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Have you ever wondered how to let go of difficult emotions? This emotion may be showing up again and again when you try to release it. Maybe you do not know where to start when it comes to releasing emotions, or have never tried to do this before.
These four steps have worked in helping me to let go of any emotion. If you would like to work on releasing some emotions, I recommend sitting in meditation to do this, or getting out some paper and a pen to write about the emotion using these steps. Let’s get started!
1. Welcome the Emotion
The first step is to welcome the emotion. So many of us are afraid to feel, we forget that emotions are just experiences. Welcoming in these new experiences, no matter how painful they are, is necessary for processing the emotion.
Acknowledge the emotion. Be open to it. Give it a name. Speak to the emotion itself. Each emotion you feel is a gift. If you are experiencing the emotion of sadness, you can try saying “Hello Sadness! You can stay as long as you’d like. I know you’re here because…”. Speak to it. Identifying where the emotion is felt physically in the body is also helpful. After the emotion is let go, you will be able to physically feel different in the area where the emotion once was.
From this place of welcoming the emotion it makes it easier for it to be understood and processed.
2. Feel the Emotion
Now that the emotion has been welcomed, it is ready to be felt.
Yes, that’s all you need to do for this step. No thinking about the stories, or the situation that caused the emotion, or the people involved. Just simply being at ease with yourself. Can I be with myself no matter how intense or strong the emotion is? Am I committed to feeling this through to the end?
This step is particularly helpful if you are feeling something, and you are not sure where it is coming from. The act of feeling and experiencing the emotion is enough for you to understand it, and thank it in the next step.
3. Thank the emotion
Thank the emotion for the purpose it has served for you. Thank it for showing you what is important for you now. Thank yourself for being able to receive the emotion as the gift that it is. No matter how hard this emotion seemed to be for you, it had a purpose in showing up in your life. Acknowledging this makes it easy for you to learn and grow from this emotion.
4. Let it Go
This is the very last step, you may need to go through step 1-3 a few times before you are finally ready to let go of this emotion. It is necessary for the emotion to be acknowledged and felt before letting it go– otherwise you run the risk of repressing it rather than processing the emotion.
Letting it go involves surrender, release. Detaching from the story or the thoughts from where the emotion came from. Maybe it requires you to forgive certain people in your heart for this to be possible. You will find that if the work is done in the previous steps, it is easier for the emotion to be let go.
During my meditation practice is when I come across a lot of these emotions that need to be let go, and following the steps above is what I use. Some emotions take only 10 seconds to release. Others take coming back several times to understand the different aspects of what I’m going through for this situation.
Thank you all for reading! Let me know what process you use to let go of emotions in the comments below!