You know what we all need? A big, fat cry! Yea. Let it out! Cry already! We live in a culture who has trained us to NOT CRY! You guys, that's a load of crap. We need to stop this cultural belief that has caused all of us, especially men, to become a pile of stinky and decaying emotions we never tended to.
Can you tell how I really feel? I'm sorry if that offended you. Actually, I'm not. If it did, then you just got a "check your engine light" notice. It only offends you, if there's a smidgeon of truth underneath it. Yea, that one hurts. Go cry about it. LOL!
Seriously my friends, we need start feeling, if we want to start healing. There's no other way thru it. We've been taught to stop crying (or I'll give you something to cry about). We've been shamed for crying. We've stifled our emotions out of fear of rejection. We've buried and pushed. We've eaten. We've ran. We've crossed our eyes from all our time on social media. We've lashed out. We've punched things. I could go on and on, but if we had just acknowledged and been permitted to feel the feelings when they were standing in front of us, we wouldn't still be sitting here with all these unresolved emotions we know are killing us, but we don't even know what they are.
So, I'm going to give you some strategies. Emotions are my super power. You know why? Because I was overloaded with them also. I was a hot mess express. I could cry on a whim. I was angry and bitter, and resentful and mad as hell at the whole world. And then one day, I was done, and this is where I started. It's untangling all these messy emotions that would shine the light on all the other areas I needed to work on. For me, emotions, are one of my strongest pathways to growth. I deal with them now, usually pretty gracefully. I rarely cry now actually. My family waits for me to lose it, and I don't. If you saw how kick my tears fell before this, you would be shocked at how far I've come. You can do it too. Here's some ideas:
Feel them - Ugh!!!! Seriously?! I don't want to!!! I'd rather eat some potato chips, or a piece of cake. I'd rather melt my eyeballs and scroll thru my social media feeds. I'd rather drink a beer, or light up a joint. I'd rather kick the dog or sleep. We have so many ways to avoid our feelings. So many distractions! I'm sorry, but you can't distract yourself forever. I mean you can, but it probably means you're dead, because if you do, that's where you are headed. Those emotions don't just go away, just because you ignored them. They got buried in your body. They are lurking somewhere, ready to attack. They cause pain, yes physical pain, when they build up. Almost ALL of our physical pains can be traced right back to unfelt emotions and needs. So, when you start to address those emotions, you actually also start to become healthier. You start to not need the chips, the cake, the social media, the beer or whatever it is you use to "binky" yourself from dealing with the pain.
I know this isn't an easy request. We don't know how. We've all spent a lifetime conditioned not to, but you can learn. I promise. We actually first have to unlearn it. We have to recognize we didn't learn how to deal with our emotions correctly. And then, we accept that. You are going to want to blame. I did. Darn parents! It's okay. You can do that. Kick and scream for a little while, but when you are done, let's stop blaming, because our parents did the best they could, with what they knew also. They weren't taught this stuff either. Now that you are thru your temper tantrum, let's just imagine what it would be like to be in complete control of our emotions, instead of our emotions controlling us. Feels good doesn't it? Our next step is to understand what they want from us, and then we start to take some action plans to help them move thru. Here's a method, I use sometimes daily. I have good weeks, and bad, just like you. Sometimes, I've got a full grip on all my emotions, and sometimes I've slipped back into my 2-year-old self and I'm carrying around my blankie and sucking my thumb. It's okay. It's progress.
TEE-OFF Method- I live on a golf course, so somehow, I'm always using golf balls or in this case, golf terms, in my analogies. This one setups the vision of teeing up a golf ball, and swinging it out of here!!! Here's what it stands for:
T- Trigger (Identify your trigger. "My husband never comes home from work on time.")
E- Emotion (Identify the emotion this brought up. You can use an emotion/feeling wheel from the internet for help, because it's definitely very hard in the beginning. I created my own emotion box (available for purchase), that allows me to actually pick up the emotion(s). I'm very tactile and this has been a magnificent tool to help me discover and process my emotions.
E- Embodiment (What on earth is that? It's taking it one step further and recognizing where your body hurts, when you think of this emotion. Very foreign concept to most of us, but it's integral. You need to know where that emotion lives within you. Why? Because you are going to destroy it. Just kidding. Bad approach, bad language, not loving at all. Let's start over. Because you need to show it love and attention, so all that stored up negative energy will see the light and leave you the heck alone. :)
O - Offense (Let's really identify the offense here. Your husband not coming home from work on time is offensive to you because? Because you made dinner and now it's cold and that's disrespectful? Because you need help with the kids and he's just not thinking of your needs? Because he said he would, and didn't fall thru? Because you are lonely and need someone to talk to? The trigger is the first step, but what pulled the trigger?)
F- Fall Back (When has this emotion happened before?)
F-Fall Back Again (Go further back and identify when this happened. You can keep going and going, if you want to, but I get tired after about two and just can't emotionally process much more than that)
I recommend you do this process in a journal. It is much more effective. It's like downloading this junk out of you. That brain to paper connection is powerful. When you are all done, try to see what story you can get out of this, and then if you want to continue with that story, or change it. For example, if my trigger was "my husband never comes home from work on time," my actual story is, "I believe that my husband doesn't love, respect or value, or else he would be home when I asked." That's a B.S. story. It has nothing to do with you. Your husband is always late because he's bad at time management, or he's overwhelmed, or he has no boundaries and can't tell people no at work. It's not about you. It's about him. What is about you, is how you react to it, and how you respond to this issue. That's the only thing you actually have control over.
