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How to Feel Your Emotions

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Eric "Herbie" Watson, Aug 23, 2014.

  1. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Here’s how:

    Notice where you feel the emotion you are currently experiencing. Where in your body does this emotion reside?
    Chest? Stomach? Head? Wherever it is, place your attention there. You do NOT need to know what kind of emotion it is (i.e. sad, afraid, mad, etc.).
    Watch the emotional sensations in that area of your body. Follow the sensation with your mind, just noticing what it does. It might look something like this:
    I notice a warm, tight sensation in my chest. It’s kind of swirling in there. It seems to be getting bigger. Now it’s spinning really fast. Oh, some of it is moving down my arms now. My fingers feel a little tingly. It’s getting warmer, and now it’s like hot steam moving around in my chest, and it’s even in my legs a bit. In my chest, it’s a little looser, and that warmth is less intense.
    You’re simply noticing and narrating the experience in your mind, paying attention to anything the energy/sensa-tion does within your body. Breathe complete, whole breaths as you do this observation. Notice if you start to hold your breath and let it flow again. No fancy breathing tricks are necessary - just let your body breathe from the low belly. If you need to yawn or take in a quick chest breath in between deeper breaths, do so.
    As you get more experienced with this process, you’ll be able to just kind of float along with the emotional energy, not trying too hard to label the sensations and simply riding them like waves.
    The emotional energy may dissipate and leave, or it may seem to just stay there in your body. You get to decide when you want to move on and stop the experience, which helps it to feel less overwhelming or scary.
    A great practice is to experience the emotions for about three to five minutes, and then do something else, even if they haven’t dissipated. This feels do-able, is highly effective, and allows you to choose what works for you.

    Results:


    I had finally heard the wisdom my body was sharing. I had finally realized what was causing me to NOT be able to get out of the self-imposed stress, tension, and panic loop. I was feeling better about everything in my life. My whole being was pain-free, not just my body. Something deep in my heart seemed to be healed, and though I would of course go on to learn much more and discover deeper and deeper confidence, clarity, and self-love, I was
    finally, truly on the well-being path.
    What wisdom was my body sharing? It was pretty simple.

    Kindness

    My body was showing me how my daily barrage of mental self-judgment, harshness, and pressure was wreaking havoc on my ability to experience joy, passion, and love and to be who I am. I had all the self-healing tools available to me, but I hadn't been able to fully experience their benefit. My mind
    was so busy beating me up that any guided imagery or breathing session was only a momentary respite from the barrage. The moment I stepped back into real life, the tension came slamming back into my body and the pressure filled my being.

    Be different.
    Change.
    Make yourself better.
    Do more.
    Achieve more.
    Be thinner.
    Be prettier.
    You suck.
    You suck.
    You suck.

    So what happened when I read Dr. Sarno’s book?

    FIRST, he made me see that I was engaging in all of these mental patterns, like self-judgment, that were causing intense internal pressure.

    SECOND, he made me realize that I was using those mental patterns to avoid feeling emotions, which were scary, vulnerable things that no self-respecting smart woman like me would allow to get in her way.

    THIRD, he made me wake up to the fact that I had to focus on feeling emotions or I would not fully heal.



    THE KEY TO HEALING: Abigail Steidley
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2014
    tarala likes this.
  2. blackdog

    blackdog Peer Supporter

    I have some difficulty with this practice of feeling my emotions in my body. Do they sometimes actually feel like a bodily sensation, such as a heavy or tight muscle in your chest area or a lump in your gut? This is so foreign to me. Will the body often react such as the stomach clenching or is this just a self-imposed substitute for the emotion?

    Andy
     
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  3. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    I believe you named a lot of ways you will feel your emotions, remember not to judge them or criticize them or fear them and do it for 3 to 5 minutes at a time and then move on with your day, ok.

    Remember how she says to do it ok:

    Notice where you feel the emotion you are currently experiencing. Where in your body does this emotion reside?
    Chest? Stomach? Head?
    Wherever it is, place your attention there.
    You do NOT need to know what kind of emotion it is (i.e. sad, afraid, mad, etc.).
    Watch the emotional sensations in that area of your body.
    Follow the sensation with your mind, just noticing what it does. It might look something like this:
    I notice a warm, tight sensation in my chest. It’s kind of swirling in there. It seems to be getting bigger. Now it’s spinning really fast. Oh, some of it is moving down my arms now. My fingers feel a little tingly. It’s getting warmer, and now it’s like hot steam moving around in my chest, and it’s even in my legs a bit. In my chest, it’s a little looser, and that warmth is less intense.

    You're simply noticing and narrating the experience in your mind, paying attention to anything the energy/sensation does within your body.
    Breathe complete, whole breaths as you do this observation.
    Notice if you start to hold your breath and let it flow again. No fancy breathing tricks are necessary - just let your body breathe from the low belly. If you need to yawn or take in a quick chest breath in between deeper breaths, do so.
    As you get more experienced with this process, you'll be able to just kind of float along with the emotional energy, not trying too hard to label the sensations and simply riding them like waves.
    The emotional energy may dissipate and leave, or it may seem to just stay there in your body. You get to decide when you want to move on and stop the experience, which helps it to feel less overwhelming or scary.
    A great practice is to experience the emotions for about three to five minutes, and then do something else, even if they haven’t dissipated. This feels do-able, is highly effective, and allows you to choose what works for you.
     
  4. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Blackdog. I had a really hard time feeling my emotions when I first started working on my TMS as well. It took me a lot of practice working with a Somatic Experiencing therapist. I am not saying you need to work with a therapist but I just want to be encouraging. This is something you can learn. There is always a physical sensation associated with whatever you are feeling. It just takes practice to learn how to pay attention and sense it. I suspect a lot of us with TMS are a little lost in our minds and a little disconnected from what is going on in our bodies. Perhaps this is because the physical pain is overriding so much of what we are feeling, that is what it is trying to do, distract us from what we are feeling. Its interesting because what I have learned on here to work with anxiety also has to do with sensing the physical sensations associated with the anxiety and then accepting them. And it really works. A good place to start is to just sit with yourself quietly and spend some time noticing what is going on in your body. You can start with asking yourself "How am I feeling?" If the answer is "I feel good" then ask yourself "how do I know I feel good?" What does good feel like in your body? What does feeling anxious feel like? Its not always easy, but if you are patient you will begin to be able to identify the physical sensations that are associated with your emotional state. They are there.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2014
    tarala and Eric "Herbie" Watson like this.

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