How many times do you swallow down your emotions?
Are lugging around excess emotional weight? That feeling when something or someone has bothered you so much but instead of acknowledging how you feel and speaking up, the emotion is suppressed and pushed back down.
The response is “I’m fine” or “Everything is fine”, when in fact it is the complete opposite.
You might find that you are literally devouring your emotions by eating anger or drinking through disappointment. Despite your dedication to living a healthier lifestyle, when it comes to eating and drinking, you find yourself binge eating through a pack of biscuits with no memory of opening the packet.
I was so burnout and anxious that I thought feeling my heart thud in my chest was the norm. In times of stress, I would reach for carbs and a glass of wine. Most weekends I would overindulge and then start my week hating myself and punishing myself and vowing to start again. It was a non-stop cycle. Quite frankly it was exhausting being me.
Fast forward to now I discovered new healthier ways to deal with stress and my emotions without binge eating and drinking.
The key to breaking the cycle is dropping the Emotional Weight.
As Confidence Coach for Women in their 40’s, as well as an Accredited EFT Practitioner, I have made it my mission to help women boost their confidence and self-esteem.
In this blog post, I’ll be covering how our emotions impact our well-being and how to start to rewire your brain to boost confidence and self-esteem.
According to Positive Psychology, a human can experience 34,000 emotions! I know!! The limbic system in the brain is responsible for our emotions as well as memories and activating instinctive survival reactions. It plays a crucial role in how we form relationships with other people and form a secure healthy attachment to them.
Many of us were not taught about emotions and stress at school. It is therefore no surprise that we are not equipped when uncomfortable emotions such as sadness, frustration and anger come up. Perhaps you were taught that it was not ok to feel anger, that you must be the good girl or the hero perfect child.
I was definitely in the good girl camp in my childhood and the majority of adult life, even now I struggle to shake off the shackles of the Perfect Girl Guide image.
What I found and see if this resonates with you, is that when you are spending so much energy (and it takes up so much emotional energy to be ‘perfect’ and ‘good’) how can you truly know who you really are when you are suppressing how you feel?
How can you even start to introduce healthy boundaries, when you are so busy people-pleasing, that the line between what is and is not acceptable is blurred? How can you know what you want, when you put other people’s needs before your own?
A big part of my life was fearing the ‘bad emotions’. I would drink through sadness, despair, and anxiety. It wasn’t until a wonderful therapist actually sat me down and explained that it is normal to experience a range of emotions. Some are more uncomfortable than others but they cannot hurt you.
All emotions are valid and part of the vibrant tapestry of who we are.
So what exactly are emotions
Emotions are e-motions, energy in motion. Emotions are energy and energy is in constant motion. It is within your body and those feelings need to go somewhere.
By squeezing heavy emotions deep inside and not releasing them it causes a build-up. I always see it like a bin that has not been emptied, it starts to build up and up until finally, your kitchen starts to smell of a rotten bin.
If you don’t release the emotions, it’s basically like spraying air fresher over the bin. It will only mask the smell for so long and you still need to take that bin out.
The stress fat cocktail
Another reason to drop the Emotional Weight is the impact on our mental and physical health. By digesting our emotions and not addressing the issue, we are creating more and more stress within our bodies.
When we feel stressed the amygdala in the brain sends cortisol into the body that produces the fight, flight and freeze response in the brain – to help you run away and survive. Too much cortisol slows down digestion, increases cravings such as high sugar carbs and creates weight gain around the belly.
What I have seen time and time again with clients, is that when it comes to emotional eating and body confidence. It is not the actual food that is the biggest challenge but the emotion that is being suppressed.
Drop the Emotional Weight
What Emotional Weight are you carrying on your shoulders? What is causing you the most stress right now? How can you lessen the load?
The first step is to start by acknowledging how you feel… if you struggle to name an emotion using an Emotional Wheel is a great start.
How do you feel today? an example I feel frustrated today.
Don’t try to change it or push it. Sit with it and keep breathing into the feeling, an emotion only lasts 90 seconds according to research.
Become mindful of where this is showing up in your body. Where are you storing this emotion inside your body? For example In my shoulders and chest.
