will make you feel uncomfortable, you must allow them to surface without getting attached to them or avoiding them. Observe your emotions, acknowledge them and let them go. This will enable you to react objectively. 

2. Don’t judge yourself

“Judgments prevent us from seeing the good that lies beyond appearances.” – Wayne Dyer

Non-judgment is one of the most important emotional tools you can utilize to release feelings stuck in your body. Whenever you feel emotionally triggered and feel like indulging in addictive behaviors like alcohol or food for comfort, make sure you don’t judge yourself. You need to understand that our body and mind is programmed to look for joy, satisfaction and pleasure. We never seek discomfort intentionally.

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So when you are feeling pain, it is only natural for your mind to seek something that makes you feel better and soothes the pain. As long as you can control yourself, indulging in pleasure doesn’t necessarily make you bad unless you’re unable to control your addiction.

 

3. Release your emotions

“Feelings are much like waves, we can’t stop them from coming but we can choose which one to surf.’ – Jonatan Martensson

Once you’ve given yourself permission and stopped judging yourself, you need to release these negative emotions from your body. You can do this in a number of ways like yoga, meditation, cardio exercise or weightlifting or simply by shaking your body gently. You may also choose to listen to a song that resembles your emotions or you may choose to dance. Another simple yet effective way is to simply cry your heart out for a cathartic release until you feel emotionally & physically satisfied. All these options will provide a voice to your feelings and enable you to flush it all out.

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You can also try journaling to write down all your innermost feelings. Make sure you write it all down without holding yourself back. Once you have expressed all your sadness, frustration and anger on the page, simply burn it or tear it up for a symbolic release. It doesn’t matter what method you choose as long as you release what is stored in your emotional muscle memory.

4. Forgive yourself

“You cannot travel back in time to fix your mistakes, but you can learn from them and forgive yourself for not knowing better.” – Leon Brown

Forgiveness is a crucial tool that can help you heal yourself completely and move on with positivity. If you keep criticising yourself for past events, then it will affect your self esteem and confidence. It is highly unproductive and you will end up feeling terrible about yourself.

Realize that you have been through an emotional roller-coaster from hell and still you’ve managed to survive. So give yourself some credit for that. You might have lost your way a few times and have indulged in pleasure seeking to soothe the pain you’ve felt deep inside you. But you need to understand that you were only trying to do the best you can given the situation, on a mental, emotional and physical level. You did what you thought was best for you.

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Theo Harrison
Hey there! I am just someone trying to find my way through life. I am a reader, writer, traveler, fighter, philosopher, artist and all around nice guy. I am outdoor person but heavily into technology, science, psychology, spiritualism, Buddhism, martial arts and horror films. I believe in positive action more than positive thinking.
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