This is an article written by Heidi De Santo in the July edition of OH! Magazine: some tips to help create a more positive mind set from a therapist’s point of view. Accompanying it is this quote, one of my favourites.
1. Stop judging your emotions and start accepting them When it comes to emotions, there is a tendency to judge them as ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’. You might say ‘I shouldn’t be feeling like this’ but this non-acceptance of ‘what is’ will create stress and unease within. When you do this, you’re forced to wear a mask and pretend that everything’s okay when in fact, deep down inside, it’s not. There’s nothing wrong with sadness; it’s just sadness. And when you allow it to be there without judging it, it can actually lose its power over you.
2. Start feeling your emotions Your true nature is peace, love and joy. Most people, however, are unable to access these emotional states because all their unfelt emotions get trapped within their body – which doesn’t feel good, by the way! The irony is that you need to feel your emotions in order to get rid of them. There’s an epidemic of ‘not feeling’ in today’s society. Think of the way children are educated about emotions. When a child feels sad, the adults around say ‘cheer up’. If a child feels angry, the adults say ‘calm down’, or if a child is too excited, they say ‘settle down’. Children learn to not trust their internal world and shut off from their emotions. Because of this, most people have lost touch with their internal emotional GPS system! Most people aren’t even aware that they don’t feel properly because it has become such an ingrained pattern. But, if you find it hard to relax, are addicted to anything, feel depressed or anxious, or if you have major ups and downs, you can virtually be guaranteed that you are in a pattern of non-feeling. Learning or relearning how to feel involves looking within and feeling the emotion in your body. But the trap that many people fall into when they try to feel is that they get busy in their mind and this chatter takes you out of feeling and prevents you from returning home to peace!
3. Get help for traumatised parts If you’ve tried 1) not judging your emotions and 2) feeling them and you still feel low, you’ve probably got a traumatised part. Many people stay in a low emotional state because of something that’s occurred in the past. I’ve worked with many people who have been abused as children (whether it be sexually, mentally, emotionally or physically), and have helped them to become whole by reclaiming the parts that have been traumatised.
By the way, trauma doesn’t have to be a really bad event, it can be as simple as someone being mean to you, someone telling you off or just not getting the love that you need! When you’re able to go back and reclaim the part that’s in trauma, you become free to be YOU and you’re able to leave your sadness and depression behind.