A Simple Way to Reduce Stress and Work Through Difficult Feelings
By: Sula DePaula
October 21, 2017
Are emotions running your life? The truth is most of us are using ineffective ways to manage the daily stress of life and living.
Have you ever felt like there was so much going on that you couldn’t even identify your feelings? Sometimes that happens to me.
Sometimes it feels like I’m moving so fast, and so focused on my outside world, that I can’t even figure out what’s going on inside.
I used to just ignore the inside, push those emotions down and pretend they weren’t there so I could get on with my life. I mean, I had things to do!
There was one problem though, they were there.
In fact, they were silently, subtly pulling the strings on every action I took. But then I found a simple, effective way to work through those emotions and take back control over my life.
I’m going to share it with you in just a second. First let me ask you a question.
When you’re emotional, or things aren’t going your way, how do you make yourself feel better?
Do you call a friend to talk about it? Play your favorite song and try to distract your mind? Get some physical activity? Throw yourself into work and pretend you’re fine?
Maybe out of despair you reached out for something that you regret later… a bottle of wine… a pill… pint of Ben & Jerry’s, perhaps…
These choices are temporary band aids. The problem is that over-whelming emotions like sadness, anger or anxiety can be deep wounds. A band aid is not going to fix the problem.
You need to change how you relate to your emotions. It’s not easy, but there’s a tool that I use to work through emotions, relax and get centered.
This technique has opened up a variety of benefits in my life. I feel
- More serene and calm
- Less stressed out
- Strong and confident
- More focused
- Deeply connected
Let me explain how the technique works.
Research shows there are significantly more neural pathways connecting the emotional (limbic) brain to the thinking (neocortical) brain then there are from the thinking brain to the emotional brain.
So what does that mean? It’s simple.
Emotions have more neural power, and consequently it is very difficult to calm our emotions with thoughts alone.
While we tell ourselves “relax and let it go”, our emotional brain is putting our body into survival mode and sending messages of fear, worry and pressure.
Emotions are energy in motion, but emotional energy itself is neutral. It is the thinking brain that gives these sensations and phenomena labels and meaning.
For instance, we may call a particular sensation anger, joy, sadness or fear. We attach a label to the sensation and call it a feeling. But we don’t stop there.
Once we’ve labeled the emotion, we make an assessment about it. This emotion is pleasant, I want more of that… or this emotion is unpleasant, I don’t want to feel that. That’s the real problem.
And even when you understand you can end suffering simply by allowing the emotion to be present without the label or assessment… just using your thinking brain to share that information with your emotional brain doesn’t usually change your emotional state.
Acknowledging emotions as energy that can either flow or become fixed gives you a platform to successfully manage uncomfortable emotions. This can prevent ‘dis-ease’ in your body.
When you can truly understand that emotions are fluid, you can feel and release them instead of suppressing, judging and ignoring them. So how do you do that?
It’s simple, you use energy to move energy.
Breath is the key component in creating enough energy to move emotions through the body. Circular Connected Breathing will immediately connect your mind and body, allowing for identification and release of emotions, thoughts and feelings.
Next time you become overwhelmed or feel a rush of emotions, take some time to connect with your body.
First ask, “What exactly am I feeling?”
Next, identify where the feeling is in your body.
Finally, breathe consciously into the affected area and allow the energy to build and move like a wave through the body and down to the Earth.
While there are many amazing conscious breathing techniques, I believe Circular Connected Breathing is the most effective in purifying the emotional body.
This breathing technique will establish a body-mind connection, increase awareness of feelings and give the body a space to ride the waves of sensations as energy releases from the body.
I like to think, hope and pray that one day this type of emotional intelligence will be prominent in our society. I think we will live in a much different place when that happens.
In the meantime, the more we practice mindfulness with our emotions, the more present we will become for the energies of peace, love and serenity.
I envision a future where we can gracefully move through our personal and collective emotions and become available for more joy and happiness.
I invite you to experience the power of Circular Connected Breathing and feel how it can benefit every area of your life.
Sula has been teaching Circular Connected Breathing for over 14 years. She has over twenty years of experience in the holistic healing arts. She is a certified Hypnotherapist, certified Yoga Instructor, licensed Massage Therapist, and Access Consciousness™ Body Process and Access Bars® Facilitator. To get in touch with Sula you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.