How To Release Emotion Trapped In The Body

blog heal your energy Dec 06, 2022

Releasing emotions trapped in the body offers you the ultimate freedom and ability to experience more peace, joy and fulfillment in your life.

Every experience is filtered through the lens of how your body feels.

Disney world could be the most magical fun place in the world if you're feeling light, peaceful and grounded inside. It could also be the worst place if you're feeling anxious or overwhelmed inside.

Experiences, success and manifesting the things you want is only worth it if love and joy also flow freely in your body and heart. 

Trapped emotions block this free flow of love and joy.

This is why no amount of thriving on the outside equates to thriving on the inside if you haven't learned to open and allow love and joy to flow freely inside your body. 

This doesn't happen inside the mind or out in the world. Feeling good inside the body happens inside the body (sometimes we forget this).

  • Through your own inner awareness of your energy
  • By becoming aware of the sensations inside your body
  • By learning to open and breathe when tension arises versus react and close up
  • By learning to let your emotions flow and express freely

I can tell you honestly that nothing has transformed the way I feel and my life more than learning to heal my energy and process my emotions (more on my story below if you’re curious). 

I hope this information serves you as deeply as it’s served me.

How Do Emotions Get Trapped in The Body?

When negative emotions aren’t fully felt or released, they leave behind remnants of energy and get “trapped” in the body. This is what Eckhart Tolle refers to as the pain-body in The Power of Now.

A “negative emotion” is an emotion that interferes with the body’s natural balance and harmony like fear, anxiety, anger, sadness, holding a grudge, intense dislike, jealousy, shame, frustration, etc.

These emotions, when left unprocessed, disrupt the natural flow of energy in the body which affects everything in your life. It essentially dictates your “point of attraction” or “vibrational frequency” (as Abraham Hicks would say) in terms of the Law of Attraction. 

Most people are carrying around a heavy burden of this emotional weight and it keeps us stuck in unconscious, habitual reactions and stories (which then attracts more situations that match its frequency) unless we release them. 

If left unfelt and unprocessed repeatedly, these buried emotions can also manifest as sickness, physical pain, anxiety or other mental health struggles, etc.

The deeper the repression, the bigger the reaction from your body.

The point isn’t to never have negative emotions.

It’s about learning to become aware of them when they arise so you can feel and release them instead of reacting to them unconsciously and thereby perpetuating circumstances that bring about more of those same feelings. 

It’s about allowing instead of resisting.

It’s about having awareness instead of being unconsciously taken over by your emotions.

This is where your freedom lies…not in searching for a magic pill that will allow you to feel perfect every day for the rest of your life.

"Joy is not a synonym for happiness. Joy is flowing emotion - grief or laughter, pain or pleasure, heartbreak or euphoria." - Cosmic Dancer Oracle

Benefits of Releasing Stuck Emotions

The good news is that the pain-body is not some monster trying to ruin your life. It’s actually a gift because it’s a clear sign showing us where there’s more freedom and peace available to us.

Every release is a portal and doorway to a higher frequency and lighter, more joyful experience of life.

You just have to be aware enough to see the door and choose to walk through it.

"Every single time you relax and release, a piece of the pain leaves forever. Yet every time you resist and close, you're building up pain inside." - Michael Singer, The Untethered Soul

As you become aware of when the pain-body is arising and feel it directly, the transmutation process begins and it can no longer control your thinking and actions.

The more you release, the lighter you feel (your vibration rises) and the more access you have to your intuition. Your reality also naturally elevates to match this new vibration and alignment with your inner wisdom.

Just a few (of the infinite) benefits of emotional release:

  • Feel like the weight that has held you back and kept you from feeling your best has been lifted off of you
  • Deeper connection with and ability to hear your intuition
  • Feel whole/worthy from within and a deep sense of inner security
  • Feel happier, lighter, more inspired, more alive, more open, more connected to others and your life
  • Raise your frequency and attract more aligned experiences, opportunities and people into your life
  • Experience more ease, fulfillment, joy and growth in your everyday life
  • Spend way less time worrying about the past and future and enjoy the present moment
  • Navigate triggers with awareness instead of reacting in self-sabotaging ways
  • Act in alignment with your true desires (from a place of embodied wholeness) rather than react to fill an emotional void or avoid your emotions
  • Reduce or alleviate physical pain, anxiety, stress, insomnia, digestive problems, etc.

