Q&A: Learning to feel emotions rather than suppressing them

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I tend to suppress my emotions and know that this creates pain. I've found that understanding them does not help, I actually have to learn how to feel them. How do I actually feel the emotions when I am conditioned to suppress them?

Answer by Lisa Morphopoulos, LCSW

Lisa Morphopoulos, LCSW

I agree that actually feeling your feelings can be an important part of overcoming TMS pain. This emotional "knowing" is also essential to healing in the psychotherapy process. A client of mine came up with a great idea recently: imagine yourself feeling the feelings. Close your eyes and actually picture yourself. See what comes up. Also, solo trips in nature can help. I just went hiking in Cold Spring and had a few moments where tears from nowhere came. Since I was alone, I could let them just be and let the emotions shake out of me without having to understand them.In retrospect,I was partly overcome with the beauty, though also, relieved to be close to myself once again.

Hope this helps, Lisa


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