In July, I wrote about how important it is to honor your negative emotions. I said,
When we ignore our hurt, resentment, anger, despair, grief, guilt, etc. or hide it or shame it or pretend it doesn't exist or do anything other than process, feel, and engage with it, all we're doing is holding on to it for longer than we need to. That means it's living in your actual body.
Some of you were all, "Mmmkay, that sounds awesome! But how the heck do I process or engage with it?"
I've learned at least a dozen different ways to process negative emotions. I've cobbled together the ones that feel best for me so I process different emotions in slightly different ways, but I'm boiling it down to help you get started.
1) Identify the emotion. This seems obvious, but it isn't always. Sometimes one emotion is actually masking something else entirely.
2) Start a dialogue. The emotion is showing up for a reason and you need to find out why. Is it protecting you from something? Is it trying to stop you because what you're pursuing is something you really, really want? Is it time to cut off a draining relationship? Journal with the emotion to find out what's going on.
3) Release & move the energy. Cry it out, scream it out, throw pillows, wallow in your misery, whatever your emotion needs to do, do it. This could take minutes or much longer, there's no telling until you start.
4) Identify the new emotion. Do you feel relief? Joy? Peace? Calm? Sometimes I find that processing anger leaves me feeling sad and then I have to start all over again.
5) Honor wherever you are once you're done. It's best to help the new, good feeling last by doing something that enhances it. If my new emotion is happiness, I have a dance party; if I'm feeling calm, I cook or bake. Find what works for you.
This is just a starting point! I lead my clients through a deeper process, but I really wanted to give you something concrete so you can start releasing the crap that's taking your body and your life hostage.
I want to note that it's challenging to do this on your own in the beginning. I recommend finding a coach that resonates with you and learning what process they have, if any. It doesn't have to be me (though if it is, get in touch with me, obvi); there are so many wonderful people who want to help you because they've been there and it fucking sucked and the last thing they want is to know other people are going through it alone.
May you release what's not serving you so you can make space for your best self.
P.S. - Don't forget to be gentle with yourself, especially when stuff comes up. It's normal, it's part of the process, it means you're growing.