Are You Frustrated and Ready to Explode? Do it!
Does this resonate with you? You feel frustrated, restless and irritable. Although you are bombarded with video conference calls, phone calls from work and others - you feel lonely. Knowing the go-getter you are, this is driving you nuts. Do you just put on a happy face and try to move on?
So many of us try this strategy only to find the feelings resurface later and in an even bigger way. What about just confronting these feelings head on? COVID-19 flipped our entire world upside down and has triggered a collective mourning. Mourning? Yes. Experts in mental health state we are mourning the loss of life as we knew it. And this is no joke. Like with other losses (the loss of a loved one, a divorce, etc.) we are going through the different stages of grief.
5 stages of grief and loss are: 1. Denial and isolation 2. Anger 3. Bargaining 4. Depression 5. Acceptance
In what stage do you find yourself right now? Everyone moves through these stages at a different rate and not necessarily in that order. But it’s important to actually allow yourself to feel and go through all of them. The decision to stuff your feelings down like packing a suitcase, can actually lead to greater unease and even dis-ease in your body.
The impact of unfelt emotions on your body:
Dr. Bruce Lipton explains it best.
Here’s his analogy… "Your cells, the citizens of your body, talk to your mind (the government). They do this through their own special language of symptoms and emotions. Just like the dashboard on your car, your body has ‘gages and indicators’ in the form of emotions and symptoms. They tell you how you are doing. When you get angry for example, your body gets hot (symptoms). Your body is actually giving you a sensory signal that it’s time to “pull over and cool off.” Dr. Lipton continues that if you pay attention to your emotions and deal with them, your body responds in kind. However, if you’re trying to ignore them or even “take medication [to manage these] symptoms, you are shutting off the signals. This is the equivalent to putting duct tape over the gages on your car.” Science has proven that if you continuously ignore the gages in your body your cells will deteriorate and cause sickness, aging, and disease. Not good.
How to express emotions in a healthy way:
The key is not to ignore your feelings but to express them. Now you can’t go ballistic on your children or start crying in the middle of an office meeting but you can take a few moments to pause and actually let it out in a very safe way.
1. Be conscious of your emotions – Any time you have a negative emotion you want to pause and ask yourself what feeling is coming up? Is it anger, frustration or sadness? 2. Get into a private place – As soon as you can, step away from others and get into a private space where you will not be interrupted. 3. Express your emotions – Whatever emotion you’re feeling, find a way to let it out. So, if you’re angry you may want to punch a mattress or pillow or even yell out. Nope, I’m not joking…these are my two favorite ways to express anger or frustration. If you’re sad grab a tissue box and cry it out for a few minutes. You don’t even need to know why you are sad…it doesn’t matter! Remember that your feelings are energy. This energy would remain pinned up within you unless you let it out.
My visit to the grocery store…a personal story to illustrate this… I had a 20-minute break between meetings….my body craved a chicken curry salad wrap and I knew exactly where to get it. I got in the car, raced to the grocery store and walked towards the entrance when I saw a never ending line. What?! Although my wrap was in a fridge just 20 steps beyond the exit, I wouldn’t get to it in time. Because of COVID-19 I would not get to eat my favorite lunch! I was soooo mad…at no one. I felt like a bratty little girl who didn’t get her candy. I got back in the car, quickly looked around (nobody there) and I exploded!! I hit my steering wheel 2-3 times and let out a huge yelp. The tears flowed and I just sat with it and let them out. The whole process took about 90 seconds. Peace flooded in and I felt relief. Like someone just turned the light switch back on and I was OK. It was so soothing to just take a moment and be with my emotions, actually feel them. Now you can read this, laugh and wonder if you should perhaps shrug and go on as you were OR you could give this a try and test it out for yourself. What’s the worst thing that can happen? You may feel silly but with no one else around you won’t embarrass yourself. In the end, it will put a smile on your face again and allow you to continue where you left off – in peace.
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