Even if you believe that releasing painful emotions can improve your life, you may be reluctant to take that first step. Is fear stopping you?
Many people have the idea that working with emotions is going to dredge up all sorts of traumas from the past. The thought of reliving all that trauma can seem overwhelming.
If you are feeling uncomfortable right now, then this post is for you. I am going to show you that releasing the past doesn’t need to re-traumatize you. And I am going to give you three ways your life will improve when you finally let go of those painful emotions.
Curious? Keep reading…
It doesn’t have to be painful
Most of us are familiar with techniques that focus on changing our thoughts in order to change our emotions. You might be familiar with the idea of talking about past traumas to change how we feel about them.
There is another way.
You can work directly with your emotions. Emotions come from a different part of the brain. This is the same part that dreams every night (even if you don’t remember your dreams).
Here is an easy way to think about working with your emotions. You have a problem and you don’t have any idea how to solve it. Then, you have this crazy dream. Maybe you can fly. Maybe you are in a fantasy world. Yet, something interesting happens. That crazy dream gives you an idea or a new way to think about the problem.
Working with your emotions is a lot like working with a dream. You will be engaging your right brain and your imagination.
Here’s how it works
First, you describe your emotion as a poem or a metaphor. This is something you already know how to do. Here are some common emotional poems: a broken heart, a song in your heart, butterflies in your stomach, bubbling over with joy, or boiling with rage.
Then you work with the emotional poem, not the painful memory. For example, what heals a broken heart? Love. Using your imagination, you add an emotional poem that represents love for you. It could be a favorite grandmother, an angel, or a family pet. Allow this emotional poem to heal your heart.
Are you wondering if your imagination can help you heal? Studies have shown that imagining an experience can be as powerful as the actual experience. Did you ever find yourself feeling sad just remembering a past loss? Your imagination is more powerful than you know.
Try this. Remember a good experience. This could be winning an award, the birth of a child, a sweet family moment, or earning a degree. You get the idea. Now, step inside that memory. See what you saw; hear what you heard; feel what you felt. Use your imagination to make that experience even better. You might add music from a favorite movie or applause. You can make the colors brighter or more vivid. You can even add sparkles.
How did you feel when you changed your memory? Changing a painful emotion can be that easy.
3 ways your life will improve
Painful emotions from the past are holding you back from living your best life. Here are three things you may notice.
- Your stress level will go down.
- You can stop self-destructive behavior patterns learned in childhood.
- Your inflammation level will go down. This will improve your physical and mental health.
Painful emotions from the past affect you more than you realize. They are not something you left behind. They are still active in your life.
The process of releasing them does not need to involve reliving painful memories. If you want to read more, go to “Are you new to the site?” for background articles and instructions.
You can also download my free article: “5 Lies You’ve Been Told About Health and Happiness”. Look on the side bar or at the end of the post.
Don’t let fear keep you from living your best life.