Motivators will always tell you how to remain in a positive mindset and eliminate negative thoughts from your life. Problem is, when you’re going through difficult times, constantly striving to be positive will suppress feelings which are natural reaction experience that you’re having. Life is about having experiences and feeling things so all emotions, even the hard ones are important .
An emotion is like a wave. It has the flow. If it’s blocked it will create a dam-like effect causing a build up of pressure. It may eventually push through in outbursts like anger, panic attacks or erratic behaviour . It may conversely stay under the surface as a blockage resulting in depression or even manifesting as physical pain or health problems in the body. Many people can find alleviation of physical symptoms that they are experiencing, by tapping into unexpressed emotions and releasing them.
So where do we find a balance between positivity and honouring our emotions?
The solution is to ensure that you spend time honouring your emotions finding your own way to connect with them, then express and then release. Also have strategies to bring you back into a positive mindset and maintain it as your default normal status. You have to do both and the only way to work out where that balance lies is through getting to know yourself better.
Connect… Accept… Embrace… Release… Reset
Tips for navigating through this process
1. Take time to connect with your emotions and sit with them, allowing yourself to think about things that make you feel sad and face other feelings you find tough. Be alone for this time. EFT can be a really powerful for doing this. Music is also a really good way to tap into your feelings. If you are dealing with a lot of trauma I would recommend you speak to a qualified therapist when starting with this technique.
2. After a period of time spent on processing, make sure you provide yourself with an outlet to release. You might find that you cry. If not try something else. Shout, punch a pillow, do a yoga class, go for a run, dance or whatever feels right. Doing something active is really important. It’s crucial that you give yourself a way to let it out, so you don’t get consumed or overwhelmed by the feelings that come up.
3. Develop methods and rituals to regain a positive mindset as your default. When you wake up in the morning on a normal day, you should feel good, excited and motivated. Ok you may not be a morning person, but you should try to feel these emotions daily. Make that your goal. This is where you tune to those motivational videos, work on your vision and use techniques like NLP, affirmation, positive thinking and other methods. Yoga meditation, exercise and connecting with nature are powerful ways to lift your spirits. Find out what works for you to keep your general state of mind positive. Of course, when you’re going through challenging periods of your life it will be different. When shit hits the fan as it tends to do from time to time, place no expectations on yourself. Just be kind and accept and honour however you feel until things are better.
4. Never embrace rumination – This should be distinguished from a healthy process of engaging with negative emotions. Ruminating is dwelling continuously on your woes without releasing growing or moving any further forward. It can be hard to tell the difference sometimes, but if you get stuck in a negative thought cycles and low mood continuously, you have gone passed the end of this process. You need to find a way to boost yourself back into a good frame of mind.
5.Learn to identify signs of emotional build up that may not be obvious. Perhaps you will become unable to sleep or will find yourself becoming short fused. Digestive issues or hip pain can be a sign of emotional blockage. Depression, generalised feelings of tension or even intense feelings that you need to gut out your house can indicate an underlying need for emotional release.
If you approach your emotions in this way, you will experience personal growth but it may be tough. Sometimes I find that after spending time sitting with my feelings there is a delay before I am able to release. I feel low for a day or so, then it comes out. Sometimes can be hard to know how much time you need to feel emotional. Other times it can be hard to know if you should let yourself embrace bad feelings or cheer yourself. There are no hard and fast answers and but the more you tune into yourself and develop your self-awareness, it will become easier to work it out. Journalling can be a really powerful tool for finding your inner voice. Stick with it. Learning to listen to yourself may be the most important skill that you ever learn.