4. Locate your emotions in your body
At this point in time, you may start to notice certain areas that are more tense than others, or specific emotions that you may be able to name simply by feeling them.
You might notice things like, “I feel tense/anxious in my throat”, “I feel sadness in the pit of my stomach,” or “I feel anger in my chest.”
Whatever you notice, it isn’t right or wrong, bad or good. It simply is.
If you are able to, name your findings out loud (i.e., “I feel grief in my heart”) in order to validate your findings outside of your mind.
5. Thank them
Now, with whatever emotions you have found, thank them for being there and for allowing you to be aware of them.
As always, you want to say something in a way that makes sense to you.
You might say something like, “Thank you for letting me witness you, sadness”, or “Thank you for showing yourself to me anger.”
You can even take it up a notch by adding on, “You have a home here,” or “You can stay for as long as you need to, my beautiful friend.”
The point is to welcome the emotion into your body/awareness as you would a house guest that you’re glad to see. With grace, compassion, and kindness.
How To Process And Heal Your Difficult Emotions
Once you have located and possibly named the emotions that you have treasure-hunted in your body, it’s time to start expanding into them and allowing them to move through you.
And remember, if you are at a stage in your emotional journey where the specifics of what the emotion is isn’t clear to you just yet, that’s totally fine.
You don’t need to be able to label an emotion in order to feel it. In fact, the following steps might help you in multiplying the emotion to a larger state, and, as a result, it may become more clear what it is throughout the process.
1. Encourage them to be bigger
Now that you’ve touched base with the emotions in your body, it’s time to start encouraging them to grow inside of you.
The only way to allow your emotions to move through your body is to accept that they are there and to encourage them to have your full attention for a moment in time. It is the resistance of the fact that the emotions live inside of you that has kept them stuck for so long.
Encourage them to be bigger by saying things like, “Thank you, please show me more,” or “It is safe for you to show me more of this, sadness.”
Again, speak to the emotions as if they are an old, trusted friend. Be gentle and encouraging, and allow the feeling to grow in you, if only by allowing it to grow 5% at a time.
2. Breathe them into more fullness
If you feel like you can only coax the emotions out with words and encouraging phrases to a certain low ceiling, then it might be time to breathe them into more fullness.
Breathe deeply while consciously spreading your specific emotion throughout your body. For example, if you’re feeling anxiety in your stomach and throat, then mentally allow your anxiety to take up your entire torso, and then your entire body. Give it full permission to take you over while you surrender to it fully.
Remember, no emotion is permanent.
Even if this exercise results in some temporary discomfort, it will be well worth it because you will have allowed the stuck emotion to have all of your attention, after which it will be able to properly move out of you once and for all.
3. Tell them “thank you, please show me more”
Continue alternating deep breaths with encouraging words. Continue to magnify and expand the emotion throughout your body.
“You have a home here sadness/anxiety/grief/jealousy,etc.. Show me more. What would even more of this emotion feel like? Please show me, I can handle it. Thank you.”
4. Move your body/shake/TRE them out
If sitting or lying down feels too stuck or stagnant by this point in the process, you are fully allowed to stand up, move your body around, and let the emotion move you as it needs to.
This is also a good stage to practice trauma release exercises (or TRE) in order for your body to start to shake out it’s physical tension.