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.
If you haven’t heard of trauma release exercises, it’s essentially when you intentionally have your body induce tremoring in order to shake out old, buried stress and tension. One of the easiest ways to do this is to lie flat on your back with your feet touching and your knees spread apart. Then, verrrrry slowly bring your knees together until they start shaking and keep your legs in that position so that the tremoring continues.
Congratulations, you’ve just induced a trauma release exercise.
5. Continue to breathe
Remember, whether you’re doing TRE, verbally encouraging your emotions to expand in your body, or lying down and bawling your eyes out, continue to breathe deeply.
Your conscious breathing allows the movement of the emotions to continue to flow throughout your body.
6. Allow your emotions to be there without judging them
If you feel overwhelmed by anger and you need to hit your pillow against your bed, go for it. If you need to scream into a pillow with frustration, that is allowed. If you need to hold yourself and sob uncontrollably, that is fine too.
Whatever you need to feel, it is all alright. Simply allow the emotions to be there without judgment.
There is no proper way to do this exercise. Your process will often seem to be interrupted by an incoming emotion but it is never actually interrupted. The point of this overall process is to allow whatever the feelings are that come up.
If you feel numb, then feel numb. If you feel sad, then allow yourself to be sad. There is no proper order there is no success there is no failure. Simply be with whatever comes up, as it comes up.
Your only goal is to allow your emotions to happen.
What To Do After Feeling Your Feelings
After a certain amount of time, it may feel like your emotional processing session has run it’s course. Whether you’ve been feeling your feelings for five minutes or five hours is irrelevant. The fact that you’ve been self-loving enough to even attempt to feel your repressed emotions is commendable enough.
Here are some good, loving steps you can take to honour yourself after your emotional processing.
1. Wipe away your tears
Or let them dry on your face. Either way, tend to yourself as you like being tended to.
2. Be gentle with yourself
Take a bubble bath. Eat some dark chocolate. Lie down for a nap. Wrap yourself in your favourite soft blanket. Sink into your favourite self-care practices.
Whatever your heart tells you is the most self-honouring and self-compassionate step is likely the best course of action for you to take.