It’s a human tendency to express emotions freely and openly. But for some reason, as we pass through the various phases of life, we learn to trap our emotions. We are unable to release them appropriately, which gives rise to many complications. So how to release the trapped emotions stored in your body?
To release the trapped emotions stored in your body, you must first introspect and recognize them. You have to work on self-expression to release the emotions and practice self-care to ensure these emotions don’t get the better of you.
Unfortunately, it’s easier said than done. Indeed, a lot of people are unable to even recognize the suppressed emotions, let alone deal with them. This not only affects their overall outlook on life but also has an impact on all the relations. Therefore, releasing the trapped emotions is mandatory, and it’s time you get down to it before they complicate your life any further.
What are Trapped Emotions?
Trapped emotions are complex and intense emotions that get stuck in you. It is never easy for someone to deal with trapped emotions.
Where Are Emotions Stored In The Body?
The truth is that we hide our feelings all the time. We deny uncomfortable emotions in an attempt at self-preservation; that is, we have turned on a kind of protective mechanism.
Whenever you experience an emotion, your body reacts accordingly. The mind and body are deeply connected. If you process your emotion, you move on. But if the emotions are suppressed, your body feels the stress.
The processing of emotion occurs in the limbic structures of the brain. Your mind constantly receives all sorts of information which triggers it to generate appropriate autonomic nervous system responses. The brain then sends signals to the body, activating the right emotion. To put it in simple terms, you feel what your brain tells you.
If for some reason, you don’t process or face the emotions, they become trapped in your body. Hence, you experience symptoms like muscle tension and pain. The likelihood of emotions being trapped is directly related to their intensity.
Emotions are trapped because you are unable to express what you are feeling. As a result, you have a lot of baggage that you keep carrying around. This weighs you down, draining your energy and impacting your mood.
Let’s face it. Everyone experiences trauma in some form. Life experiences like a major change, breakup, death of a loved one, loss of job, or being a victim of violence or discrimination all contribute to your trauma, leading to volatile emotions you aren’t ready to deal with.
Hence, these traumatic experiences affect your cognitive processes. They explicitly affect your memory as your brain tries to downplay the incident.
The question is, where are these emotions trapped? You must have noticed tightness in your chest whenever you face a frightening or worrisome situation. This is a sign of trapped emotions.
Studies have revealed that emotions like anger and anxiety lead to increased chest and upper-body activity. The unprocessed emotions can also affect your body posture due to muscle tension.
The raw emotional energy is stored in our organs, tissues, and muscles. As they continue to be trapped, they give rise to many health problems and affect your overall wellbeing.
How To Release Trapped Emotions?
Releasing emotions stored in the body is essential for your health.
There are three steps to handle the emotional energy stuck in your body.
In order to process negative emotions and release them from our bodies, we need to learn how to express them healthily. But first, we need to understand how to recognize and accept our feelings.
Step 1: Recognition (Introspection)
The most critical trapped emotions release technique is to recognize the emotion and feel it in your body, that is, to recognize it. We must understand and realize what is happening and experience this feeling as a whole without judging ourselves for it.
Buddhist teaching tells us that the cause of human suffering is the rejection of what is happening and resistance to it. But acceptance, on the opposite, can free us from the negative, and we should accept the truth instead of trying to escape from it.
We must perceive any difficulty with compassion for ourselves and the understanding that this will eventually pass.
We need to fully experience this feeling to process and integrate it into our experience internally. Practice mindfulness to better recognize your feelings and to be able to observe the bodily sensations associated with these feelings when they arise and disappear throughout the day. Passing through complex emotions, show compassion for yourself.
Practice: Sit calmly for several minutes with your eyes closed. Be curious and listen to your body. What is your body feeling right now? Do you feel pressure or tingling sensation? In which place? Do you feel heavy, warm, tight, or cold? What are the feel and shape of the sensations you witness in your body?
What emotions are these feelings associated with? What do these parts of your body want to tell you? What do they really need?
Step 2: Answer (Self-Expression)
To process releasing stuck emotions, we must express them. Your task is to move the energy of emotions through the body, which allows you to let them go. This self-expression must be genuine and organized.
Remember that true healing only happens when the combination of body and mind occurs. Therefore, first of all, try to express emotions at the physical level.
Ask yourself: how would you like to throw out the emotion you are experiencing?
Maybe you want to cry, scream at a pillow, swim, walk, run or dance, hit a punching bag, do gardening, draw your feelings or breathe deeply while looking at the sun – at this moment, you can do anything that will cause inside you catharsis. Let the stress come out of your body.
Thanks to this, you will be able to take off your shackles and free yourself from the toxic emotions that you carried in yourself. One of the best forms of emotional healing is keeping a diary. This can be an excellent therapeutic experience of self-knowledge, reunion with our true self, and the processing of the deepest feelings and emotions.
Thus, we allow finding a voice in our inner world.
Writing is a great way to process and understand what is happening inside and around us. By writing about our fears and pains, we get the opportunity to look at them from afar and, in the end, let them go. This liberation can be truly healing.
Try to take notes every day to better express and process your feelings. Do not judge or censor yourself by splashing out all your emotions on paper in a completely unfiltered form.
Over time, your diary will become your security territory, which will allow you to break the deadlock and move forward. We often do not have enough time or space to process the emotions we experience, and daily journaling will be your opportunity to experience the feelings you experienced during the day.
Record request: What is happening in your life that you would like to change now? What is the most significant source of frustration for you? When you write, give attention to the sensations you experience in your body. Focus on places that are numb or in pain. What is the body trying to tell you this way? What exactly do you need to work on to heal or change this?
Step 3: Reset (Personal Care)
The best way to release trapped emotions is personal care. We are used to neglecting our bodies and ignoring our feelings. But finally, the time has come to take care of yourself.
Take a moment to take a break and be alone, take a walk in nature, do creative work, listen to music, cook your favorite dish, meditate to clear your mind and relax your body, take a bath with foam or take a nap. Take care of yourself to experience the joy of life and the simple pleasures that will nourish your body, mind, and soul.
Trapped emotions stand in our way. They undermine our efforts to create the life we would like to live in and make us unhappy. The release of emotional energy stuck in our bodies can turn our lives for the better. It is a healing and liberating experience. And you deserve it!