Sobriety was the first step to really living more mindfully and intentionally. The first thing I noticed in sobriety was how easy it was for me to suppress or numb my emotions. Even in sobriety, the moment I felt anxious or overwhelmed I found myself grabbing for my phone just to focus on anything but the emotions running through my body. I knew if I was going to stay sober then I would need to learn to get comfortable feeling uncomfortable because it became clear sobriety did not make me a superhuman robot who felt good all the time.
Let’s explore emotions and debunk some of the biggest myths I see many moms believe.
What are emotions?
Emotions are literally Energy in Motion. Emotions show up to get us to move. Imagine walking through the woods and seeing a bear; if you didn’t feel fear, would you have the inclination to run? Probably not. Our fear actually protects us when it is based on reality. We need emotions to drive us into action.
If we understand that emotions are energy in motion, then this also means this energy is meant to move through your body. So often when we ignore or even try to fix our emotions, we interrupt what emotions are created to do. Many of us are walking around with stored emotions in our bodies because we have not learned how to properly move them through. I am so passionate about teaching moms about emotions so that we can then model this for our kids and create healthier generations to come.
Three Myths About Emotions:
- Emotions are not good or bad.
- TRUTH: They are not right or wrong. Emotions are simply neutral information.
- Emotions need to be fixed.
- TRUTH: Emotions are like a check engine light indicating to look under the hood. We experience emotions when there is an unmet need.
- Emotions are caused by other people.
- TRUTH: This is a huge one to unlearn, but it will change your life. How do you learn to let go of something that you don’t think you own?
So often when we experience emotions that we deem ‘bad’, like anxiety or anger or resentment, we want to jump to just change our mindset and just think positively. If we don’t take time to process the emotion in our body, this is just another way to suppress the emotion. This is why I always teach to address the emotion first. I encourage moms to notice the emotion IN YOUR BODY, and then follow the steps below to stay there and out of your head.
How to process emotions IN THE BODY:
- Acknowledge that it is there. Where do you feel it in your body? Can you describe it with a color, shape, temperature, etc.? Sometimes I encourage clients to touch the place on their body that they feel the emotion and say ” I feel ______ in my ____.
- Accept and allow it to move through. Just sit and breathe and know that emotions come and emotions go. You are capable of feeling any emotion. Like the saying goes ” what we resist will persist”.
- Ask your body what it needs to express the emotion. Do you need to cry, shake, scream, speak, or move?
Processing emotions can feel very foreign for many of us, and that’s OK. I want to remind you that this is not something you master overnight. It takes practice, but the benefits of moving this energy through your body can be profound. I have personally noticed an increase in my physical health, as well as in other areas of my life. My business and my relationships thrive when I take time to process my emotions in my body instead of staying wrapped up in the mind and the stories that are attached to it. Our thoughts and stories play a huge role in our emotions and can absolutely help change our state of being in the future. But in the present moment our emotions still need to be processed first or a new thought will not stick.
Powerful thoughts to tell yourself when you experience emotions:
- I am capable of feeling any emotion.
- It is safe to feel.
- This too shall pass.
- Nothing is wrong.
Be gentle on yourself as you start relating to your emotions in a new way. Remember the more you get good at being with your uncomfortable emotions, the more acceptance you will gain for other people’s emotions which will only bring more connection into your life! Happy processing!