Let's find some other ways we can help process thru our emotions:
Sleep - It's basic. It's necessary. We become monsters when we are tired. We are more prone to anger and frustration. It's just biological. Get enough sleep. Period. A good night's rest is a game changer. And your dreams, they are a super valuable tool in working thru emotions. They have so much to tell you and teach you, but you can't dream, if you don't sleep!
Scents/Oils - We don't give our little noses enough credit for how much they control us. Bake a batch of chocolate chip cookies and see how long it takes before you want one. You think they aren't using that as a marketing/advertising measure as you walk thru the mall? Oh heck yea they are. You can buy machines, loaded up with chocolate smells and circulate them thru your story, and yes, it does increase sales. So, why not use that same theory and use it to your benefit? Essential oils have been used forever, and they work. A scent can actually help bring forth an emotion. I use them all the time, but in conjunction with my Tee-Off system. They work as a booster, but not alone.
Positive People - If you are surrounded by toxic, negative people, feeling your emotions is that much harder. And, if you are like me, you take on their emotions also. So now you are a whirling pool of your emotions, mixed with whatever negative energy they are spewing out. It makes you feel like you are drowning, in a pool, full of pee, yours and everyone else's. Gross. Get out of the pool and find people who don't pee on your parade.
Meditation - Game changer you guys. I'm not going to tell you it's easy, when you have a body full of unresolved emotions and a head full of insane monkeys. Start small. 5 minutes. Start with guided meditations. If not, sitting quiet just makes those monkeys even louder. Whatever you do, just start. It changes your brain. It eventually silences the monkeys (mostly) and it lets you gain enough clarity to unpack those emotions. For me, it's connecting to the divine, and the divine has a lot to share with me, so I kinda want to listen.
Creativity - Find your outlet. If you don't know it, what did you love to do as a kid? I loved to color. Still do. I also did poetry. Great outlet, and writing. Superb for me. Some people can paint their emotions out, or draw them. It's a real thing. It's called Art Therapy. What about dance or music or yoga? Whatever it is, find it and do it. Give yourself a creative outlet as much as possible. It's so helpful to connect to that part of yourself again.
Embodiment - We talked about this in the Tee-Off process earlier. It's basically learning to find where those feelings are in your body. They have something to say. Get quiet and listen to them. Feel them. Accept them. Help them move on.
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT or Tapping) - I can't say enough about this method to help move those emotional energies thru. It's a simple, free process that you can find tons of info and videos on. I highly recommend using this tool as often as possible.
Animals - There's a reason why there are so many emotional support animals. They bring us unconditional love and comfort. I learn from my dog daily, and cat. One is full of tude, and has no issues asking for what he wants, loudly and annoyingly. The other is full of loyalty and will go on a walk 78x a day, if I ask him to, in the pelting rain, or freezing cold, because he just loves life no matter what it throws at him. It's their simplicity I love. They aren't holding onto their emotions. They express them and then move right on (though I will say cats hold grudges, which is a lesson in itself!)
Journaling - Another game changer for me, and anyone else I've recommended it to. This is like saving files on your USB drive so you don't lose all that space on your computer. It allows our bodies to download all this stuff onto paper that doesn't belong stuck in our bodies. It's highly effective. Not only is it a creative outlet, but it's also a nice reminder of how far you have come. Look back and you will see just how much you have grown!
Mindfulness - This is hard, in the beginning, just like meditation. Take it in steps. I used to fill my walks with podcasts and music, so I wouldn't have to think. As I got stronger, I found I was able to be alone with my thoughts and not shut down. I started leaving my phone at home. I started breathing deeper, looking at the sky, admiring nature, and I started really connecting with that divinity again. I've gotten more great ideas on my nature walks than anywhere. Just start small. You can even just start by brushing your teeth with the opposite hand, or slowing down your meals and paying attention to every bite you eat. It teaches you to acknowledge this moment, right now, and not keep going backwards, or forward, which is what causes anxiety.
Energy Work/PEMF - Emotions are trapped energy that we need to help move thru. There are many energy techniques out there, if you are ready to look into that. I love using quantum energy. I also have a PEMF device, which uses the Pulsed Electro-Magnetic Field to change your frequencies. We are constantly getting hit with the bad EMF's thru our phones, towers, and technology. This helps eradicate them, but it also helps process emotions thru. I like to wear mine when I'm working thru my Tee-Off process, with my oils also.
Awareness - This is where it all starts, and where we will end today. You can't fix or work thru anything without this. You have to first be aware that you not dealing well with your emotions. That's okay. You are never to old to learn. After that, you have to start being aware when you've been triggered. Most of us just get mad, or upset and we blame someone else for triggering it. We don't stop and look inward, we just shoot off an accusation and blame their behavior for your reaction. I catch myself doing it sometimes also. It's wired into my subconscious, and it's been one of the hardest habits to break. However, when you commit to understanding why you were triggered and what caused your offense, you have just opened up an incredible box of sunshine. You have taken the first step to taking control of your life, and you won't be sorry. I'm not going to tell you that it's always roses and sunshine. It's a process, that comes with growth, and sometimes growth hurts, but your option is no-growth, and that means you are dying. Which one would you prefer?
For more insight onto these tools, check out my podcast on this subject also!
Angela Miller is a "Wholistic" RN and a Human Potential Life Coach. She is passionately pursuing her purpose to help others remember who they are and how to become their best self using her 4-wheeled, balanced approach system.