7 Signs You've Actually Processed An Emotion (& 8 Signs You Haven't)

podcast Jan 29, 2024

Just because time has passed since you felt an emotion and it subsided, doesn't necessarily mean it was released. When we repress or react to an emotion, it can subside temporarily, or in other words, go “dormant”. But because it wasn’t fully processed, it will inevitably get retriggered and brought back to the surface.

I want to share the signs I’ve noticed in myself and my clients that an emotion is actually released so you can start tuning into these signs for yourself.

What “Feeling Your Feelings” Really Means

We all know we should “feel our feelings”. But there’s a big difference between actually feeling your feelings and knowing you should. 

Feeling your feelings doesn’t mean:

  • Talking about how you feel
  • Thinking about how you feel
  • Labeling how you feel
  • Acknowledging how you feel
  • Explaining/analyzing why you feel this way
  • Thinking about and figuring out how to change how you feel
  • Trying to talk yourself out of how you feel by covering up with a positive thought like “everything happens for a reason” (basically pretending you don’t feel an emotion when you do)

Feeling your feelings means:

  • Locating where the emotion is in the body and directly feeling the sensations present, while breathing

You can’t drive a boat on land (it will just stay stuck); it moves in water. 

Just like you can’t move an emotion by thinking about it (it will just stay stuck); it moves in the body.

A few years ago, I would have read this and thought “yeah yeah yeah, I know, feel your feelings”. But I wasn’t actually doing it.

I wasn’t actually noticing when a feeling was coming up, feeling it directly in the body and breathing through it until it completely dissolved (to where you feel completely neutral, light, free & clear).

I was thinking about how I felt, feeling bad about how I felt and always trying to talk myself into feeling better. Which only kept me stuck.

How To Transmute Emotions “Trapped” In The Body

Allowing and actually FEELING (not thinking about) your emotions is how they dissolve and transmute back into free flowing energy. 

Otherwise they get “stuck” in the body, feel like a weight we’re carrying around, and keep us stuck in unconscious reactions, emotional states and unwanted circumstances.

Learning how to do this (and actually doing it) has changed my life more than I can put in words.

On the other side, every time, is more lightness, freedom and clarity. 

Joy and inner peace are no longer fleeting, temporary states. It’s become my norm. And when it’s not, I can quickly come back. 

7 Signs You’ve Actually Processed An Emotion

Keep in mind that these are the telltale signs I’ve noticed for myself and my clients but your experience might feel a little different. If you don’t experience all 7 signs or experience them in this exact way, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not releasing. 

1. The emotion feels neutralized, flattened, complete or like weight has been lifted off of you. 

Activated emotions are kind of like a shooken up snow globe. Once everything settles back to the bottom (once the emotion is released), you feel a palpable shift. You feel settled, at ease and still versus shooken up.

2. The sensations are no longer present in the body. 

For example, whereas before there was a heaviness in the chest, thumping in the heart, tension in the head or whatever sensations your emotion is presenting as, there’s now a deep sense of spaciousness and lightness.

3. Tingling hands, face or tingling all over the body.

If you start to feel tingling, that’s usually a great sign energy is releasing or has been released.

4. The same story, trigger or situation no longer feels like a problem/worry/burden. 

You feel detached and have a sense that all is well and you’ll be okay no matter what. Before, when you thought about the situation, it would churn up the emotion. Now, when you bring it to mind, it no longer has a grip on you and feels like no big deal.

5. If a similar situation comes along and you don't react or experience an emotional charge around it.

You might find yourself completely unbothered or reacting in much more peaceful, grounded, effective ways.

6. Yawning and/or slower, easier, smoother breathing.

Yawning doesn’t always mean an emotion is fully processed but it’s a really great sign it’s in progress. Keep going until it feels complete. Your breathing might also get slower, easier and smoother as you fully process an emotion.

7. If you’re no longer super attached to the situation going a certain way.

You might still have a light preference but you ultimately know you’re good either way. For example, you might prefer that your boss doesn’t raise their voice at you but your okayness is no longer dependent on it and you’re no longer deeply triggered by it.

8 Signs You Haven’t Processed An Emotion

  1. You feel a tendency to hold the breath still or the breath feels blocked. 

  2. You still feel the same about the situation.

  3. The mind keeps looping on the situation or trying to mentally solve it.

Once an emotion is fully processed, your thoughts about it will no longer have a strong grip on you and instead of a racing, over-thinking mind, there will be a much calmer, quieter quality to the mind.

4. If a similar situation comes up again and you react in the same way or a similar way and still feel really triggered by it.

5. If you keep manifesting similar situations that bring the emotion to the surface.

Once the emotion is cleared, new potentials will open up.

6. You’re experiencing physical symptoms like nausea, muscle tension or pain, digestive issues, etc.

Usually, these signs only show up if you’ve been repressing an emotion (or many emotions) for a while. This doesn’t mean that every physical symptom is due to repressed emotions…it just means it could be.

7. You have a feeling of heaviness or unease you can’t seem to shake.

8. You feel a compulsive urge to be busy.

Oftentimes, when we have an uncomfortable emotion coming up, the mind will try to avoid it with busyness. This could look like doing chores, working more, calling a friend, etc. If you feel an urge to be busy and it feels uncomfortable to slow down, check in to see if there’s any emotions you’re avoiding. 

I hope this blog served you. May you have a magical rest of your day.

Want Support Processing Your Emotions?

If you want support actually processing your emotions, I can help. Learn more about working with me here.

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