Have you been carrying a lot of emotional baggage? Do you feel like there are unreleased emotions that are trapped within you? Do you feel like there are a lot of unsaid words or unexpressed emotions that you’ve been holding inside for a long time?
The pain you’ve been hiding, the tears you’ve been holding back, the anger you’ve been bottling up, the regrets that you’ve been trying to forget, and maybe even the laughs that you’ve never laughed out loud.
Do you feel all of it trapped inside your body, and it’s literally having a toll on your mental and physical health.
If your answer is “yes”, your body is literally trying to tell you something extremely important. All the superficial symptoms that your body is expressing like being tired all the time, binge eating or loss of appetite, low immunity, chronic pains, etc might possibly be an indication of some deeper unlying emotions that are stuck in your body.
This might seem like a metaphysical, theoretical concept, but it’s actually all physical.
There’s an entire field of study called Psychoneuroimmunology (Psycho-neuro-immunology) that has emerged in recent years which studies the relationship between our mind and our body. How our psychology and emotions can have a direct physical impact on our health.
The trapped emotions or the past traumas that our bodies might be holding can manifest in the form of constant tightness and pain in the upper body, mainly in the neck, shoulders, and chest region. It can even manifest in the form of some chronic conditions and diseases.
It’s important that we learn to process our emotions fully and allow them to pass through us instead of them staying stuck somewhere within us. Below we’ll be looking into some proven techniques that’ll help you get it all out of your system while being able to process all those thoughts and emotions in a healthy manner.
Here are 6 Practical Ways to help you process your thoughts and let go of any trapped emotions that have been negatively affecting the quality of your life.
1. Allow Yourself to Recognize and Acknowledge the Trapped Emotions
Have you ever noticed that oftentimes we have some lingering emotions that stay in the background influencing the colors of our life? We usually don’t realize and acknowledge them consciously, but they keep hanging around in the back, casting a shadow on whatever we do during the day.
It’s like they set the tone for everything we do, and determine the “state of mind” that we’re in.
When we are in a bad and disempowering state of mind, we tend to perceive and experience almost everything accordingly. We tend to find faults and problems even in the good things that are happening for us and even when things are going in the right direction. It’s like we become determined to self-sabotage our life, health, and relationships under the influence of those emotions.
It’s important to first consciously acknowledge whatever you’ve been holding on to.
Confront those memories and feelings that keep repeating themselves within you in some way, shape, or form. Whether it is in the form of past moments replaying in your mind over and over again, or in the form of subconscious fears, anxiety, bitterness, or anger.
Now, avoid judging those feelings and don’t try to get rid of them just yet.
Just acknowledge them, respect them, and know that they are there. Notice them whenever they come up, observe the flow of those feelings, and observe how they are influencing your thoughts and behaviors.
Notice how they are influencing your worldview.
Also notice, in which part of your body do these emotions feel the strongest and just bring it into your awareness.
2. Allow Those Emotions to Flow “Through” you.
Find a safe zone where you feel completely comfortable and allow those trapped emotions to come up.
If you feel like crying, cry it out.
If you feel like screaming, grab a pillow, bury your face in it and scream at the top of your lungs.
If you feel like laughing, laugh out loud.
If you feel like hitting something, grab the poor pillow again, and punch it! Kick it! Smack it! Maybe Give it a backhanded slap!
Just don’t hold anything back at that moment. Let it all flow through. Forget about what others would think. Right now, your health and well-being are the most important.
If you feel like talking to someone, talk to someone who understands you. You can also go to a good therapist who’ll help you process your thoughts and emotions.
Still, if you don’t find any human to talk to, there is always God who understands you the most. Pour your heart out to Him.
3. Write it out!
Writing is one of the best ways to process your thoughts and emotions. It’s not only cathartic but it also helps you gain clarity.
You don’t have to be a writer to write. Just keep a personal journal where you write down the happenings of your life and whatever you are feeling at the moment. Let everything flow out onto the paper.
When you’re done expressing your emotions, in the end, write down the following questions and take your time to answer them:
a) What part of me is hurting or is feeling uncomfortable?
b) What does this part of me (that is holding these emotions) need from me?
c) How can I help this part of me to heal fully and become whole again?
d) What higher purpose is it serving in my life? What Wisdom is God wanting to teach me through this?
4. Breathe into the Part That Needs Healing.
The trapped emotions are not only stuck in the mind, they are literally trapped with the body, within the muscles, tissues, and organs.
Have you identified where is it that you are feeling these trapped emotions in your body?
Do you feel a heaviness in the heart, tightness within the chest and lungs, or discomfort in the belly, or tightness in the shoulders, neck, and facial muscles?
Once you’ve identified what part of you is hurting and needs healing, breathe deeply into your belly and into that part where you are feeling those emotions.
Allow your body to expand as much as it can as you deeply breathe into your soul. Make it the deepest inhale you’ve ever taken, and the largest, most relaxing exhale you’ve ever experienced.
As you breathe into the area of discomfort within your body, allow all those trapped emotions to flow out of your body every time you exhale all the air out. Visualize in your mind and body, all those trapped emotions flowing out of you easily and effortlessly like a breeze, while knowing that every single deep breath is healing you more and more.
5. Shake it Off Physically
This is an essential part of releasing those trapped emotions. YOU’VE GOT TO PHYSICALLY SHAKE THEM OFF OUT OF YOUR SYSTEM.
You can simply do this by doing any form of exercise that allows physical expression. However, there are some other specific techniques that you can do right now. Here are a few of them:
a) Stand up and shake your arms and legs. Shake your head. Do what feels good. Allow your body to loosen up fully, letting go of all the tightness and stiffness.
b) Stomp your feet on the ground and let all the trapped anger and frustration flow out of your system. Be careful not to hurt your foot though.
c) Stand on your toes and drop your heels to the ground, allowing the entire body to vibrate and shake as your heels hit the ground. You can see in the image below how it is done.
d) Another one is a tapping technique where you tap your entire body to release whatever stress, tension, or trapped emotions your body is holding. (See the description under my YouTube video HERE for more details on how to do it).
6. Draw it Out!
Express your emotions through art. You don’t have to be an artist to do that, just pick up some paints or a pencil, whichever you feel comfortable with, and express your feelings by drawing or painting something that represents you within that moment.
This allows you to express the painful emotions in an artistically beautiful way. I have personally found this to be an extremely cathartic and liberating experience.
While writing this article, I wanted to make sure that the techniques for releasing trapped emotions are simple yet effective so that you can incorporate them into your daily life without needing much preparation or time. You can easily include several of these in your morning routine or at the end of your day.
I would suggest that you not only try these techniques once but make some of them a regular habit. We all know that life is not linear. It has its ups and downs and is full of challenges. Having such habits that allow us to heal, and help us process our thoughts and emotions while enabling us to gain clarity along the way, are crucial tools that must always remain in our arsenal.
I’m eager to know about your experiences with these techniques. Let me know in the comments below 🙂