Acknowledging and Working with Strong Emotions

Woman filled with strong emotionsWhen I started the Creative Grief Coaching certification program, I was concerned that I would be overwhelmed by strong emotions, especially the “dark emotions.”  Last week, I started to experience a wave of physical manifestations of my emotional life. I noticed stomach pains, headaches, insomnia, and intensified dreams.  This was all very noticeable for me because I don’t often experience these physical aches and pains.

One morning while I was lying in bed with a fit of sleeplessness and a gut full of emotions, I said to myself, “I’m feeling overwhelmed.” That acknowledgement alone was so helpful. In the same way that we feel comforted by being heard by a friend — being heard, seen, and felt by our conscious mind can provide us with the supportiveness that we seek in order to move forward and take action.

One of the actions that I knew I had to take was to do an intense (even if brief in duration) yoga session. I needed to be in my body and fully feel my emotions and not ignore them.  I needed to breathe into them and feel them release through the poses; and then, rest in savasana and feel the support of the universe. Later that day I found time for a yoga session that was full of intensity, not the least of which were tears that came to my eyes as I stretched my body and stopped holding back my emotions.  I just allowed what I was feeling to flow both physically and emotionally.

That morning, I also reminded myself of the Reiki Resolution Technique, which I have written about previously.  This technique is usually taught in a Reiki 2 class and is a powerful way to work with strong emotions. However, I will review it here so you can experiment with it even if you have not completed a level 2 class yet.

  1. Sit or lie down in a comfortable position
  2. Close your eyes and select the emotion that you would like to work with
  3. Place your hands on your heart
  4. Visualize holding the emotion in your heart
  5. If you’re a Reiki 2 practitioner, use the appropriate symbols. If not, skip this step.
  6. As you hold the emotion in your heart, breathe deeply and notice what you feel
  7. Sit with the emotion for several minutes
  8. When you’re ready, slowly open your eyes and notice how you feel, especially how you feel around the emotion that you were working with

For my most recent work with the Reiki Resolution Technique, I sat with the “overwhelmed” emotion and noticed what happened as I held it in my heart and allowed universal life-force energy to flow with the emotion. Afterward, I felt calm, aligned, and supported.

How do you work with strong emotions in your life? I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments below.