• Hardcore Yogi

The Trap of Suppressing Emotions, and Healing By Feeling Them Fully

The Trap of Suppressing Emotions, and Healing By Feeling Them Fully

I realised that I may have suppressed emotions at several times in my life. And I believe it’s something many of us have done, especially men.

The typical way we suppress emotion is by distracting ourselves. Usually we do it through a vice, stimulation, excitement, distraction. Anything to avoid feeling the emotion we were on the brink of feeling.

I realised a very clever mistake I had made. Seemingly healthy practices for cleansing emotions, can still be used to suppress emotions. My go-to routine is that when I get irritated or triggered, I stand still and have a self-chat. I acknowledge what event or thought affected me, why it is all ok, and how I wish to move forward. I then do some strong breaths up through the centre line, opening all the energy channels and creating great circulation. I feel free of the emotion, it is behind me. My energy-body and mood feels great and ready to go. At least temporarily.

This technique can be a great tool, in some contexts. Particularly when you get triggered over a small thing, and you have stuff to do right now. Best to clear out the emotion and move on with the business of the day 🙂. But it can be a double edged sword. Any spiritual or energetic technique may seem cleansing, but can actually be a distractor. Particularly when there is a deeper emotional event happening...

I have realised that when a significant emotion wants to bubble up to the surface, sometimes we tend to avoid it. Either with a petty distraction like food sex and drugs, or a higher level distraction like breathwork and qigong. All of these things aim to suppress an emotion, numbing the pain.

I can now see the value, and in fact the necessity, of allowing all emotions to bubble up and be experienced fully. To be expressed fully. Of course there are healthy and unhealthy ways to do this. There are inappropriate times, and appropriate times. But realise that if you must offset a significant emotion due to being busy, you must take time to welcome it later in the day when you are free.

I think there is huge benefit in feeling an emotion fully. To just sit down to be with it. Emotion is an energy that wells up in the body, that moves through the body, and then finally leaves the body. Once we have undergone this process, we are free of the emotion (for now). We can then glean clarity and perspective on the situation, in a way that just isn’t possible with quick energetic clearings and distractions. When we’ve gone into the emotion fully, when we’ve felt the emotion fully, we can now see the whole event clearly. You can literally SEE the situation now, for you have gone into it’s full depths, head on.

I think we avoid emotions, because we want to avoid pain. The tendency to move away from pain and toward pleasure is a very counter-intuitive thing. Some yogis and spiritual masters undergo intense physical pain, like laying on beds of nail, walking on coal, or meditating naked in the snow. This sense of physical discomfort can purify the soul. It is an exercise to remove the excess resistance to life. To experience life fully, with calmness and with clarity, with transcendent non-reactive awareness.

To feel emotions fully, and consciously, can be a similar exercise to the Yogi who lays on the bed of nails.

When we have gone through any type of severe discomfort, physically or emotionally, two things happen. 1) We realise that discomfort isn’t even that bad. We are still here, now on the other side and telling a great story. 2) The rest of life seems so much more peaceful and serene. If you can handle discomfort with grace, how well can you handle the pleasant times? It is bliss. So feeling pain can be amazing for spiritual development. On the flip, if one seeks only pleasure and comfort, trying to create a cushy life, then even the smallest disturbance will make you react so strongly. That is suffering.

Pain can create serenity. Pleasure can create suffering. It is a counter intuitive force in existence.

So what I have learned, is that feeling emotions fully is a pivotal practice for growth and healing. The only caveats are this: do it in a healthy way. Don’t project it onto others. Be compassionate to others. Also, do it consciously, very aware and intentional with the process. Lastly, attempt to see the lessons from the emotional release, and integrate those lessons.

Bonus tip: I intuit that anger may often be a smoke screen for sadness. So by all means express anger (in a healthy conscious way), and then see if you can express some sadness afterwards, thus completing the circuit.

It may seem very feminine, to play with and master emotions. But it benefits all humans equally. And the tendency of women to do this, is in fact one of their strengths.

Sending you so much love to you on your healing journey.


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