Feel the feeling but don’t become the emotion. Witness it. Allow it. Release it. ~ Crystal Andrus
Do you notice repeating patterns of troublesome emotions that erupt your life and disturb your peace: the same angry responses when someone’s innocent comment pushes your buttons, the same conflicts in relationships despite your conscious efforts to be different, the same sadness, depression or sense of hurt when you feel blamed or attacked, the same fear when you are faced with the challenge to take risks or embrace change?
Can you relate?
Truth is, many of your reactions source from the influence of unconscious emotions that have been triggered into reacting. These hidden emotions also play a powerful role in your behaviors, beliefs and choices in life.
- You might impulsively buy a car you can’t afford without realising that the underlying motivator might be that you are trying to heal your feelings of shame and sense of unworthiness.
- When you get angry, feel hurt, or withdraw, these reactions can come from old emotions that are buried in past experiences that can stretch back as far as childhood and even your birth.
- The cellular imprint of stealth emotions can sabotage relationships, diminish self-confidence, and generate false beliefs about who you truly are and about how you fit in the world.
The natural desire for emotional healing…
When we are physically hurt, say we cut our finger, there are natural healing responses that the body activates to stop the bleeding and heal the site of the wound.
This same natural healing tendency exists on an emotional level as well. Even though your subconscious emotions are problematic and not readily accessed, they, like your physical body, are always trying to become conscious so they can be healed.
“Emotion is the chief source of all becoming conscious. There can be no transforming of darkness into light and of apathy into movement without emotion.” ~Carl Jung
Physiology of Emotional Wounding
When an emotionally triggering event occurs, the brain responds with physiological reactions such as a tightened stomach in response to anxiety, an increase in heart rate during a fearful experience or crying when grief is present. The brain also stores the emotion that includes the physical sensations of those responses at a cellular level. These unacknowledged emotions and memories often remain unconscious for years until something that is not working in your life causes you to investigate and resolve the hidden wounds.
For full healing to occur, release is needed at the cellular level and it is the breath process in Breathwork that can gain access to these hijacking emotions.
The Healing Power of Breathwork
The focus of Breathwork in emotional healing takes place in essentially three steps:
- Noticing and identifying the signature sensations of emotions (tightness, nausea, hot, cold, tingling, pain) that occurs. During a Breathwork session, the sign that the breath is breaking through the defences happens when body sensations arise.
- Acknowledging the presence of the sensations and allowing them to flow through you brings suppressed emotions to light and can allow the release of cellular memory and traumas as well as any pent up grief, fear, resentments and anger from life experiences.
- Releasing by expressing the suppressed emotions can occur through tears, vocalisations, or movement.
It is only after acknowledging the presence of hidden emotions that they can be released and healing can happen.
During Breathwork, the release of emotions is often layered. With each release, more energy becomes available which provides the net effect of greater inner peace and a sense of unrestricted flow of energy in the body. This is the point at which healing begins to take place and more positive emotions begin to surface. You might experience a deep sense of divine bliss or unconditional love or joy.
The moments of emotional release in Breathwork represent a corresponding freedom in life. When you break through emotional barriers that have long held you hostage, and sapped your life-force, these emotions ultimately lose their impact because the ‘story’ (experience) that embedded the emotion in the first place is also released. The result? Less drama, more free energy, more peace, more joy and…more authenticity in your life.