Feelings are powerful. They can overwhelm us in seconds and are often the architects of our lives. They design how we live our lives, how we feel about relationships, how we feel about ourselves and what choices we make in life. When these feelings are “feel good” feelings, we act accordingly. We feel light, happy, optimistic and our subtle energies react accordingly. When they are grim, heavy, dread-ridden or fearful our energies also reflect the same.
However, despite their integral nature to our happiness in life, we are rarely taught how to manage our feelings. Did you ever learn about feelings and how to manage them in school? What did you learn by watching our parents and siblings and how they dealt with their feelings? Have their strategies, which became yours, paid off for you or have they kept you stuck in a familiar but uncomfortable place? Do you find yourself seeing the world through their eyes?
When we feel a discomforting emotion, the limbic system of our brain is fully engaged especially the hypothalamus and the amygdala. Our body begins to pump powerful hormones such as adrenalin and cortisol into our bloodstream. Our heart rate, blood pressure changes rate of oxygenation changes. Our nervous system, always on alert for danger, springs to life and alters the dilation of our pupils, tenses muscles or begins a decision process. Our body temperature can change dramatically and we can go cold with fear of hot with anger. Emotions and feelings are all about the body, so why do we use thought to rid ourselves of this discomfort?
Are you trying to think your way out of your feelings? Do you talk about your feelings in the hope that they will go away, that you will gain understanding or just that they will feel better? Where did we learn that this coping strategy works? It doesn’t! If it did, we’d have no uncomfortable feelings to deal with. We would have thought or talked them all away. We spend huge amounts of time and energy talking and thinking and reliving our feelings and yet we still have them because we are playing the same pieces of videotape over and over again in our minds. We relive awful events or feel limiting beliefs in our bodies over and over again expecting them to change by way of thoughts and words.
Looking in the wrong place for the wrong tool
Go to your body for real change. Don’t worry about what the feeling is called. The word that represents the feeling (e.g. anger, mistrust, sadness) is not the feeling. Usually the word is an inadequate descriptor of the feeling. Go to your body’s sensations to find the feeling. Where is it…your stomach, your chest, your shoulders? When you need a screwdriver for the job, don’t grab a wrench. Go to your body not your mind. It will never lie to you. It’s very survival depends on it being heard. Tune inwards and give your body full permission to share with your mind where the feeling is and how it feels and begin tapping it away.
As you tap and feel this discomfort and the familiar neural pathways fire, you are now also sending your body the message of relaxation by tapping acupressure points. You tap into your nervous system and hence your body, calm and relief as you access the discomfort of the feeling or limiting belief. This sends a mixed message to those well-established neural pathways and they begin to unravel and change. Your brain begins to change right at the neural level and you begin to see and feel things differently. You may notice a more positive perspective creeping into your thoughts
Real change happens
When monitoring biofeedback technology and watching brainwaves as we tap, we see that the nature of the nervous system changes before our eyes. Our brains change from fear and worry to calm and relaxation and if a session is complete we often look like we have been in meditation for over an hour. This is the place where we truly heal and no longer have access to the old painful neural networks. We can remember the event or how the feeling used to feel but we no longer feel it even when we try hard to find or create it. It’s gone because it’s gone from the body. As we tap away a limiting belief or an uncomfortable feeling our brains change and this allows our bodies to let go. True peace sweeps over us and we see the world, others and ourselves in a whole new light. We then begin to make different choices for ourselves. Our lives change for the better. We see life with more optimism and embrace new challenges instead of fearing them. We choose new friendships or change old ones for the better and more fully embrace the life we have been gifted. And it all begins with trusting your body’s messages and feeling your way out of the problem.
Susan Bushell B.Sc.
AAMET Certified Level 3 EFT Practitioner and Master Trainer