Emotions are energy, plain and simple. And when we constrict around energy (because culture has told us that emotions are “wrong”), that energy becomes compressed and explosive inside of us — manifesting as uncomfortable symptoms like anxiety, depression, pain, inflammation, etc.
We understand this intuitively.
If we repress the energy that fuels bowel elimination, things will get very uncomfortable inside and will eventually feel stuck or explosive — or a combination of the two. And this will cascade into other symptoms.
Similarly, if we repress the energy of emotional functioning, we wind up feeling stuck (depression), explosive (anxiety) or a combination of the two — as well as physical symptoms like muscle tightness, pain, inflammation, rashes, fatigue, etc.
We don’t choose to repress our emotions. Not any more than we consciously choose to flinch when a bee 🐝 flies near us.
We know that bees can be dangerous because we’ve learned this through conditioning experiences — either we got stung, or we saw other people around us flinching — and our nervous system learned to code bees as dangerous: 🐝 =⚠️
Similarly, we’ve learned through cultural conditioning that our emotions can provoke negative reactions like punishment, ridicule or more subtle but still harmful responses like having our emotions ignored, minimized or being told we “shouldn’t” feel that way.
So our nervous system has learned to code emotions as dangerous: 🗯=⚠️
And our nervous system automatically represses them — just like it flinches from bees.
This culturally learned reflex of repressing emotions results in culturally widespread symptoms ranging from inward-leaning expressions like anxiety, depression, pain and illness to outward-leaning expressions like explosive rage, acting out, etc.
SO WHAT DO WE DO?
The solution is simple (but not easy): We need to unlearn this whole “emotions are bad” business and start reconditioning our nervous system by showing it — through felt experience — that emotions are natural, normal, healthy facets of our biology and that they are meant to flow through us — just like breathing and digestion.
With love, encouragement and enormous faith in you,
Previously Published on Medium
nternal image courtesy of author