Recognizing and Acknowledging Emotions in the Body

As I sit here writing this I can feel the grief in my chest, the anger in my arms, and the nerves in my stomach, all while having love flooding my entire system. Yes, it sounds like a storm and that I can't grasp what is really happening, but in reality I'm feeling all of these emotions at once. 

hand on heart feeling emotions in the body

Last night I was a part of a women's circle and we were invited to state aloud anything we would like to say. My first reaction was 'what would I say that would be of value?' My second reaction was to my own thought that I needed to provide anything for the sake of another. The invitation was to state something that needed to be spoken in order to be released from my inner world, for my own well-being. Then we come to my third reaction. What I really wanted to acknowledge, what I really wanted to bring voice to. 

So I said aloud "In the past year I have learned that grief, bliss, anger, and love can all co-exist in my being at the same time." 

It's when I don't make room for all of the emotions to exist and keep pushing through that I start to feel ill; by way of nausea, migraines, etc. Our bodies are always speaking to us and letting us know when something is getting stuck. It's our job to quiet the mind enough to be able to hear the body when it's whispering so it doesn't have to shout before we hear it. 

Here are a few ways I have found it helpful to recognize the emotions in my body and release them. This is all from my own personal experience. I am not a professional ;)

1. Connecting within by quieting my mind. I do this by putting one hand on my heart and one hand on my stomach and saying to myself "I love you, I'm listening". Letting my body know that I am present and that I am loved. Sometimes when I practice this I may gently sway from side to side allowing any movement that needs to happen to just happen. 

2. Acknowledging what feelings are really there. I tend to want to find compassion and forgiveness right away without acknowledging the hurt or the anger that happened. Trying to always see the silver lining doesn't leave room for the not so shiny emotions. I have had the biggest breakthroughs when I just acknowledged that I was in fact hurt, I was indeed angry, and yes they can have room within my being to be felt, seen, and ultimately when ready, lovingly released. These not so glamorous emotions have an important place within me. They are the ones letting me know something is not in alignment with my highest good or the highest good of those around me.

3. Pausing after big events happen in order to allow my emotions and physical sensations to catch up with my mind. Because of my past experience with trauma, my default mode is to take action, to fix, and to do whatever it takes to get out of whatever hell-scape of a moment I may be in. This is like kicking the can down the road and it always catches up with me. So allowing myself downtime, rest, reflection, and nurturing care after a startling experience, I am able to shorten that window and let the emotions flow through without getting so stuck. 

You may be thinking, ok so now what? So are we all supposed to be swept up in our big uncomfortable emotions? Short answer, yes. It's when we stop avoiding and turn to face whatever emotions are coming up that we allow healing and transformation to really happen. And you know what else? By allowing ourselves to feel all emotions fully we also get to experience the bliss, joy, happiness and gratitude more fully as well. Our bandwidth of emotions grows.

As I finish writing this I can feel the anger slowly drain from my finger tips, the fire cool in my chest, and the warmth of love wash down from my face and over my shoulders. 

So I encourage you to tap in, acknowledge, and lead with love and compassion as you explore all of the emotions that are hiding within.

With so much love and gratitude, Jessica.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published