Any unprocessed emotions will cause some sort of blockage in our body. Unprocessed emotions are unavoidable, sometimes; especially in this modern and busy life we are all living in, where practically everything becomes a pressure. Pressure to succeed, pressure to ‘keep up’ with the pace of the ever-changing trend of life, pressure for good relationship or job satisfaction, the list goes on. Very often these emotions are being pushed away just because circumstances do not allow these goals to be achieved and the individual becomes frustrated and the mind thwarts the flow of emotions.
Covid-19 has caused and will still be causing pressure and uncertainty to our body, mind and spirit for a long period time. People with Obsessed Compulsive Disorder (OCD) suffer immensely, fearing that there are potentially deadly threats all around. To the OCD sufferers, extensive hand washing and other safety measures, feel absolutely essential. These cause pressure and invoke some combinations of emotions. This lay on the mind and the body, creating psychological distress. Stress of this nature triggers disturbance in the whole energy system of the body, which not only can cause mental illnesses but also physical diseases like heart disease, intestinal problems, headaches, insomnia and autoimmune disorders.
This pandemic has taken heavy toll on parents, families especially with children living with autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) and other disorders. It has uprooted their daily routines which is so important for children living with these disorders. It’s a huge learning curve for parents to meet the children’s needs; they should know how to navigate the confinement amid the pandemic. Research shows that visual info and high level of structure are very effective with children. So board games, like carom, snakes and ladders, monopoly, card games or any other activity that can keep children engaged on a regular basis are ways to avoid restlessness. Parents, on the other side, needs to take care of themselves for it not to be taxing on their mental health and well-being.
Trapped in the body
Emotions are like ‘voices’, unless they get heard or get the attention that they need, they are not to go away. They will stick with us until we resolve them, they will bounce signals to us to make them known and we will have to deal with them sooner or later.
Emotions get trapped when we don’t have the coping skills to deal with certain events. For example, a death in the family. We have what we called the mourning period. A grieving period can be of a year in certain culture. It is an emotional process whereby it gives the family and loved ones time to cope with a loss.
During this process, they can express their emotions which will help them to cope and come to terms with the loss. Henceforth, emotions get trapped because we don’t give them enough time to process. Sometimes, just because we do not want to overreact, be sad or make someone else feel bad when we are experiencing some kind of emotions, all what we do then is pushed the emotions away. Like we mentioned above, they will get trapped in our body, tissues, causing distortion to the organs, muscles, cells that they surround.
Another important sign of trapped emotion is in one’s behaviour. One can be reactive, violent and abusive only if he has a lot of trapped emotions in the body (in the recent past, we have encountered the uprising cases of domestic violence which has lead ultimately to death or murders). A high percentage of murders in Mauritius relates to “crime passionnel”; and this is caused by a lot of trapped emotions which has not been able to be expressed or unblocked. Hence, give time to express your emotions and do not feel ashamed of them, seek guidance if need be. Your emotional and mental health is of paramount importance, it is just as important as taking care of your physical well-being.
Our emotions will keep chasing us if we keep avoiding them or be in any kind of victimization energy. So the only way to pass them is through them. We need to dig and know the root of the cause; how are we attracting the same consistently painful circumstances and pattern every time.
I know this sound some kind of nebulous but as the saying goes, “Il faut souffrir pour être belle”. Indeed, our inner-self want to be beautiful and want to claim back our power but we need to do some work for that change to happen. Try to spare at least an hour a day for yourself either through reading, writing, taking a walk, practising an exercise, meditating, and journaling.
Looking into the emotions
Find yourself a comfortable and quiet place. Sit back and relax. Take a long, slow breath in through your nose down to your lungs. Exhale slowly through pursed lips, while you relax the muscles in your face, jaws, shoulders and stomach. Keep the momentum of your breath while you scan through your body. Tune into your body and connect to your emotions. Invite any emotion that has been lingering in your system for a long time. The feelings, the thoughts will be uncomfortable. It’s natural to feel uncomfortable (feeling of anger, fear, rejection, loneliness, wanted to be validated but got turned down, etc.), you would want to move away from these feelings, it’s natural but hang in there, try your best not to make judgments about your emotions, your thoughts. For example, don’t ask, ‘why me?’, just choose to be present and observe the sensation.
While scanning through your body, is there:
- A knot in your stomach,
- A heaviness in your chest,
- A knot in your throat,
- Soreness in your neck?
Bring all your focus where the sensation is. Allow your thoughts and breaths to go to these areas; while doing this you are healing the wound. You may be experiencing flashbacks or related scenarios that are helping you finding the roots of your emotional blocks, feel the way the emotions sit in your body.
Now give it love, listen to the inner voice and accept whatever you are feeling. Forgive yourself for having created this experience of pain. The sensation will move and take different shapes in your body and it will eventually dissipate and you will feel lightness in your body. This little exercise can be done as many times as you want if the blocks have faded but still here. Invite your mind to revisit the issue that brought up the emotions. The feelings of anger, fear, despair etc, would be lessened every time you do this exercise until it’s have been accepted and cared for. You would see things more clearly. You would be able to take decision more wisely and with confidence.
Our life experience is all done through our body. Do not let trapped emotions stop you from living your life to its fullest. Do not let the outbreak of Covid-19 upends your life although you are going through unprecedented experiences. A few practical tips to overcome fear and anxiety during this quarantine:
- Manage your exposure to media coverage
- Follow a calm but cautious approach
- Stay connected, reach out to others, especially to the elderly who are more helpless during this period of social-distancing, self-isolation which may feel daunting and contribute to fear and anxiety.
- Develop a growth mindset amidst these uncertain times, be more resilient, and learn new things.
- Give children extra attention and reassurance, and above all, BE HAPPY. Happiness can only come through you.