Signs You Have "Trapped" Emotions

First of all, we all do. I don’t know anyone who is free of all past emotions. The good news is that you're not alone and these emotions aren't permanently stuck. With every release, you elevate to a higher frequency.

It is my deep belief that the leading edge of medicine is working with energy and emotions. However, I’m not a doctor and am just sharing from my own experience and intuition. This is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice…trust your own intuition and/or speak with your own healthcare provider about any symptoms arising.

This list is not comprehensive…these are a few common themes I’ve noticed in doing this work in my own life for 10+ years and working with clients for the last several years.

  • A sense of heaviness in your body like a weight on your shoulders
  • Digestive issues
  • Anxiety and/or depression
  • Physical pain
  • Very triggered reactions to certain situations that not every single person would have (road rage is one example)
  • Not being able to pinpoint why you feel down, angry or irritable 
  • Feeling negative emotions for seemingly “no reason”

How To Release Emotion "Stuck" In The Body

Simply put, you have to feel it to heal it.

Directly feeling an emotion with your awareness (not through thinking about it mentally) allows it to release.

You can’t think your way to releasing emotions and energy, you have to feel/sense your way there.

This means directing your awareness inside your body to where the sensations are present and feeling what it feels like to perceive them without being lost in thought or judgment.

“Focus attention on the feeling inside you. Know that it is the pain-body. Accept that it is there. Don't think about it - don't let the feeling turn into thinking. Don't judge or analyze. Don't make an identity for yourself out of it. Stay present, and continue to be the observer of what is happening inside you. Become aware not only of the emotional pain but also of "the one who observes," the silent watcher. This is the power of the Now, the power of your own conscious presence. Then see what happens.” - Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

Once fully and directly felt, the emotion begins to dissolve (the vibration or emotional charge flattens out) and transmutes back into free flowing energy again.

If you don’t know how to do this or it doesn’t fully make sense in your mind, that's completely normal. It's not your mind's job to make this happen. It's done through your conscious presence, your deeper self.

It’s like trying to learn how to ride a bike by reading about how to ride a bike. You only really know how to do it once you’ve experienced it for yourself which is why it’s so helpful to have someone facilitate and support us as we learn how to do this for ourselves.

There are a lot of emotional release techniques that inadvertently release trapped emotions but the underlying cause of the release is always the same: awareness and directly feeling them. 

The thing with these techniques is that emotions might release and they might not because these techniques are just signposts on the path to release; they are not the deeper cause of the release. 

It’s important to be aware of this so we don’t become reliant on techniques. They can help, like crutches can help you walk, but ultimately, you want to be able to walk without them. 

Some of these emotional release techniques include:

  • Meditation
  • Hitting pillows
  • Screaming
  • Getting a massage 
  • Working out
  • Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
  • Yoga
  • Shaking
  • Dance
  • Stretching
  • Listening to music
  • Journaling

When you learn how to do this within yourself, you have the freedom to go about this in the most natural, effective way and it could look a little different every time.

Just as parsley isn't good in ALL recipes, hitting pillows isn't good for ALL emotions.

Different recipes call for different spices. Just like different emotions call for different expressions.

It’s less about looking for the “right” technique and instead about learning how to authentically express the emotion in the way that particular emotion, in that particular moment, calls for. This is the deeper skill that gives you the ultimate freedom of being able to move through anything that arises.

 Physical Symptoms Of Emotional Release

Emotions are like the body’s weather. There’s nothing wrong with changing weather; it’s completely natural. We just got taught not to feel them fully or didn’t feel safe enough (as a self-protective response to trauma) to have the full expression so they got “trapped” inside. 

