Along with working on our bodies to get healthier, we always have to work on our minds. Luckily, we can work on both of those things and they help each other at the same time. Don’t you love when things work out like that?
stuff (noun): all of those emotions, triggers, and thoughts that cause you to be closed and not enjoy life as much as possible
I was browsing Gaiam TV’s site yesterday after doing my yoga in the morning (disclosure: I am compensated as a member of the #MyYoga team for Gaiam, opinions are my own) and came across a great post, 4 Ways to Move Through Your Emotions: Loveolution Project, by Holly Peckskamp. It jumped out at me actually because this is what I am working on in therapy – getting through those painful memories, dealing with the emotions, and moving forward.
We all tend to repress things that are emotionally hard for us. It is our brains way of trying to protect us and it is pretty good at it. However, that same protection also can prevent us from moving forward and being overall happier people. In my therapy sessions my therapist helps me get to those hard spots and instead of trying to block them out, she helps me sit with those hard feelings and just let them be there. This is really hard. However, it helps! When we take the time to work through that pain it lessens. The triggers that may have taken you back to that memory are slowly weakened, you may still feel that pain but you understand what it is and can deal with it – it doesn’t feel uncertain or unmanageable.
It really is an interesting path that I am on. While therapy can be emotionally exhausting and it actually shakes up things in the real world as you learn new ways, it is also very freeing. I used to go to therapy and dread the hard work, now I go to therapy and while I know hard work is coming I can also appreciate that it is helping me be the best me I can.
Making the connection between my body and my mind took a long time. Before I did not understand that some of my eating habits where actually defenses for my emotions. I did not realize that those nervous habits of tapping my fingers or shaking my foot when I am angry where ways that I was releasing some of that painful energy, but yet not really dealing with it. One of the big things my therapist helps me do is make that connection. She guides me through the process and helps me focus asking me often things like, “does that feeling have a sound”, “where does that land in your body”, “what emotion is attached to that movement”, etc. I didn’t get it when she first started doing this, but now I really do and it is fascinating.
This is why the post I found on Gaiam caught my eye. She talks about becoming aware, sitting with your emotions, releasing emotions and learning in life. Tools I am using to help, especially with releasing emotions, are yoga and meditation. It may sound ood, but sometimes I cry after yoga – but it is because it is helping me feel and move those emotions. The body is connecting with the mind! While I used to say “don’t cry” to myself and others, now I’m all about crying it out – it helps!
I also want to mention that Gaiam TV has Here and Now: A Beginner’s Guide to Meditation that is really helpful if you are new to this or just need a refresher.
How do you work through your “stuff”? Are you able to connect your body and mind?