Are you fighting aches, pains, and that feeling like your body “just isn’t right”? It could be more than a physical malaise. Maybe emotional conflicts are trying to get you to sit up and pay attention.
When your back is aching and your shoulders are bound up in knots, there’s nothing like getting a good massage, right? It's easy to recognize when our body needs a break. When we're hungry, we eat; when we're tired, we rest and when our head is throbbing, we reach for relief. But how well do you care for your emotions? Do you strive for emotional well being? Inner peace doesn't come without practice, without exercising the muscles of mindfulness.
Trust me, when your neck is sore, chances are your emotions are sore, too. Maybe your gut sometimes feels like someone punched you. Or there’s so much confusion swarming around in your head that you can’t think. Or you ache to have some semblance of peace—but you just keep on pushing yourself relentlessly. If you're asking yourself, "Why am I so emotional lately?" it's time for some emotional R&R!
As a society, we haven't learned how to honor our emotions or listen to their wisdom. I often hear from women that they’re afraid to stop and feel because they’ll face a flood of strong emotions that they’ve been holding back. And if they feel fully, their emotions might take them off track and derail their productivity. And many men push down or push through emotions.
Well, it doesn’t make much sense to push when our body is exhausted. It also doesn’t make sense to repress what makes us human: our feelings.
Emotions are a guidance system to keep us safe and peaceful.
It doesn’t take long—only a few minutes, or even a few seconds—but the positive effects are lasting and the rewards plentiful. The more we feel and express emotions in healthy ways and the more attentive we are to our feelings and their messages, the happier we become. It doesn’t even take time as much as turning our focus to our heart instead of outward to the world.
So the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed or frustrated or just plain worn out, take a moment and go within. If you're feeling conflicting emotions, take a breath and listen to what your feelings are trying to tell you. Sit down and feel. Just like we work out at a gym, you don't grow the muscles of emotional fitness without practice.
Emotional balance is gained by paying attention to when you're off balance, then taking action to return to peace.
Related reading: "How to Find Inner Peace by Resolving Conflicted Feelings"
How to Find Inner Peace
Use this simple five-step process to get in touch with your emotions, their wisdom and increase your emotional intelligence:
STEP 1: Stop and take three deep breaths while consciously relaxing your body. Wherever you feel stress in your body, relax. With each breath, feel your body loosening.
STEP 2: Ask yourself: “What am I feeling right now?” Lean into the emotion and experience it fully. Are you feeling sad or happy? Resentful or grateful? Lonely? Excited? Frustrated? Peaceful?
STEP 3: Release any negative self-chatter that may surface.
It’s helpful to continue breathing while you find self-acceptance. Breathe in acceptance, breathe out judgment. Breathe in peace, breathe out stress.
STEP 4: Ask yourself: “How do I want to feel?” It’s okay if you’re not ready to let go of your present emotions. You might want to be angry or need to feel your sadness fully before you’re ready to move on. Remember that whatever you feel, it’s okay! And when you are ready, ask yourself again how you want to feel. Then go to Step 5.
STEP 5: Take one action to feel better. If you feel lonely, the action might be to visit a friend and engage in some meaningful dialogue, or to stay home and nurture yourself. If you feel resentful, the action might be to have a conversation with the person you’re feeling resentment toward and ask for what you need to be different.
So start today and give yourself some emotional R&R. As you take time to feel your emotions more fully and express them in healthy ways, you’ll be replenished. As you learn to act on their wisdom, you’ll feel consistently empowered. Build the habit of emotional acceptance and resiliency. You’ll feel like you just left the spa—and it will cost you nothing!
And if you want personalized help finding your emotional center? Contact us today.