As humans, we are constantly experiencing a range of emotions. From joy and happiness to anger and sadness, our emotions can be both positive and negative. It is important to allow space for all of our emotions in order to live well. In this blog, we will explore the idea that we should allow space for all of our emotions to exist in order to live well. We will look at ways to recognize and acknowledge our emotions, utilize breath and movement to explore our emotions, understand how ignoring negative emotions can be detrimental, how to use meditation and mindfulness to recognize if we are holding onto emotions, and how trauma can be held in the body.
Part 1: Feeling your emotions
The first step in allowing space for your emotions is to recognize and acknowledge them. Take a few moments to pause and check in with yourself and notice what is arising within your body. Once you have recognized and acknowledged your emotions, it is important to give yourself permission to feel them without judgement or shame. You can also differentiate between primary and secondary emotions. Primary emotions are the initial emotion that arises within us while secondary emotions are reactions that are often caused by our primary emotions. For example, if we feel anger (primary emotion) we may also feel guilt or shame (secondary emotion).
Part 2: Realising emotions through breath and movement
A somatic movement is a form of movement that focuses on connecting with the body in order to explore sensations and feelings. This type of movement can be used to explore and release suppressed emotions. Breath and movement can also be used as tools to explore our emotions. By taking slow, conscious breaths and focusing on the body sensations associated with the emotion, you can gain insight into what is causing the emotion and how it is impacting your body. Mindful breathing is an effective way to help manage intense or overwhelming emotions. By taking conscious breaths and focusing on the present moment, you can help ground yourself in the present moment and manage your emotions in a more effective way.
Part 3: What happens if we ignore negative emotions
Ignoring or suppressing negative emotions can be detrimental as it prevents us from processing these emotions in a healthy manner. It can lead to long-term mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Ignoring negative emotions can also lead to a variety of physical and mental health issues such as heightened stress levels, increased risk of illness, difficulty concentrating, low self-esteem, relationship problems, sleep disturbances, and more.
Part 4: How can meditation and mindfulness allow us to recognise if we’re holding onto emotions
Meditation and mindfulness are powerful tools that can help us become aware of held emotions. Through meditation and mindfulness practices such as yoga, journaling, and mindful walking, we can become more in tune with our bodies and recognize any held or suppressed emotions. Once we have become aware of any held or suppressed emotions, it is important to take time to process and release these emotions in a healthy manner. This could be done through talk therapy, body-focused interventions such as yoga, Pilates or massage, or creative outlets such as art or music.
Part 5: How do we hold trauma in our body
Trauma can come in many forms such as physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, loss of a loved one, natural disasters, etc. Trauma can have both short-term and long-term effects on physical and mental health such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, insomnia, physical pain, etc. Trauma can be stored in the body in the form of physical sensations such as tightness in the chest or stomach or chronic pain. These sensations are often caused by suppressed or unprocessed traumatic experiences. Body-focused interventions such as yoga, massage therapy, breath work, meditation, etc., can be helpful tools for processing trauma stored in the body. These interventions can help release pent-up energy associated with traumatic experiences and help process these experiences in a more positive manner.
This blog has explored the idea that we should allow space for all of our emotions to exist in order for us to live well. We have discussed ways to recognize and acknowledge our emotions, utilising breath and movement to explore our emotions, understanding how ignoring negative emotions can be detrimental, how to use meditation and mindfulness to recognize if we are holding onto emotions, and how trauma can be held in the body.
The main takeaway from this blog is that it is important to allow space for all of our emotions in order for us to live well. We must recognize our feelings without judgement or shame, utilise tools such as meditation or mindful breath work to process these feelings effectively, and take care not to ignore or suppress negative feelings as this can lead to long-term physical and mental health issues.