The urge to move toward what’s comfortable and away from what is not is part of our wiring as humans. But repressing uncomfortable emotions comes at a very steep price.
Limitations, depression, anxiety, chronic fatigue, and loneliness are just some of the consequences we face when we repress our emotions. We also sacrifice authenticity, as well as the experience of knowing we are loved for who we are – both of which are fundamental to happiness.
Authenticity is the prerequisite for happiness.
Unless we’re being authentic, we cannot experience happiness.
Because if we are not being true to who we are and what we want, nothing we create in our lives can actually satisfy us.
To achieve the happiness we’re all seeking, we must begin by being who we really are. Not the sugar-coated versions we’ve been taught will bring us acceptance, but who we are at our core. And authenticity demands that we make peace with all of ourselves, including our repressed emotions.
We are happiest when we are expressing ourselves freely: when we’re expanding, leaning into new ideas, updating the ways we identify ourselves, and manifesting new experiences. But repressing our emotions causes our experience of life to shrink. We develop aversions and turn to vices. Not because we’re afraid of new experiences, but we’re afraid of the emotions those experiences may trigger within us.
In repressing our so-called “negative” emotions, we simultaneously diminish our capacity for joy. To paraphrase a beautiful quote by Kahlil Gibran, joy and sorrow are two sides of the very same coin. And learning how to embrace both is the secret to living a rich, full, satisfying life.
Here are 3 energy mastery practices to support you in releasing repressed emotions. In understanding and applying them, you’ll not only feel less anxious and reactive, you will exponentially expand your receptivity for all that you desire.
Practice #1: Begin with an Attitude of Self-Compassion
It’s important to begin this process from a foundation of acceptance and neutrality. And the fastest way to get there is by acknowledging that the instinct to repress certain emotions is 100% natural and normal. In other words, you deserve self-compassion, not self-judgment, with regard to the feelings you’re repressing.
In most families, the free-flow of emotions – particularly uncomfortable ones such as anger, fear, jealousy or indignation – is highly discouraged. In fact, many of us were scolded or even shamed for expressing anything but positivity. If you were raised in this way, you probably felt no right to express your more primitive emotions. And, the longer you’ve been in the habit of repressing your feelings, the scarier it can feel to release them.
So begin this process by giving yourself a break. It’s only natural to instinctively brace ourselves against uncomfortable sensations. There may have even been times in your life when you felt you had to conceal your emotions in order to survive.
Just breathe deeply into any resistance, and remind yourself that you’re no longer in that position. That not only is it safe to release your repressed emotions, but it’s vital to both your health and your happiness.
Practice #2: Invite repressed emotions to move through you.
You’ve probably heard the saying that “what you resist persists.” And nowhere does this wisdom apply more than it does in the realm of our emotions.
Pretending you’re not having a negative reaction when you are will not help you transcend your experience. It will only lead to more repression. It’s like putting a smiley face sticker over an empty fuel gauge. You haven’t solved the problem, and you’re more likely to run out of gas at the most opportune time.
So the next time you feel yourself having a strong negative reaction to something or someone, give yourself permission to experience your reaction fully. Breathe into any sensations of tightness or constriction in your body. Ask yourself, “When or where else have I experienced this same emotion?” and allow all the past emotional energy to come to the surface as well.
Emotions are nothing but energy in motion. Repressing emotion obstructs this free-flowing energy, taking with it our vitality, our creativity, and our happiness. But when you invite in and allow yourself to feel your emotional reactions fully, they dissipate all on their own.
Practice #3: Look for the hidden wisdom in all of your repressed emotions.
Our emotions don’t come out of nowhere. They are triggered for very specific reasons and are always trying to lead us toward greater wisdom and expansion.
When we repress an emotion, we may distance ourselves from an uncomfortable feeling, but we also deprive ourselves of its wisdom. It’s like sending the UPS guy at your door away without first receiving your package.
When any emotion surfaces within you – repressed or present-time – acknowledge this as a valuable communication from your inner being. This feeling is bringing with it some vital information that can help you become happier and more authentic. So rather than repressing the feeling and sending the messenger away, do your best to receive its message.
You can do this by closing your eyes, taking some slow deep breaths and simply asking, “What is this emotion trying to show me?” Then become quiet enough to hear the answer.
For example, anger is a natural reaction when one of our boundaries has been violated. Fear or trepidation can alert us to be more aware and mindful of our surroundings. Once we regard our emotions as friends rather than enemies, we can benefit from the wisdom they hold.
All emotions come bearing gifts. Rather than repress them, invite them in, let their energy move through you, and be open to receiving the guidance they offer.
Christy Whitman is an energy healer, Master Certified Law of Attraction Coach, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Art of Having It All: A Woman’s Guide to Unlimited Abundance. Her latest book, The Desire Factor: How to Embrace Your Materialistic Nature to Reclaim Your Full Spiritual Power is on sale now at www.thedesirefactor.com. Christy communicates with, and for, The Quantum Council, a collection of non-physical ascended masters who desire to help humanity understand that we are divinely designed for well-being, abundance, success, and loving relationships. You can take the first step in aligning with and creating your desires by participating in a free 30-day program called Watch Your Words: Click here to learn more; www.watchyourwords.com.