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building our emotional skills

So many of us don't actually know how to metabolize emotions.

We can recognize an emotion, maybe even accurately name the emotion. And then we often get stuck.

Let's understand this further with a metaphor about eating.

In the above description we're just stuck chewing a bite of food in our mouth over and over and over. Yuck! We want to be able to take a bite, chew, swallow, and digest. Same, same with our emotions.

So many of us need to practice these other skills of emotional "eating and digesting".

What will help us metaphorically swallow, digest, and then excrete any wastes when we're talking emotional expression?

Physical practices.

Our bodies innately understand how to move big emotional charge. They know how to DIGEST! So often we've been socialized to limit or stop these innate biological responses. Things like: stomping, hitting, biting, pushing, throwing, crying, flailing, etc. Really anything you'd witness a toddler doing during a meltdown is a reminder of our INNATE ABILITY to digest emotions.

However, we're grown-ups now. And that kind of meltdown is often not age- or situation-appropriate.

So we need to LEARN and PRACTICE appropriate ways of expressing emotion.

We need help practicing more helpful ways of expressing and digesting big emotions.

This is where my "Embodied Emotions" workshop series comes in.

First we learn. Then we practice. We practice how to sway, stomp, shake, throw, and move our bodies in the BIOLOGICALLY INNATE ways that they ALREADY KNOW to help us digest emotions.

It's simple. Not always easy though.

That's why it's appropriate to need help learning these skills.

If a workshop isn't your thing, here are some ideas you can get working on.

Things that you can start doing TODAY include:

  • Getting better at naming emotions by expanding your emotional vocabulary. Check out an emotion wheel on the internet and use that as inspiration.

  • Move. Move your body way more. We're not talking "exercising", we're talking movement that helps emotional charge be expressed and released through our bodies. Practice: swaying, shaking your hands, stomping your feet, using loud "sighing" exhales.

  • Commitment to learning these skills. I don't think everyone needs therapy all of the time (call me wild for that opinion!), AND we do need to make a commitment to building these skills. Things like: setting up an accountability buddy, reading books, listening to podcasts, working with a coach, attending a workshop, etc.

I hope you're getting the sense that there doesn't need to be any self-judgment, shame or guilt around how we approach expanding these skills. So many of us didn't reach much, or any, helpful emotional education while you were growing up? Perhaps most of the "emotional skills" taught by the grown-ups around you were avoidance, dismissing, minimizing, and dramatizing? Well, now that we're grown-ups we have an incredible OPPORTUNITY to learn real and helpful emotional skills.

I hope that you see the worthwhile nature of this opportunity and make that commitment to yourself today!


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