Emotional Rescue: Get moving
The most important element in releasing stuck emotions is movement - you need to get them broken down and released for good - or you will continue to be stuck in the habits and patterns that they created.
All of the techniques and therapies I have included are in some way moving your energy - whether it be your physical body or your more subtle energies.
Emotional Freedom Technique - “tapping”
This is a simple sequence of points on your face and body, which you tap lightly with your fingers for a few minutes a day whilst focussing on and voicing the issue to be resolved. The points relate to particular meridians in the body and the tapping of the points essentially scrambles the old messages your body has got trapped into repeating. It is a simple but effective way of unsticking repetitive loops or thought and habitual behaviours.
Feng Shui / space clearing
Clearing your environment can have a really positive effect on your psyche. As recent tv programmes have explored, hoarding possessions and surrounding yourself with clutter is a psychological way we hang on to the past. So clearing your space can have quite a profound effect and help you to move forward and not to be held back by pains of the past.
“Useful or beautiful” is a great rule to be guided by when spring cleaning. Anything that doesn't fit needs to go! A calm home, where we actually can see the things that we love is far more inspiring than sitting amongst clutter.
Feng Shui goes a step further and assesses the placement and orientation of your home, rooms and furniture within the rooms. If you are stuck in any area of your life, Feng Shui may uncover some of the elements of your home which may be contributing to this, and provide solutions as to how to remedy it.
Eastern traditions relate the 7 chakras to specific parts of the body, and in turn with specific ailments, both physical and emotional. If any of these are out of balance it can bring about problems. Understanding these and the way in which we can become unbalanced is both beneficial in identifying the underlying issues and provides direction as to how to regain balance. An interesting one for women is Chakra 2 as it relates to our vitality and creativity and flow, as well as to the sexual and reproductive organs. Often when our creative expression is being blocked there can be issues with our fertility or conception, or problems with reproductive organs.
A practice created by Julia Cameron in her classic book “The Artists Way”, which I have found great for unsticking problems, particularly emotional ones, that otherwise swirl around in our heads for days, causing anxiety and stress. Every morning, before you do any activity, write 3 pages of longhand writing. It doesn’t have to be well composed, it is essentially a download of everything in your head. Don’t edit and don’t review or re-read - just download it onto paper. After a few days of this you will find that issues are surfacing and blocks starting to shift.
In traditional eastern medicine, they place huge emphasis on “clearing the drains”, as the foundation for good health. The most important areas are the lymphatic system and your digestive / elimination system. Some ways to help these along are
- drink warm water throughout the day
- dry skin brushing
- rebounding on a mini trampoline
- keep moving
There are lots of great techniques in NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) to help with transforming emotional and behavioural patterns:
- Picturing your negative issue in black and white and making it tiny and being observed by you, whilst envisioning an ideal situation big and in colour and with you experiencing it from within
- A ‘swoosh’ technique, where every time you picture your issue, you immediately “swoosh” over a mental picture of a better situation
- “Anchoring” yourself to a positive emotion by associating it to a physical movement (such as squeezing your hand into a fist)
Cognitive behavioural therapy is a system by which you look at your thoughts, behaviours and activities and start to understand how they are negatively affecting your life - then provides a series of exercises to change these to ones that better support you in life. It is more focussed on finding practical solutions than the more traditional ‘talking’ therapies, and can help shift negative patterns that cause problems such as anxiety, eating disorders & depression.
Yoga, pranayama, chanting & meditation
Whether you are stretching physically, simply doing yoga breathing techniques (pranayama), chanting or meditating, you are getting out of your head and connecting with your body and breath. Again you are shifting your energy out of the repetitive loops that drive habitual behaviour and back into your body, and into movement and breath that shift and stretch you and encourage you to just be - yourself.
Acupuncture (and also acupressure and shiatsu) works through opening up channels of energy in the body that have become blocked - and allowing for the free flow of energy (‘chi’ or ‘prana’). In the west it is used to bring about healing in many physical issues, but as in many eastern traditional healing methods, it also works at a more subtle emotional level.
This is a physical therapy, with all the intensity of a deep tissue massage, that works over a series of 10 sessions to realign the entire body structurally by working at the deep connective tissue level. It can greatly improve posture as it returns the body to full correct alignment, but in doing so, it can also bring about tremendous emotional release, from the freeing up of these misalignments, which have trapped the energy.
In the west we tend to be in sugar burning mode due to the high levels of carbs and sweet foods we eat. This exacerbates stress and weight gain (and a host of related issues). And in sugar burning mode we lurch from the sugar high to the crash and back again, via cravings and mood & energy swings. This can put us in continual high drama mode, which will feed on those unresolved toxic emotions, and can be a tricky cycle to break.
An ayurvedic cleanse will reset your metabolism and switch it into fat-burning mode, which will shift any excess fat and also brings about a calmer more steady energy.
The basics of an Ayurvedic cleanse involves taking a small amount of ghee or olive oil every morning, and following a simple fat free diet for 4-7 days. You will burn off excess fat, and with the release of this fat you will release both the physical and emotional toxins that are holding you back. This is traditionally done 3-4 times a year, at the turn of the seasons.
Some guiding principles
- Let go (with grace)
- Don't just get rid of stuff (too sanitising!) - make sure you nourish yourself with all you find beautiful
- Recognise resistance - and move gently through it (don’t fight it)
- Connect with how you really feel (not what you ‘think”)