Most of us who live in the world of alternative healing understand that the word "emotion" means "energy in motion." E-motions help us process our environment and move us along in life. But sometimes we act on painful or negative emotions from the past that we aren't even aware are affecting us.
It takes a lot of vital energy to repress emotions. When left unacknowledged, traumatic or unpleasant events can negatively impact our mental and physical health. Negative emotions such as fear, anxiety, frustration can cause chemical reactions in our body that act on both our brain and nervous system, tricking us into believing the negative event from the past is happening to us right now.
Overreactions to situations that are driven by the past not only cause unhealthy stress in our body, they can keep us from living fully in the present; from achieving our highest potential.
Here are some easy steps you can take to clear hidden emotions so they won't get in your way and obscure your view of the here and now:
- Practice New Responses - Give your brain a new experience in an old situation. Some people are terrified of saying no or feel as though something bad will happen to them if they turn down a request for help, for example. Choose a relatively safe situation where you can give yourself the chance to practice saying no. Plan it ahead of time and practice saying, "No, thank you," or, "I'm not comfortable with that," when you are alone. Then, practice saying no and experiencing people's reactions. Invariably, they won't be nearly as bad as you feared. Each time you experience a positive result and handle your emotions well during your present situation. You are training your brain to ignore old emotions and create new neural connections, teaching yourself to trust and feel safe in the present.
- Brain Games - Remember childhood games like Hopscotch Cat's Cradle and Jump Rope, that had you doing things with the right side of your body, then switching off to your left side? That's neural rewiring and brain strengthening at its core. To make strong connections between both sides of your brain, do exercises that increase its plasticity, or ability to grow new neurons by giving both sides a workout. Try this fun kinesiology "pinky & thumb" exercise from PowerBrain instructor's Dave Beal's webinar "Stretch Your Brain" (at 15 min 25 sec.). Observe your breathing and heart rate while you do the exercises. The calmer and more focused you are, the more present you will be, giving those buried emotions nowhere to go but out of your life.
- Get in the Energy Zone - Basic energy meditation techniques such as body tapping and walking meditation in nature, will help you slow down and quiet mental chatter. At the same time, being in nature and walking both help you increase your Qi circulation. Walking helps you improve the communication between your body and brain, empowering you to begin changing old habits. Soon, your brain will be more occupied with the present than the past.
Rewriting stories from the past that are trapped in our brains takes time. But, once you've replaced old patterns with new ones, your brain, and nervous system, will no longer be responding to the past but to the present.
With a little courage and a lot of practice, you can take more command of your emotions. Be kind to yourself and patient with your brain as it's learning new ways to be happy!