The secret language of your emotions

The topic for the next couple of posts is balancing the throat energy centre and finding courage to own your voice. The whole idea of a well-balanced throat energy centre is cultivating the ability to know your truth and then communicate it with confidence with the world around you, either through speech, art, or other forms of communication. Knowing what your truth is, however, can be tricky. This week we’re learning about using the language of our emotions to teach us about our truth.

If the family dynamics in which you grew up didn’t display emotional literacy it is possible that you often feel confused, overwhelmed by, or completely cut off from your emotions. The word emotion comes from the Latin root word “emotere,” which literally means “to move out.” Your emotions are the energy within you that wants to be seen, invited, and fully felt. 

Here are a couple of facts about emotions:

  1. Emotions are influenced by the levels of chemicals in the brain. After we perceive a trigger (something scares us, makes us happy, or makes us remember something from the past etc.), a cocktail of chemicals gets released into the brain. 
  2. Emotions have a life cycle. After the trigger causes the chemicals to be released, we start to notice this chemical change, and start to feel the emotion. If we process the emotion, give it space, and allow the energy of the emotion to move, the emotion will eventually reach the end of its life cycle and we’ll be back in the “neutral” zone. If we, however, don’t acknowledge and process the emotion, the energy will need to find somewhere to go.
  3. Unprocessed emotions get stored in the body, especially in the muscles and the connective tissue. Over time this can cause problems and manifest in the form of illness or tension. 
  4. We can release these pent-up emotions through movement. Massage and embodied practices like yoga, conscious dance, shaking, etc., can help to remove energy blockages. That is why some postures or ways of moving the body can trigger different emotional states and result in crying or laughing.

Your emotions are your truth about how you experience what is happening in your life. Each of them communicates messages from your subconscious mind, and informs you about the next steps you need to take. Your anger, for example, is a notice that someone or something crossed your boundaries, and that you need to assert yourself. Your anxiety may be a message that you need to surrender to the flow of life and release control. And your desire points to the experiences you want to have, and ways in which you want your life to blossom.

How to work with emotions? 

Emotional literacy can be learned, and through that, you can develop the capacity to hold space for your emotions, extract their messages, and release their charge. Here are a few steps you can take to work through your emotions:

  1. As soon as you notice the emotion, resist the urge to distract yourself from it or impulsively act on it. 
  2. Localize the emotion in your body. Close your eyes and ask yourself: where do I feel this emotion the most?
  3. Connect with your breath, and send the breath to the area in your body where you feel the emotion the most.
  4. Ask the emotion what its message is.
  5. If the emotion was heavy and strong, complementary to breath, you can also intuitively move or shake to release it.

Journaling prompts for self-reflection:

  • What emotions do you deny yourself to feel? 
  • Close your eyes and invite in a feeling you usually don’t like to experience. What is it about it that you dislike? Imagine it not as a part of yourself but as another being who wants to communicate something to you. What is it that it wants to communicate?

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