Updated: Aug 14, 2021
Emotions have had a bad rap.
Throughout centuries we have learnt to block our emotions. Mistrust them. This trend began in earnest through the scientific/medical exploration of the human body. The notion that the body is made of discrete parts was developed during the 1500 and 1600s as the body was dissected and functions of the various organs discovered. In effect, the body was viewed as a machine. Over time, the physical repair of parts became honed, and the use of pharmaceuticals became widely accepted to restore physical health.
The growth in knowledge of surgical and pharmaceutical methods was not
detrimental. What was detrimental was the
view that only the scientific or pharmaceutical were reliable, treating the emotional aspect of the human as unpredictable, hysterical and to be mistrusted.
We have three significant centres of intelligence within our bodies – our head (logic), our heart (emotional), and our stomach (intuitive). These centres are the receptors in our physical bodies which form a neural network between our conscious, sub-conscious and innate knowledge. Each needs to function in harmony with the other to keep us healthy.
Emotional Shut Down - A Juvenile Strategy or Trauma Response
Emotional shut down can occur at any stage but it is particularly common as young children. If as children, we have a series of traumatic or upsetting experiences and no one is aware or able to guide us through these emotions, we generally determine that it is better not to ‘feel’. Remember, parents who do not know how to deal with emotions won’t have the skills to show children what to do with emotions.
With this decision we employ the conscious mind to limit the range of emotions felt. This can occur through hypervigilance and control. Where once we may have been open to extreme highs and deep lows, we now minimise the emotions felt. In some cases, emotions will ‘flatline’, choosing to maintain a relatively emotionless state. There is much to thank the conscious mind for in creating this safe space, however, it is not a state that our bodies will allow us to remain in indefinitely.
A Blocked Guidance System
Each time we tense to deflect an unpleasant emotion we fear, we lock it more deeply into our body.
How is this possible?
The truth is our emotions sit within us – they are not created by others and so we are seeking to deflect what is already inside ourselves. Overtime this action will create a significant imbalance, building until symptoms occur. Predominantly these symptoms are mental or physical and if we ignore them long enough they generally manifest into something that requires medical intervention.
What are our emotions for anyway?
Our emotions are part of our direct guidance system.
This is the part of us that shows us whether we are aligned with our Higher Self – or not. When we feel discomfort: in a situation, from what we hear, or what we think, it is a sign from our Higher Self that this does not align with who we really are. We are being asked to consider if we want more of the same or whether we are ready to choose a different path. Let me give an example. If someone criticises us and we understand that the world mirrors our beliefs, we might think, ‘this isn’t about me, they are seeing criticism because they have learnt to criticise themselves.’ Or we may feel the criticism deeply, feeling wounded in our hearts.
If it is the latter, the wound we feel is a message from our Higher Self asking us to heal where the divergence occurred. When we look at little children, they do not criticise themselves. It is something that they have learnt and something learnt, can be unlearnt.
If we don’t realise this and we continue to criticise ourselves, failing to understand that we are all learners learning from our ‘mistakes’ in divine timing, we will inevitably bring mental and physical discomfort to our bodies. Some of the classic imbalances created by self-criticism are low self-esteem, arthritis, stomach conditions, lower back pain, urinary tract infections, etc.
So what to do with our emotions?
Treat them as the guidance system they are.
Notice an unpleasant emotion.
Breathe deeply, gently and allow the emotion to flow through the body. My preference is to do this with bare feet grounded with the earth but it can be done anywhere you can create space for yourself. Cry if needed, allow the heart to feel, let it out and let it go.
Employ the conscious mind for the purpose it was intended.
What is the message from the situation? Using the criticism example, perhaps I need to stop criticising myself. Or perhaps I just need a better boundary. Then consider whether the situation needs follow up action or whether it was just an important step in helping to prepare for how to respond next time.
Apply the lesson.
A blocked heart cannot hear the Higher Self, yet it is the guide for our happiness, our passions and purpose.
Humans vibrate in unique electromagnetic waves. When our intelligence centres are working together, these waves are gentle and harmonious, our body is in homeostasis and can use our energy to heal and repair.
Remember – the heart is our guide; the head is to make what our heart wants happen; and the gut is our traffic cop or warning system if we aren’t tuned in.
Our Higher Self is always sending us guidance…let it in.
Kinesiologist & Energy Therapist
© Lakeside Kinesiology 2021