5 Steps To Processing & Releasing Suppressed Emotions
As a child and young adult I struggled to process and release my own emotions. I often resorted to distracting myself and partaking in toxic habits to take the edge off and numb or avoid feeling my emotions. The more I suppressed my emotions, the more anxious and overwhelmed I became. This pattern of behaviour led me to physical and mental fatigue in my mid to late 20’s, resulting in deep depression and contemplating thoughts of suicide.
Every feeling we experience in the body is attached to an emotion and memory of the past, and those memories are stored in the subconscious mind. The body believes it’s experiencing everything in real-time, when in truth it’s just reliving memories and emotions from when you were a child. The body holds onto trauma because as a child you may have not been given permission by a parent figure to express yourself or your environment wasn’t a safe and secure one.
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Over the past 2 years, I’ve made some significant strides in releasing childhood trauma. I’ve been able to do so because I have not only become aware of where the roots of my anxiety stem from, but I have familiarised myself with a process that has allowed me to move through my emotions from a position of detachment.
I practice the 5 steps below on a daily basis. This has allowed me to create a strong bond and connection with my body, building a deep inner trust with my soul and spirit. I have now provided a safe and secure environment for my inner child to express himself and continue moving through healing and growth.
Although suppressed emotions can be painful and uncomfortable to process, it’s a vital part of healing and letting go of the past. When you let go of the past you create more space in your heart and life for something new – something better.
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Here are the 5 steps to processing and releasing suppressed emotions:
Build a rapport with your inner child
Start connecting with and trusting in your body. It’s about getting out of your head and into your body more. Do NOT focus on all the physical symptoms of anxiety. Focus on the part of your body where you feel the most tension/discomfort and place your hand over it. Begin speaking to that part of your body as you would a child, giving them permission and encouragement to express themselves.
Sit in the discomfort, observe & breathe
Allow your emotions to flow through you and sit in that discomfort. Separate yourself from the thoughts you have in those moments and observe your behaviour. Focus on your breath and take in a few deep belly breaths, and release slowly. Once your breathing has returned to normal, take some time to get the energy flowing in your body again by going for a walk or doing some exercise.
Be compassionate, supportive & reassuring
Start to approach your inner child with tender love and care. They need to know that you love and accept them, you’re always there for them, and that they are safe now.
Support your nervous system with daily rituals
Practice daily rituals to support your nervous system and get your body into a natural flow and rhythm. Get the body moving and words flowing, and practice deep belly breathing and meditation.
Set boundaries, encourage & empower
Practice setting emotional boundaries and encourage & empower your inner child to express themselves. whenever your inner child is acting out and emotions are heightened, just sit back and observe. Any time these new boundaries are violated, it’s your job as the adult to change the narrative of the story. Over time your inner child will become familiar with the new story and your nervous system will start to calm down rather than operate in fight-or-flight mode.
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