As Published on New Straits Times – 16 August 2015
All emotions are intrinsically useful, and we need to learn and be more aware of managing them, writes Jaime Shine
There was a point in my life that I was struggling to make ends meet. It was the worse kind of feelings – devastation, feeling stuck and hopeless. Those were really dark times. My friends would be kind and offer words of encouragement like, “It’s going to be ok” and “Just think positive”, but nothing is positive about it. I did my best to perk myself up but no matter how hard I tried to do those positive affirmations and think positive it was not working for me. Fear and insecurities were just overwhelming.
Thankfully, I reached out for professional help and I am so glad that I did. I went on a journey of discovery and understood why I am feeling the way I did and how I can manage my emotions. At the same time, I learned techniques to change the way I think, my perspective and techniques for self-empowerment. I started to feel the relief I have not felt in a long time. I became more confident, less fearful and shift from feeling negative everyday to feeling that I can change my life around. I then understood that one couldn’t think positivity effectively until you really feel them. My life changed and this processes made such a huge impact in my life that I decided to make a career out of it: to help as many people understand about their emotions so they too can feel more empowered in their lives.
Managing our emotions is not something that is taught to us. We are fed with beliefs like ‘Boys don’t cry’ or ‘Never show your anger in public’. We are taught to suppress them because showing emotions mean we are weak. Yet all emotions are useful, they give us information about ourselves. Emotions like anger or guilt sends us signals that something is not working in our lives and change needs to happen. All emotions are intrinsically useful, it is the managing of these emotions that we need to learn and be more aware of.
PRACTISE MAKES PROGRESS
Here is the first process you can lean to release any overwhelming emotions that may be causing you stress or anxiety. Practice this everyday and you will be able to see a shift in your life for the better.
Find a condusive environment where you can be alone for 5 – 10 minutes. It can be at the park, in a cubicle, at home; anywhere that you can be with yourself and undisturbed. To begin, sit in a comfortable position on a chair or on the floor and focus on your breathing, relaxing yourself down. You can open your eyes or close them, try them both and see what works for you. As long as you are able to stay still and be very present with yourself.
Continue to focus on your breathing and relax. Now turn your awareness to your body and take notice if there is anything that is uncomfortable, tense, tight or painful. If you mind comes in with any distractions, just focus on your breathing and shift your focus again to your body.
Give yourself time to find this, you may or may not be open or aware of this if you have been used to suppression or distraction as a form of managing them but do persevere. Once you found an area where it is uncomfortable, tense, tight or painful, just keep your focus on it. If there is more than one area, pick one to work on.
When you have found that area, just keep breathing into it. Allow yourself to go deeper into those sensations and continue to allow yourself to go deeper and just be okay with feeling any sensations or emotions that is coming up for you. You may be overwhelmed by this, or not, so just keep at it and allow yourself full permission to go into this. Dropping deeper and deeper than before.
Once you have reached the deepest levels of that feeling, all you need is to feel it all. Just stay with it for while and focus on breathing into it even more. Once you have felt it all, you will start to feel a sense of relief. When the relief comes, focus on your exhalation and as if you are emptying out the sensation, see it leave your body like gas. With each exhalation, your breathe it out from your body. Inhaling positivity in, then exhaling out all the negativity until there is nothing left to feel. You may feel lighter and more at peace after this process. That is when you know that it is complete.
There may be certain information coming up while you are doing this process. A certain person or situation that has contributed to these sensations or something that you are upset about that surfaces or strong emotions that may come up. It is all normal and part of the process. Just continue to allow whatever you are feeling to surface. It may take more than one sitting to work on deeper issues but you will always feel relief after.
For your first time, you may want to work with someone else and take turns. I strongly encourage you to do this every day afterward and you will feel much lighter and more positive onwards to your road to emotional wellbeing.