Releasing emotions stuck in the body is like releasing a cork that’s been held underwater. You’re just releasing the cork so it can rise to the surface and release.

During an emotional release, physical symptoms can include:

  • Tears
  • Shaking (Have you ever seen a dog “shake it off”? This works for humans too - we just aren’t as naturally in allowing these powerful responses. More on this in Waking The Tiger: Healing Trauma by Peter Levine.)
  • Deep, big exhales
  • Sighs, grunts or other noises

After an emotional release, physical symptoms can include:

  • Feeling lighter
  • Tingling hands, face or tingling all over the body
  • Feeling like a weight has been lifted off of you
  • Feeling like something inside of you “popped” and left your body 
  • Feeling like the sensations or vibrations have flattened out or neutralized
  • It feels like a “blockage” has been removed and your energy is flowing more freely (like a giant ice cube in a river that has now melted)

My Emotional Healing Journey & How This Work Transformed My Life

Like me, you might not have been taught that it wasn't okay to feel or express negative emotions. 

Your parents/caregiver might have said things like:

  • When the going gets tough, the tough get going
  • You’re fine, stop crying
  • You’re a big girl/boy
  • Other people have it so much worse, you’re lucky
  • There’s nothing to be upset about, calm down

I truly had no idea how to identify, feel, express and process my emotions until I was in my 20s. I don’t blame my parents; this is what they were told too.

On top of the conditioning, when I was about 13, I was sexually abused. I had no clue how to process the immense pain and shame that arose within me. I convinced myself if I just avoided it hard enough, I’d forget it happened. 

I tried and tried to forget, but the memory and emotions remain etched into my body (The Body Keeps The Score). I developed anorexia because feeling like I was starving was the only thing strong enough to drown out the emotions from the abuse. 

In college, the repression continued. I was studying or partying constantly, never leaving an ounce of room to feel what I was feeling. After school, the repressed emotions manifested into more disordered eating, severe anxiety, chronic back pain, eczema and insomnia.

Deep down, I knew there had to be more to my life than all of the pain I was in.

I soon discovered personal and spiritual growth. The idea that I could heal and transform my body and my life deeply resonated. I was SO READY for change.

I spent years trying every modality (hypnosis, EFT tapping, Rapid Transformational Therapy, Reiki, etc.) and reading all the spiritual and personal growth books I could get my hands on. 

My progress was slow, but worth it. Every additional drop of freedom I tasted made me want more.

I healed my eating disorder, eczema, chronic back pain, most of my anxiety and insomnia. I started a business and eventually quit my corporate job.

I turned my entire life around. From the outside, I was thriving. And in many ways, I felt like I was. 

But something was still missing. I still felt a deeper sense of emotional pain most days that I couldn’t seem to shake no matter how hard I tried to “manifest good vibes” or “think positive”. I felt fine, a hell of a lot better, but I wasn’t thriving as much on the inside as it appeared on the outside.

EVERYTHING began to transform rapidly when I learned how to work intentionally with my energy and intuition.

Now, I’m not just thriving on the outside, but the inside as well.

I’ve never been so at peace, so unconditionally happy, so inspired and so fulfilled. I enjoy my day to day experience of life. I use any resistance or emotional pain that arises as an opportunity to free myself even more. And it just keeps getting better.

I don’t feel weighed down by my emotions anymore, I feel free.

I don't feel anxious and spend all my time mentally spinning in circles anymore, I feel calm and present.

I don't feel lost, I feel deeply connected to my truth and purpose.

I don't feel urgent and frantic, I feel grounded and like I’m right where I’m meant to be.

We all deserve this kind of freedom (outer AND inner). We all deserve to have an experience of life that is deeply joyful and fulfilling. We all deserve to thrive.

But it's only worth achieving (in my opinion), if love and joy also flow fully in our heart, body and life.

This is what intentionally working with our energy and intuition opens up for us.

It is a joy and gift to support others in this work. If you feel called to it, I would be honored to work with you.

The best place to get started is with an inner voice session. Click here to learn more and book a session/package here.

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