Last week, we covered the significance of emotions and why it’s so important to get in touch with your feelings.
You learned (or were reminded) that unexpressed feelings often lead to resentment, which sabotages your chance of a healthy relationship and depletes your sense of well-being.
You know as well as I do that when you’re upset with your partner, your thoughts about him/her are most likely consumed with irritation. And just as they’re designed to do, your emotions will follow suit.
This information is not based on opinion…it’s based on science.
Your emotions respond to uplifting thoughts of love, joy, appreciation, etc….and your body releases hormones that help you feel light and free.
In the same way, negative thoughts will lead to emotions of anger, confusion, guilt, etc….and your body will release hormones that cause you to feel heavy and gloomy.
This mind/body connection is scientifically proven and has a HUGE influence on your overall health and ability to enjoy life and relationships.
So if your romantic relationship is causing you to think less than loving thoughts that give rise to negative emotions, it’s up to YOU to get in touch with those feelings and do something to change them.
This is awesome…because it means YOU get to use this emotional intelligence for YOUR benefit (or not). YOU have the power readily available to you.
This week, I’m sharing an empowering exercise that will help you gain clarity about your emotions, and use that power to improve the health of your relationship!
In order to make healthy changes, you’ll need to communicate with your partner about how you feel and what you need.
The first step to honing your communication skills is to get in touch with your own feelings and be true to how you really feel, NOT how you think you should feel.
Because if you can’t be honest with yourself, you can’t be honest with your partner! That may sound obvious, but it’s amazing what we humans will do to avoid getting to the truth of what’s really going on!
This exercise is one of my favorites because it provides a foundation for beginning the process of getting in touch with your feelings.
I emphasize begin because the process of identifying and expressing your emotions is not an overnighter. It takes time and consistency to tap into how you feel, and trust the relationship between your mind and body.
If you’re used to stuffing down your emotions, and don’t know how to relate to a feeling, this may feel new.
It’s a process, and this exercise provides structure to the process, which I have personally found incredibly helpful.
Make this a choice for yourself. Decide that you are worth getting a little uncomfortable. These are your feelings – they are part of who you are! So let’s explore…
Most humans have felt the emotions of anger, guilt and fear, but we don’t necessarily name and express them in a healthy way.
This exercise is designed to help you do just that, and is adopted from Louise Hay’s ‘You Can Heal Your Life’:
“For this exercise, write on a piece of paper you can later throw away. Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Allow your body to relax. Tell yourself you are ready and willing to become aware of the emotions you’ve been holding that are keeping you stuck, and you are ready to let them go. Stay in that inner-directed space, but now open your eyes and complete the following sentence:
I feel angry at _______ because __________. Finish that sentence 3 times. It might be the same person or a different person each time (but I recommend you get in touch with these feelings as they relate to your partner).
Close your eyes again. Where do you feel that anger in your body? Just be aware.
Now finish this sentence: I feel guilty because __________. Finish that 3 times, then close your eyes. Where do you feel the guilt in your body? Just notice where it is.
Now finish the sentence: I feel fear about ____________. Finish that sentence 3 times, then close your eyes. Where in your body do you feel the fear? Just notice where it is.”
This part of the exercise helps you get in touch with specific feelings and notice where they show up in your body. It’s an essential part of recognizing and learning to trust the mind-body connection.
Now that you’ve completed this part, I don’t want to leave you feeling angry, guilty and afraid :-). So I’m adding a part 2 to this exercise, called “Letting Go”.
“As you read this exercise, take a deep breath, and as you exhale, allow the tension to leave your body. Let your scalp, forehead, and face relax. Your head need not be tense in order for you to read. Let your tongue, throat, and shoulders relax. Let your back, abdomen, and pelvis relax. Let your breathing be at peace as you relax your legs and feet.
Can you feel a noticeable change in your body since you started reading the previous paragraph? In this relaxed, comfortable position, say to yourself, “I am willing to let go. I release. I let go. I release all tension. I release all fear. I release all anger. I release all guilt. I release. I release all sadness. I let go of old limitations. I let go, and I am at peace. I am at peace with myself. I am at peace with the process of life. I am safe.”
Go over this exercise two or three times. Repeat it whenever thoughts of difficulty come up. It takes a little practice for the routine to become a part of you. Once you’re familiar with this exercise, you can do it anywhere, at any time. You’ll be able to relax completely in any situation.”
Excellent! Now you’ve completed part 2 of this powerful exercise. Nicely done…this inner work is not easy, and I commend you for your efforts.
I strongly encourage you to use this structure and repeat the exercise regularly to gain the maximum benefit.
Doing it just once and then returning to going through the motions will not do the trick.
But if you’re willing to identify, acknowledge and release your feelings on a regular basis, it will help you develop a whole new relationship with yourself and your partner.
When I first did this exercise years ago, I was amazed at how powerful it was! It felt like I was opening the door to a part of me that had been ignored for a long time.
I urge you to open the door to the parts of you that need your attention. And I can’t wait for you to benefit from the effects!
Stay tuned for more mindful messages. You deserve to have a fulfilling relationship, and I am here to support you!
Healthy Relationship Coach