Therapeutic Emotional Release is a technique I teach clients to process sorrow, grief, disappointment, anger, and injustice.
It is invaluable as a daily tool when dealing with loss - death, divorce, or big life change - trauma, or a build up of negative emotions. It is also one of the maintenance tools I encourage and use to keep me emotionally clear and light.
Emotions are a necessary part of being human. However, it is difficult to know what to do with our negative or darker feelings. If you are like me, you were taught to suppress them. I cannot tell you how many times my father told me to stop crying, get over my anger, pick yourself up and keep going, or swallow my disappointment.
Yet despite expert suppression and denial, emotions did not dissipate. Instead they lodged themselves in my body. They became a budding ulcer. Emotional suppression is one of the leading causes of stress related illnesses: heart disease, obesity, autoimmunity, insulin resistance, depression, insomnia, and digestive problems. We need to deal with our feelings.
Therapeutic Emotional Release is an easy-to-learn technique to release emotions from the body without losing it. You can do it in a controlled, precise method.
The practice has three parts and should take anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes a day - you get to decide how much time to devote to it.
Part 1: Decide what emotion you wish to work on releasing or what situation you want to address. Write this down on a piece of paper you will discard once you are done. This part is short - 1 minute tops. Whatever emotion or situation surfaces first is the one to deal with now.
Part 2: This section takes ⅔ to ¾ of the allotted time. You are to embody the feeling. If it is sorrow or grief - cry, sob, rant, get on the floor, curl up into a ball. Do what feels like sorrow or grief. The point is to allow your body to physical act the emotion - think modern dance.
If the emotion is anger, you may scream, punch a punching bag, pound a pillow, jump on a trampoline, Allow the words, emotions, and energy to flow out of you in movement. The movement is essential because it is what dislodges and empties the emotions from the body - it is like flushing the toilet of anger, sadness, or grief.
Part 3: You cannot skip this part of the technique. Without the third part, you no longer have Therapeutic Emotional Release. It will not be effective without the third part.
In the third part, you use your senses to bring pleasure to the body. You can dance, you can eat something luscious like a strawberry or orange slowly, you can bathe, you can feel soft fabrics, you can run your fingers through your hair, you can sing - the point here is to do something pleasurable with your body that is also beautiful. This third part is refilling you with good feelings and peace. After you flush out the emotion, it is important to refill the tank with clean water.
As you engage with this form of therapy, you will find yourself lighter, less reactive, and healthier. You will also discover that negativity does not need to intrude on the rest of your day. There is time set aside to deal with what you are going through.
If you have a large build up of emotion, I recommend daily practice of Therapeutic Emotional Release. As your emotional septic tank gets emptied, you will need the technique less and less.
I encourage you to commit to a 30 day practice if you have a significant loss or trauma. Otherwise commit to using this practice once a week. It will transform your life.
Words to Live By
I am not a heroine, but I have chosen the person I want to be.