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Emotions in the Body

Updated: Mar 20, 2023

On this journey of life, all of us have experienced some type of trauma or event that has been hard to forget. These types of life altering experiences are not ones that we can simply “get over”. Traumatic experiences are profoundly upsetting and distressing on a more personal, and deeper level. These emotions and experiences lie dormant in our mind and body, being unprocessed.

Trauma changes the way our brains and our bodies work. Our brains adapt to what our minds perceive to be a threat to us, emotionally or physically. These emotions and memories can get trapped in the deepest parts of our mind, even being hidden away for years. However, physical symptoms can begin to manifest as a result from harboring the traumatic stress. Many believe having this emotional energy trapped in our body, can actually attract more of it into our lives.

"In order to change, people need to become aware of their sensations and the way that their bodies interact with the world around them. Physical self-awareness is the first step in releasing the tyranny of the past.” ― Bessel A. van der Kolk

Every emotion is felt differently in our body, which usually will lead to where the emotion gets trapped in the physical body. As an example, anger, fear, and anxiety is shown to mainly be felt in the chest and upper body. This emotional to physical body experience has resulted in many studies being done, eventually leading researchers to categorize feelings into five groups. These groups are negative, positive, cognition, homeostatic states, and somatic states. Emotions that aren’t dealt with become stored in our subconscious, coming to a point where it affects our body.

Ways Emotions Show Up in the Physical Body:

  • Dizziness

  • Headaches or Migraines

  • GI or Digestion Issues

  • Back, Hip, or Joint Pain

  • Cold and Shaky Hands and Feet

  • Sweating

  • Cramping

  • Twitching of the Eyes or Face

  • Constant Lump in the Throat

  • Tears

  • Rashes or Skin Conditions

  • Constant Stomach “Butterflies”

  • Rapid or Difficulty Breathing

  • Unexplained Chronic Pain

A Few Ways to Release Trapped Emotions:

  • Acknowledging the Feelings and Emotions

  • Actually Working Through the Trauma

  • Doing Shadow Work

  • Physical Activity and Intentional Movement

  • Practicing Meditation, Mindfulness, and Stillness

Things that Help the Process of Releasing these Emotions:

  • Journaling

  • Meditation Combined with Physical Movement (Yoga, Stretching, Qi Gong, etc)

  • Meditation Oils, Essential Oils, or Aromatherapy

  • Joining a Support Group

  • Spiritual Cleansing (Smudging or Bathing)

  • Crystal Therapy or Healing Stones

  • Self Care & Taking Care of Oneself

  • Seeking Professional Help

  • Anything that Makes You Feel Good & is Healthy for Your Healing

By making the attempt to move past and heal these emotions and traumas, we can find ourselves feeling better and more lively in all of our bodies- physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Emotions are energy in motion, they are meant to be felt out and released. Otherwise, our body processes them in more unpleasant and unexpected ways. Love yourself, and care for yourself during the process of healing. It takes time, and it is by no means easy. This process can look different for everyone but the end goal is ultimately the same. Be patient with yourself!

Love & Light ~

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