Emotions, 'Emotional Baggage' and Healing Your Inner Wounds
Emotions are complex psychological and physiological responses to certain stimuli or events. They play an important role in our lives by helping us to understand and navigate our environment and relationships.
Let me guide you through some of the main functions of emotions:
Communication: Emotions help us to communicate our internal states to others through nonverbal cues such as facial expressions, body language and tone of voice. This can empower us to build and maintain relationships and to understand the emotional states of others.
Motivation: Emotions can motivate us to take action. For example, feeling angry or frustrated can motivate us to change a situation, while feeling happy or content can motivate us to maintain a positive state.
Self-regulation: Emotions help us to regulate our behaviour and physiological responses. For example, feeling anxious can lead to increased heart rate and muscle tension, while feeling relaxed has the opposite effect.
Memory: Emotions can enhance our ability to remember specific experiences. Research suggests that emotionally-charged experiences are more likely remembered and recalled than neutral experiences!
Mental and physical health: Emotions can also promote better mental and physical health and overall well-being. Scientific research consistently demonstrates how powerful positive emotions are to our self-esteem, levels of happiness, a positive mindset and healthy body.
In contrast, chronic negative emotions can contribute to mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety and even physical illnesses.
You have already experienced emotional vibrations, even without realising. Let me explain what they are and how they come about.
Emotions can be thought of as vibrations or energy within the body. Each emotion has its unique vibration, which can be felt in the body. For example, anger is often associated with tightness in the chest and shoulders, while joy is related to a lightness in the chest and a feeling of warmth.
Emotions can also be thought of as having a particular frequency or wavelength, similar to sound or light waves. Positive emotions such as love, gratitude and peace are thought to have a higher frequency or vibration, while negative emotions such as fear, anger and sadness are thought to have a lower frequency or vibration.
Some people believe that by becoming more aware of the vibrations or frequencies associated with different emotions, they can learn to shift their emotional state to a more positive one. This can be done by using visualisation, affirmations and mindfulness techniques. Additionally, certain practices, such as meditation and yoga can help raise the body's overall vibration, leading to feelings of greater personal power, clarity, peace and emotional balance!
Emotional wounds and trapped emotions
Emotional wounds occur as a result of being exposed to a disturbing event(s) that the nervous system is unable to cope with. Traumatic events can include experiences such as childhood abuse, neglect, loss of a loved one, relationship difficulties or bullying.
Emotional wounds can manifest in various ways, such as sadness, guilt, anger, fear or shame, and can also lead to physical symptoms such as headaches, stomach aches and fatigue.
Examples of emotional wounds can include:
Childhood trauma, such as physical, emotional or sexual abuse.
Loss of a loved one, whether through death, divorce or other separation.
Exposure to war, terrorism or other forms of violence.
Bullying, harassment or discrimination.
Exposure to natural disasters or accidents.
A serious illness or injury that causes physical and emotional pain.
Trapped emotions refer to emotions that an individual has not fully processed or released. These can include anger, sadness, fear, guilt or shame that may have been suppressed or repressed due to a traumatic or emotionally charged event. Trapped emotions can occur due to past traumas, unresolved conflicts, or other emotional experiences that the individual has not fully dealt with.
This stuck emotional energy can manifest in a number of ways and symptoms including anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, chronic pain, nightmares, PTSD or difficulty in forming healthy relationships.
There are different ways to release trapped emotions. Some people may find that talking about their feelings with a therapist or counsellor can help to release trapped emotions. Other methods include body-centred therapies such as somatic therapy, emotional freedom technique (EFT) and other energy healing practices.
Healing emotional wounds
Healing emotional wounds can take time and may involve different methods depending on the person. Here are the four main ways to heal emotional wounds:
Conscious processes: involve actively addressing emotional wounds through verbal communication, such as in talking therapy with a therapist or counsellor. This can include different talk therapy forms, such as cognitive-behavioural or psychoanalytic therapy. During these sessions, individuals are encouraged to explore their thoughts and feelings and work through unresolved emotional issues.
Unconscious processes: refer to healing during sleep and dream states, which may involve the mind processing and resolving emotional issues. Research suggests that dreaming can be an effective way for the brain to process, organise and make sense of emotions and experiences from the day. These brilliant processes happening on an unconscious level can lead to improved emotional regulation and overall well-being!
Somatic healing: focuses on addressing emotional wounds through the physical body, such as yoga, massage and other body-based practices. These practices can help individuals to become more aware of their physical sensations and emotions and to release tension and emotional pain stored in the body. See my blog How past trauma can live in the body to learn about how our body responds to trauma and the key symptoms of living in the survival mode.
Subconscious processes: involve accessing the subconscious mind through techniques, such as meditation and hypnosis, to heal emotional wounds and address underlying patterns of thought and behaviour. This can include visualisation, affirmations, regression and other methods allowing to locate and release trauma in areas of the brain not normally accessed through the conscious mind and language.
Emotions and physical health, releasing emotions and healing
Emotions and physical health are closely connected. Our emotions can affect our physical health in various ways. For example, chronic stress and negative emotions such as anger and sadness can lead to the release of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, which can have adverse effects on the body, such as increasing the risk of heart disease, stroke and other health problems. An example of this would be a person who experiences frequent anger and resentment towards a loved one, which could lead to physical symptoms such as high blood pressure and migraines.
Releasing emotions is allowing yourself to experience and express your emotions healthily and appropriately. This can involve talking about your feelings with a therapist or trusted friend, engaging in activities that allow you to express your feelings, such as writing, listening to music or finding other healthy outlets. For example, someone who has lost a loved one may find it helpful to talk about their feelings with a therapist or join a support group to process their grief and find ways to cope with their emotions.
The wound is the place where the light enters you. - Rumi
This quote by the famous poet Rumi suggests that emotional wounds, although painful, can also be a source of growth and transformation. It implies that human being can gain insight and understanding by facing and healing emotional wounds, leading to personal growth and a more profound sense of self-awareness. The quote also shows that healing emotional wounds can bring light and positivity into our life.
Emotions are powerful drivers of behaviour and decision-making. They act as a compass for our actions, guiding us towards or away from certain situations. They can motivate us to take action, whether to solve a problem, achieve a goal, or avoid danger. They also serve as a form of communication, allowing us to express our internal state to others and understand the emotional states of those around us - our loved ones, friends and colleagues.
Not only are emotions absolutely essential for our survival, but they give our lives colour and meaning. Being attuned to our emotional bodies enables us to access wisdom and healing power, which move us to ever-increasing levels of wellness and awareness.
Emotional wounds can be deep-seated scars that linger long after the initial trauma has passed. A wide range of experiences can cause them, and healing these wounds requires a courageous journey of self-discovery and self-care, where individuals must confront and process their emotions head-on.
Trapped emotions are often the root cause of these wounds. They are emotions that have been repressed or suppressed, and ignoring them only prolongs the healing process and allows them to fester, causing further harm to both the mind and body. To truly heal, it's essential to confront and release these trapped emotions, allowing them to be processed and put to rest.
It's important to remember that everyone's emotional healing journey is different and personal. And while it's important to release and process emotions, it's also important to work with a professional therapist to help guide the process, as some feelings and emotions can be overwhelming and challenging to handle on our own.
Love & light,
Holistic Transformative Therapy
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