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6 Steps to Process Emotions In Your Body

how to process emotions in your body

Often, we can get overwhelmed by our emotions. Or we don’t know how to navigate or work through intense feelings. Many of us are even afraid of going too deep into our feelings. Instead of being afraid of how we feel, we can actually experience and process through our emotions in a very straight-forward, practical way. Here are 6 steps that’ll actually help you manage and process emotions in the body.

6 Steps on How to Process Emotions in the Body

Step 1: Attention

Bring attention down into your body.

Emotions (aka e-motion) is energy in motion. Emotions exist as energy moving and occurring through the physical body. Whenever you have a thought/ or a situation happens around you, your brain sends a signal down the vagus nerve to your body.

And a lot of people don’t even know this. You feel your emotions in the body. If you’re in your head, that is actually you over thinking or consumed by thoughts in the head (which is not truly feeling emotions in the body)

This is why every time whenever you get triggered, always first direct your attention to your body. Because that’s where emotions occur.

Step 2: Notice

Now that you’re paying attention to your body, start to notice if there’s any sensations and visceral feelings occurring at one (or multiple areas in your body).

For example, it could be at your throat, chest, stomach, or anywhere else. Maybe your shoulders tense up, your stomach feels empty, or your fingers get cold.

You want to start noticing the physical sensations that’s happening to your body in the present moment.

Step 3: Allow

Next, you simply allow those sensations to be there.

Take some deep, slow breaths and breathe into the area(s) where you feel those vibrations/ movement of energy/ contractions in the body.

As you breathe into those sensations, you’re not trying to push those sensations away or make them disappear (that’s also not the point of processing these emotions)

Instead, you’re simply creating more space for those sensations to exist in your body. You’re just breathing into them and allowing them to be there more fully.

Step 4: Name

Next, what you can do is try to name out this physical feeling in your body.

Sometimes, simply by noticing these physical sensations and calling it out by its name will give you so much understanding and power over what it is you are actually feeling.

Emotions are usually just one-word answers like anger, sadness, joy, or frustration. You can also refer to “Wheel of Emotions” to pick out the right word that’d best suit what you’re feeling right now.

Step 5: Context

When it’s an emotion, it can feel very abstract and hard to grasp. In order to understand and actually be with all of how we feel in that moment… we need to provide more context.

Describe that sensation you feel at the specific part of your body. Is it heavy or light? Does it have a shape, texture, or temperature? Is it moving fast, and which direction is it moving towards? If it can look like something, what would it be?

By providing more details, you’ll better understand what’s going on inside you and be able to be with and fully feel the emotion’s presence in your body.

Step 6: Experience

Lastly, after giving full context of the emotion, we just want to fully feel. 

Observe those feelings like a curious scientist, almost like a watcher of your thoughts – except now it’s for your feelings.. Keep watching it and being with those sensations, noticing if anything changes. Often, our emotions just want to be acknowledged and seen. By giving them space, you’ll eventually connect with them and understand where they want to go in your body.

Here’s a fun fact: Allowing an emotion to exist without resistance and actually processing it only takes as long as 90 seconds. What makes it linger longer is when we try to avoid or ignore it.

Final Thoughts

Processing your emotions is crucial because unresolved feelings can lead to chronic physical conditions over time. That persistent neck pain or back tension you’ve been experiencing might just be a result of unprocessed emotions that’s been hanging around for too long.

Remember, this is a practice. It might feel a bit awkward at first, especially if you’ve been disconnected from your body for a while. But with time, it can become more natural and familiar. You can even jump between steps once you’re more familiar with the process.

What’s Next

Ready to boost your personal growth, change your way of thinking, and get valuable insights into life’s journey? Listen to “Daring Living Podcast”, where I share tools and tips on how to live a daring and joyful life.

Tune in here. 

So, there you have it—a simple guide to processing your emotions and taking charge of your emotional well-being. Give it a try and watch how it transforms your relationship with your feelings. 

Therapy vs. Life Coaching

Nowadays, going to therapy is becoming more mainstream. This is awesome, seeing how more and more people are starting to put more emphasis on taking care of their mental health.

Once in a while, I will have people asking what’s the difference between therapy and life coaching, and which service should they choose?

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How to stop feeling guilty for wanting more

Are you feeling guilty for wanting more out of your life?