Again just notice where it is, do not try to change it or push it away. Keep breathing.
By giving your emotions some much-needed attention, it enables the mind and body to acknowledge them and let them go.
Tap it Out
If you still feel the intensity of that emotion, I highly recommend trying EFT and I have created a tapping script below.
EFT is a tool that literally gives you freedom from your emotions and is very fast at dropping Emotional Weight. This is why EFT is such a popular method for reducing anxiety, boosting confidence, self-esteem and weight loss.
In fact, an incredible recent study by Dr Petra Stepheson shows how EFT not only reduces cortisol and stress, it also reported that individuals lost weight too
EFT is a simple stress reduction tool and part of the Energy Psychologies family and works on the Limbic (emotions system) and the Amygdala (stress response) sending calming signals to the brain.
Tapping disrupts the stress response and reduces cortisol. Meaning, you can think with clarity about a situation without trip-wiring your nervous system and sabotaging yourself (inhaling a box of biscuits or reaching for that cigarette or glass of wine.)
You are able to re-programme the way your brain responds to stress and gives you the independence to take care of your own wellbeing.
Developed by psychologists and there are numerous studies you can find there from the EFT Universe.
As an Accredited EFT Practitioner with the EFTI, I love weaving in EFT when I’m working with Clients.
EFT Script to release Emotional Weight
This is a basic tapping script, to help release emotions stored within the body. If you are new to tapping there is a tutorial you can access my tutorial here.
1) Start by grounding your feet and taking three deep cleansing breaths.
2) Tune into how you are feeling, as mentioned before and become mindful of an emotion you are experiencing and where this shows up in the body.
3) Rate how you feel from 0 no intensity and 10 feeling high intensity
4) Using your index and middle finger, lightly tap side of your hand and repeat all the phrases below in the sequence.
Even though I am experiencing this emotion and I can feel it in my body, I accept myself and how I feel.
Even though I feel this tension in my body, when I think that thought, I accept myself and how I feel.
Even though I feel this tension when I think about this emotion, I accept myself and how I feel.
5) Repeat the reminder phrase below as you tap on the body’s acupressure points. Start with the top of the eyebrow. Lightly tap as you talk on each point. Don’t worry about getting it wrong, just focus on the words and your mind and body will know what to do.
Top of eyebrow – this tension in my body
Side of eye – this tension in my body
Under eye – this tension in my body
Under nose – this tension in my body
Chin – this tension in my body
Chest – this tension in my body
Under arm – this tension in my body
Top of head – this tension in my body
6) Take a deep nourishing breath in and out. Scale how you feel and rate it with 0 being calm and 10 being uncomfortable. We want to reduce this negative feeling even more.
Then repeat the next round twice…
Top of eyebrow – this remaining tension in my body
Side of eye – this remaining tension in my body
Under eye – this remaining tension in my body
Under nose – this remaining tension in my body
Chin – this remaining tension in my body
Chest – this remaining tension in my body
Under arm – this remaining tension in my body
Top of head – this remaining tension in my body
Take a deep breath, rate again how feel. What rate is this now with 0 no intensity and 10 feeling high intensity If the number is less than 5 you can continue to the positive tapping. If it is still above 5, repeat the steps above.
Top of eyebrow -I choose to be open to the possibility
Side of eye – that I can release this emotional weight
Under eye – I choose to offer myself compassion
Under nose – My emotions can not harm me
Chin – I choose to release this emotional weight
Chest – I choose to give my mind and body permission to release this tension
Under arm – I choose to be compassionate
Top of head – I choose to be kind to myself
Take three deep breaths in and out. Notice how you feel. Compare how you felt at the beginning and how you feel now. Even a slight change is a big difference. If the number has risen higher, that is ok, keep tapping on this remaining tension.
When you release the emotional weight and understand the root of the problem, you reduce cortisol, stop the emotional eating cycle and have greater body confidence and self-esteem. You may actually start to lose natural physical weight without depriving yourself.
Jo Fiddy is a Confidence Coach for Women in their 40’s www.riseandvibewithjo.com