After giving up alcohol in 2017, it wasn't long before I was flooded with feelings and emotions I hadn't felt in a very long time.
I started drinking because that's what everyone else was doing, and even though I didn't care too much for drinking, I still did it anyway. I learned "how" to drink from my peers, who later ended up battling addiction, so my consumption was almost always in excess.
Later, it became my way of being "me", a way for me to blend in and not feel just how out of place I was always feeling. Long story short, once alcohol was removed from my life, those feelings rose to the surface and I was forced to begin dealing with them.
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In this blog post, I want to share a lesson I learned very early on in my sobriety that taught me how to release these negative emotions, that were heavy and uncomfortable.
There are many ways to release emotions, so I wanted to take some time to share a few of those ways, so you, too can be free to fully feel those emotions and turn them into something beautiful.
EMOTIONAL RELEASE DEFINITION
Let's start here: releasing emotions stored in the body involves releasing and overcoming stuck emotions like anger, sadness, guilt, grief, and hurt within both the mind and the body.
We do a terrific job shoving down unpleasant feelings and emotions, numbing them out in a number of ways, including:
scrolling endlessly online
We trade the unpleasant and uncomfortable emotions for short-term pleasures that almost always have a harmful lasting effect. The longer we go without dealing with and feeling through these heavy emotions, the more damage and harm we end up causing our body, mind, and soul.
HOW TO BEGIN RELEASING EMOTIONS
I have shared openly that I have stored emotions of anger and rage, that was more deeply rooted in fear.
All those years of neglecting to deal with those heavy and uncomfortable emotions were causing me to live in a vicious cycle of drinking-hungover-anxiety-wash-rinse-repeat.
Once I broke free from alcohol, those emotions were right there waiting for me.
I had always wanted to work out, to be in the gym, getting fit, and helping my body stay healthy with movement, but never could commit.
About 45 days into quitting drinking, I decided I would begin working out since I had this newfound level of energy. I would plug in my earbuds, go to the free weights and start my workouts, and soon, I was literally getting lost in my workouts, as the emotions I hadn't allowed myself to feel for so many years were finally able to be felt, to be freed, to be expressed, and to be released.
I curated playlists that were loud and angry, and it wasn't long before I was working through years of stuck and suppressed emotions, right there on the gym floor.
It was my therapy.
It was my outlet.
It was my time each day to go to those places I never allowed myself to go and really go deep into those parts.
...and the by-product was building a body that I had only thought possible for those featured on magazine covers.
I realized I had a structured way to tap directly into those emotions and feelings, and I was transforming some of the most hurtful and shameful parts of my life into something so beautiful.
In order to begin feeling through your own emotions, consider these points:
what amount of time can you commit to each week for yourself?
what outlet can you discover and utilize that is of interest to you?
what feelings can you pinpoint that you just don't want to deal with?
what area of creativity might you be willing to try out?
WAYS TO RELEASE EMOTIONS
There are a number of ways to release emotions in the mind and body, but to give you some ideas and examples, to help you jumpstart this incredible alternative therapy, here’s some awesome outlets to try out:
movement: working out, cycling, running, jogging, walking
art: drawing, painting, illustrating, designing, sculpting, building
write: journaling, blogging, writing a book
rage rooms: controlled environments where you literally can smash things to bits
outdoor activities: hiking, swimming, surfing, kayaking, snowboarding, skiing
music: creating, singing, listening, dancing, writing
...and the list goes on and on.
PLEASE NOTE: I am not a doctor and I am speaking purely on my own personal experience and journey towards healing naturally with all-natural wellness practices. If you have any questions about what might work best for you, please make sure you consult with a doctor before trying alternative remedies and therapies mentioned here or in any of my other blogs.
If you're not sure where to start, try one and see how it goes!
There is no right or wrong way, and you might find multiple techniques that work for you.
You'll know when you have found something because it will evoke something inside of you that you never felt before, like a weight has been lifted...THAT is what you're going for. THAT is the release of that emotion that I want for you.
TIPS ON RELEASING EMOTIONS
As I close out this post, there are a few tips to keep in mind as you begin to release stuck emotions:
try to schedule your preferred method when you don't have much else to do afterward. Allowing yourself some time afterward to experience the residual effects of the release is really important.
try not to edit the feelings. If you're frustrated, let the frustration show up how it wants.
try not to hold back if a big wave comes barreling in, as long as you are in a safe environment.
re-visit the emotion or feeling as many times as you need. Most emotions won't be cleared the first time it is felt.
if nothing comes up at first, begin channeling those situations in your life that you beat yourself up over, those times in your life you wish you could have a re-do, or those moments that caused serious pain, guilt, hurt, trauma, etc.
There's a terrific article on Deepak Chopra's 7-Steps to Releasing Emotions that you might find helpful, that further illustrates the importance of releasing emotions that I wanted to include in this blog post. Deepak Chopra is such a wonderful person to gain wisdom from, so I highly recommend his words and wisdom when you decide to this practice.
I fully understand that this work is not easy.
As you may know, I am a practicing herbalist who recommends using beautiful plant medicine to complement your healing journey, and this work is no exception.
To help nourish the body as you begin to release old emotions and feelings, I would recommend turning to CBD. The nervous system, in particular, takes a toll when we first begin feeling our emotions, so to help assist and support the nervous system, consider taking CBD and give some extra love to your body as your release and let go. I highly recommend the tincture blends that can also complement some other areas you may be struggling in. Use code 'PLANTLOVER' at check-out and you'll save 15% off your order!
Once you find the practice for you, you will be amazed at just how transformative it can be for every area of your life, should you allow the time and space with just a few hours a week to begin feeling and releasing the years of suppressed emotions.
I hope this helps shed some light on the ever-popular topic of "feel the feels" and I would love to hear how it helps you in the comments below!
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Check out the other blog posts I have on alternative therapies, that can help complement this practice.
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