“Our mental health and our physical health are actually reliant upon our emotional well-being. They are underpinned by our emotional health” – Jenny Florence
Do you eat your emotions?
Do you starve your emotions?
Do you smoke, drink, shop or sweep your emotions away?
Emotions are emotions. They exist, whether we like it or not.
For those who have good emotional health are aware of their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. They have learned healthy ways to cope with everyday life and the stress that comes along with it. They have a strong sense of self and equally strong relationships.
However, there are several things that can alter how we process emotions. Some of these things may include:
- Death of a loved one
When we have learned that it’s not okay to express our emotions and feelings, they become suppressed and embedded into our subconscious on a cellular level. When that happens, and often without us realizing it at first, we begin to compensate by searching outside of ourselves for comfort when our emotions and feelings become too much to bear.
I know this from first-hand experience. For decades I have suffered from digestive issues. At 14 years old, after being in the hospital for two weeks during the holiday season it was found that I had a bleeding ulcer. A hole in my stomach the size of a pin-hole.
How did this happen at such a young age?
Growing up in an alcoholic home caused a lot of fear and trauma. I learned early on that expressing myself was not safe so I began suppressing, stuffing and bottling up my feelings and emotions.
Even during my stay at the hospital, it was confirmed to me that my thoughts, feelings, and emotions were not valued. All the doctors were convinced that I was anorexic and lying about it the whole time.
Emotional Stress…That is what the gastrointestinal specialist said to both my parents and myself after putting a scope down my throat. All I remember feeling was “I told you I wasn’t lying.”
Over the course of my life, indigestion, heartburn, severe stomach pain and discomfort, bloating, the yo-yo of either not being able to go to the bathroom to going all the time became a part of my everyday. I was on various medications on and off over the years and lived on over-the-counter meds trying to seek relief. All of these did bring some relief but only for short periods of time.
It was like putting a band-aid on a gaping wound.
What they were not doing is getting to the root cause of my pain and discomfort.
How Do You Heal?
Suppressing emotions and feelings will manifest into illness and dis-ease within the body. I first learned this from reading Louise Hay’s book “You Can Heal Your Life”. For every physical ailment, there is an emotional cause. The positive in this is that these learned behaviors and beliefs can be un-learned.
When we begin to dig into the root causes and begin understanding the “Why” of things is the moment we can begin to heal.
Know that this journey is a life long process. There is no rush. It has taken years to get where we are today, so be kind and patient with yourself.
One Day, One Moment, One Habit at a Time
Here are 5 Tips that I have used and still use to keep me on track.
Get Support/Counseling/Therapy/Support Groups – Find someone, a group, a support group, a therapist with whom you feel comfortable and trust and begin there. Having and creating a strong support system is integral to your healing and your life. Keep looking, keep trying, do not give up! When I stepped into the office of the woman who helped me save my own life was the day my new life began.
Journal/Keep a Diary – Yes, you have probably heard this before, over and over again but trust me when I say that my journal saved me and my health! Getting out what is going on inside your mind and heart truly has an impact on how you will feel physically. Even if you sit down and write “I Am Angry” over and over and over again is perfect and yes, I have done that….several times! Just write and keep writing for at least 5-10 minutes, to begin with. Over time, it will become part of your everyday life.
Create an Altar/Sacred Space – Sacred space is a world within a world. It is where we connect to our Higher Self, leave the difficulties of the outside world behind and allows us to enter our quiet inner world where true healing can take place. Much of our fear and pain derives from the feeling that the world is not a safe place for us. Within sacred space, we are protected, we are safe, we are loved. I often use my kitchen altar to place my intentions, as well as my worries and allow the Goddess and the Universe to guide me in seeking the answers I need. I have written a Free Ebook about creating a kitchen altar and if you haven’t already, you can sign up to receive this free ebook by clicking here.
Get Some Sleep – I can not express enough the importance of getting adequate restorative sleep. Sleep is healing to our body, mind, and soul. It renews, rebuilds and repairs at a cellular level. One thing that has helped me is to create an evening routine. I set a time when I was to awake as well as set a time when I was to go to sleep. The older I got, the more important it became to keep to this routine. This is something that can, when done consistently becomes as natural as brushing our teeth.
Read – Yes, I said read! This can be a part of your evening routine (and you can incorporate your journal writing as well into your evening routine to help wind down) but be selective on what you read. What helped me was to read personal development books, self-help (this is when journaling was a huge part of my evening routine. I did an emotional mind dump before bed so I could rest easy) and anything that helped me on my healing journey.
You can, however, read pure fiction. Something that relaxes you, takes you away for a little bit as you wind down (if using it as part of your evening routine) and allows you to tap into your creative mind.
Suppressing your feelings and emotions does and will make you sick but it is something you can pro-actively heal to begin feeling lighter, happier and FREE!