Steps to releasing your emotions
Step 1: Articulate what the emotion is that you’re feeling
You start by labeling your emotion. You’ve heard the expression “I just don’t know how I’m feeling anymore.” The naked divorce provides a daily exercise to articulate your emotions by selecting the emotion label that mirrors how you’re feeling from the table below.
Begin by identifying the emotion as best you can.
For example, feeling fidgety and bored can be a version of anxiousness and panic. At the heart of anxiety is unexpressed despair.
Step 2: Ensure you’re in a ‘safe’ place before expressing your emotions
Ensure you’re in a ‘safe’ space before expressing your emotions. You shouldn’t be at work or driving on a motorway or in the supermarket. You need a private space where you’re free to let go and express yourself. So find a room or a quiet location to let go.
I alternated between driving my car to a remote location, using a back room in my house and a hotel room. It is incredible how sound-proof hotel rooms are (well at least I hope so!).
Step 3: Fully feel your emotions whilst keeping your heart open
There’s no need to fear your emotions. Don’t fight them, run away from them or block them. Regardless of what they represent, welcome them in and be with them. Emotions dissipate and slowly disappear if you feel them and allow yourself to be present with them. Close your eyes and feel them as deeply as you can. Whilst feeling your emotions, keep your heart open. What this means is FEEL the emotion deeply but allow each emotion to wash over you and not become stuck anywhere in your body or in anger within your heart. Keep feeling the emotion till it moves to the next emotion, allowing a natural movement.
There are several ways you can begin to release your emotions, especially those related to anger and hurt.
1. Go into an empty room, put a pillow over your mouth and scream. Or go for a drive alone, pull over at the side of the road and shout it all out. Do it as loudly as you can. Scream the words “I hate being hurt!”, or whatever it is you’re feeling. So many people have never screamed out their hurt or their rage. Continue to do this as long as it feels right inside. And allow yourself to cry your feelings out.
2. If you don’t have the space to scream aloud, imagine you are screaming out your rage, hurt, and pain. Imagine it completely. See it, and hear it and feel it as deeply as you can. I remember screaming like this for 20 minutes. I kept shouting “Rage! Rage! Rage!” I fully felt every part of that rage in every part of my body. I did not stop until it felt like the emotion was gone. By doing this, I released the emotion to ensure no blockages occurred within my body. It was exhausting but fantastic.
3. If you’re a physical person, take a pillow and keep hitting a chair, your bed, anything, feeling your hurt every time you lash out. Each time you hit out, say the words “I hate being hurt!” or “I’m so f*&^%^ upset!” or whatever it is that you are feeling.
4. Get yourself a punching bag and hang it in your basement. And then get to whacking it. Hit that punching bag until you’ve released your emotions.
5. Pound a table with your fists, shouting the words that represent how you’re feeling.
6. If you like to write, write about your anger, your hate, sadness, upset, frustration or disappointment. Write about how hurt you are and how afraid you really are. Journal what’s happened and how it’s affecting you today. Write about what you’ve lost, or what you never had, that has hurt you so deeply.
Feel the feeling! Surrender into it!
TIP: One of the most important things about releasing an emotion is to concentrate on the emotion rather than what caused the emotion. Forget who did what to you. Concentrate on the “I hate xxx” or “I’m SO angry” or “I’m SO hurt”. It’s the emotion you need to release.
Step 4 – Acknowledge yourself and drink water
Expressing emotions is thirsty work. You may even lose your voice a little. When you’re done expressing your emotions, stop, breathe, and then drink a big glass of water. Sit quietly and notice what you’re present to. When you’ve fully expressed your emotions, you will probably be feeling a sense of what I call ‘space’, or nothingness, which is step 7 in the naked divorce grieving process.