Of course, there is the autonomic nervous system’s stress response to danger. But there is another stress that plagues humans today. The silent killer that doctors are warning us to lessen and avoid, but they are not telling us how to lessen or manage.
Having eczema (a stress-related disorder) most of my life has inspired me to learn about eczema’s root causes; stress being one of them.
It is highly likely that you were never taught how to feel your emotions.
You were likely taught how to avoid, suppress, and distract your Self from your emotions.
You were taught to eat when you were emotional, watch tv, or focus on something other than your emotions.
Living on a cruise ship, I watch people hand their kids food, give them a screen, or move their attention away from their kid’s emotional cause ALL THE TIME.
This teaches kids the opposite of how to feel their emotions; handed down from generations.
This is normal.
You are normal if your automatic response to emotions is away from them instead of towards them.
Maybe you are like me, you have realized this way of living is a problem, and you have decided to invest in learning about your emotions.
Here is what I have learned:
Emotions are simply physical vibrations in your body, caused by thoughts.
The big scary thing that you have been taught to avoid is simply a physical vibration in your body.
Emotions cannot harm you, the worst they can do is make you feel uncomfortable.
Sad: heavy, tight.
Angry: hot, tense.
Something like this, we all have our own physical vibrations.
And they all need to be processed.
When you don’t process your emotions then they actually become problems; like depression, anxiety, and stress.
It is the resistance, the avoidance, and the suppression of emotions that is the actual problem.
Think of all the overeating, over-drinking, and over-working that are done to avoid feeling.
All the negative effects you create in the act of not feeling.
What do you do to avoid your feelings?
Curious to try something different?
Learn to feel. Lean in, instead of away.
It is always awkward at first; learning how to process and feel your emotions.
Expect awkwardness and discomfort.
Learning anything new is uncomfortable.
Next time you have a negative feeling (usually negative emotions are the ones you were taught to avoid), open towards it and experience the physical vibration of it.
- Get curious.
- Describe the vibration.
- Notice the physical aspects.
- Let it move through you.
- Try not to think too much.
- Just feel and observe.
The act of allowing your emotion will begin the processing of it.
This, in and of itself, will lessen your anxiety, depression, or stress.
When you do not allow your emotions then they build up in your body.
(I think this is one of the causes of chronic diseases.)
Of course, there are more layers.
But this is an excellent start.