Feeling takes time and space.
Business can drown out our ability to feel deeply. It’s interesting how – especially the big feelings can become difficult to notice.
Feelings that won’t show up consciously, will show up in the body
Sometimes I will place my hands on my tummy when I go to bed at night, and say: my tummy aches. Sometimes this would be the first time in the day I had a chance to pause and notice how I am feeling.
And I am actually quite surprised. And even wonder what did I eat or do wrong that it aches. Sometimes, I will take a pill and hope it goes away. And you know what? It never does.
Recently, my tummy ached again. It was during a time of stress and lots of changes coming my way.
When I placed my hand on my tummy and listened to why it aches, I was surprised to realise that I was feeling soo much.
I was aching so deeply, and yet – I couldn’t see it for the whole day, as I was running around, working, going about my day.
I didn’t allow myself to feel all that was there it until that moment. All the resistance to the changes, fear, sadness to let go, pressure of the stress. So I lied there silently in my bed, listening to what my body was telling me -all these emotions were raw and intense. But it was true and honest.
Inexplicable migraine, tummy ache, sore traps or neck. Has this ever happened to you?
It might be a migraine, tummy ache. Tight and sore shoulders and traps, frozen shoulder or a stiff neck. I am not saying that all these things are always caused by what is going on in your mind and your body – but they often are.
We all have our go-to physiological response to stress, a set of strategies to avoid what we don’t have the capacity to process. It’s useful to know yours. Learn to know your own body signals that something is going on under the surface.
You may already know what yours are, or maybe you have never thought about it until now. it’s time to take a note of how your body responds so stress, pressure or difficult situations.
You have uncovered your strategy to postpone difficult emotions, but what to do with that knowledge?
You may have already discovered that simply knowing what your go-to storage area is for difficult emotions, is not enough for the pain or discomfort pain to go away.
Just knowing what is happening will not help you on it’s own, the same way a flu won’t disappear just because you know it was caused by a virus. To release the physical symptom of stress, you will need to move through – process the emotion or experience that you have put off.
You need to also find a strategy that helps you process emotions and experiences.
Here are some techniques that you may try to help process your experiences:
- Verbal: sharing, verbalising, writing about experience
- Mindful movement: yoga, tai-chi, or free flow dance, somatic techniques to bring you into your body
- Intense movement – with intention to feel and process shutdown – like running or boxing
- Creative processing: Art therapy, Music therapy, singing
- Processing by creating space: Meditation, Nature walks, or hikes.
All of these have one thing in common – creating time and space to process and feel. Some emotions are not easy. It’s ok if this process takes time.
Don’t get fooled by businesses.
Don’t skip time to be with yourself. The feelings won’t go away – they will wait for you – in your own body.
Listen and observe for what your body is telling you and learn to know what are your go-to storage strategies.
Listen and observe again – what strategies to process resonate the best with your body and your mind?