Trapped emotions, negative emotions and releasing emotions… What’s it all mean? It’s something we talk about a lot here on Shift your BS, Goddess because it’s what we do in our work and often in our play together too! But what are these trapped emotions and why do we need to release them?
Firstly I’d like to get one thing straight… no matter what you’ve heard up until now, our emotions are wonderful! Our emotions are a guide for us, a compass. They help us to gauge what’s going on for us at any given moment.
I think we learned very early on in our lives that emotions were bad. We shouldn’t show them, we shouldn’t feel them, we shouldn’t express them. We should push them down and ignore them. It wasn’t your parents’ fault for teaching you this, they were only doing what they thought best at the time with the knowledge they had. After all, they were taught the same, their parents were taught the same and their parents, parents were taught the same too.
As a child, if you were crying you were told to ‘shhh’, if you lashed out in anger you were put in time-out, and love and connection were taken away from you. Funny thing is, guilt and shame were quite welcomed, go figure!
The truth is emotions are amazing guides into showing us, teaching us and allowing us to see, what we truly need to see.
Trapped emotions can affect many people in different ways. You might notice you get frustrated and angry easier, you feel sad more often, you have more self-loathing and perhaps even loathing of others more than you ever thought possible. Whatever way you express this will vary from person to person, but the important thing to remember is that it isn’t you, it isn’t who you are. These trapped emotions are like bricks of a twelve-story building. Each brick might represent each time you felt anger or sadness and each brick compounds the next.
In order for an emotion to move on, to flow through you and not store inside your body, you need to feel into the emotion. To do the complete opposite of what you’ve been taught to do. You need to allow it to be there, to look at it with kindness in your heart and to see it as an opportunity to learn and grow.
Emotions release once we gain the lesson of what that emotion was there to teach us. When I’m working with my clients I use timeline therapy to allow them to go back to when they first felt that emotion, to look at it from a new perspective from their adult eyes and to see what there was to learn from the emotion, allowing the emotion to dissolve and the person to move forward in their lives.
So it’s important if you have an emotion that keeps cropping up in your life to sit with it, lean into it. Allow yourself to feel it no matter how uncomfortable that may be in that moment, the discomfort will pass, it doesn’t take very long. Just allow yourself to see what that emotion is there to show you, teach you and how you can learn and grow from it.
Where do you feel it in your body, what does it look like, where did it come from? Asking yourself questions like these will help you find the lesson in which you are being called upon to find, to heal from and in turn grow in your journey.
Remember that some emotions cover up others, so if you sit in anger for a little while and then notice sadness rise to the surface then it’s time to sit in the sadness. You’ve probably been avoiding this sadness for a while and it’s important to address it. If fear comes up allow the learnings to come through from it, same with hurt, same with guilt and with any others.
You will soon find this process provides you with clarity and a new sense of awareness. One that will carry you forward in much more fulfilling, joyful ways than you could have ever dreamed of.
Want to learn more about trapped emotions? This is an excerpt from Hayley Latham’s book Be You, Do You, For You. Find out more from her book or check out www.hayleylatham.com to learn how you can work with her to release your trapped emotions.