This could look like wanting more in a relationship (maybe you secretly desire a partner who is more exciting and fun) Or maybe you want more in your career (perhaps you actually don’t want to be in your current job anymore, but you have an understanding boss and great colleagues, so you feel guilty for leaving)

Or, the guilt could be because of your family. Perhaps you are stable career right now, but you’re not really doing what you love. Yet, you know your parents have sacrificed a lot in order for you to go to college and have a stable job.

Deep down, you kind of want more.

Yet, you feel guilty. You keep telling yourself that should just be “grateful” with what you have.

If this is how you feel, here are 4 key points to remember:

1.You’re taking actions out of guilt, not from your truest desire

You might think it’s more responsible to feel guilty about wanting more in your life, but it’s not. Because the result of feeling guilty is that no party is better off. For you or for others.

When you feel guilty, you’re doing things out of feeling guilt. This does not create the best experience for you, or everyone that’s around you.

For example: Let’s say you work as a researcher in a lab. You graduated with a Bachelors in Science. And deep down, you really desire to create your own online business. You feel guilty because you have a good life, a loving family, yet you’re really just not satisfied with your job.

How this manifests in your life is you might not put in 100% at work, so you’re not serving the team and your company this way. Perhaps you also resent your parents a bit. Because you blame them for being the ones who made you study science in college in the first place. So as a result, you don’t show up fully to care and love them.

This guilt that you’re holding on to… is not beneficial for you, or for anyone around you. This emotion is only holding you back.

2. Guilt is an emotion that you feel. You can choose to let it go at any time

It’s simply unnecessary to feel guilty for wanting more for your life. This life is yours. And if you’re not satisfied with it, you get to make that decision to change it and take actions from it.

The reason why you feel guilty is because you’re having thoughts such as:  “ I shouldn’t be thinking this way.” “I should be grateful with what I have.” “I shouldn’t ask for more.”

And these thoughts are creating lots of guilt for you. So, just like any other emotions, you can decide to think differently about your situation to not be in guilt.

Be honest with yourself.

Own the fact that you actually want something different than what you have right now. Own that about you. There is nothing wrong with wanting more in your life.

3. Don’t use “being grateful” against yourself.

Especially if you come from a culture where you’re constantly being told to be grateful, sometimes we can use the need to be grateful against ourselves.

For example, I am an immigrant from Taiwan. And growing up, my siblings and I were always told to be grateful with what we have. Not many people in Asia get to experience the kind of opportunity we can have access to in North America.

And, I truly feel so grateful and thankful for my family and all that my parents have done for their children. Yet, this can also create lots of pressure growing up. Because as children of immigrant families, we also feel responsible to achieve the dreams that our parents want for us… which often looks like being in a stable job, starting a family, and settling down.

I’m sure you can probably relate to some of this pressure and telling ourselves to just be grateful with what we have.

4. Learn to appreciate what you have. Then, decide what to do next.

When we feel guilty or resentful, we make decisions trying to run away from our problems. Yet we all know that decisions made from that place do not necessary align with what’s really good for us.

 Instead, this is what you do. You work on truly appreciating what you have right now. Appreciating your current relationship. Appreciating your current job. And be actually enjoying it as it is.

And then when you can get to the point of true appreciation, then you decide what to do next.

Reminder: just because you can appreciate, doesn’t mean you have to stay. No, no you don’t. You can still desire for more and want to leave, just because you want to.

You can appreciate your career. And decide that you want to explore a different path.

You can appreciate your partner and your relationship. And decide that it is complete and you want to move on.

You don’t need things to be horribly wrong to want to change.

And actually, when they are horribly wrong and you decide to change, you’re making decisions from fear and escaping it instead of facing the problem head on.

Now, this also depends on context, because let’s say you are in an abusive relationship or a racist/ sexist workplace, then maybe you do want to change. But I’m speaking to those who feel guilty because your life is actually pretty good.

In this case, you can still change and make the decision for yourself just because you want to. Stop settling for good enough when you truly want an extraordinary life.

Let’s recap:

First, you work on the guilt. Learn to let go of that.

Then, learn to truly appreciate all that you have.

And then, you decide what you want to do from an empowering place. (You can still leave, just because you want to)

Alright? You got this.

You’re creating an amazing life for yourself and I can’t wait for what’s to come for you.

xo,

Shir

Mindset and emotion work is so powerful to helping you appreciate where you are and let go of self-guilt, self-judgement, and shame. If you want more guidance on this work, I’d love to be your coach and support you throughout your journey.

Feel free to book a call with me to see how life coaching can take you to the next level to create an extraordinary life for yourself.

You can click the link here and book a discovery call with me.