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A process to use when you feel stuck in negative emotions

Most of the time you feel stuck in negative emotions because you have resisted certain negative emotions over time. Sometimes for days and even months. This behavior builds layers and layers of suppressed emotions.

Imagine these layers like the layers of an onion. The core of the onion is well-being. The layers are the suppressed emotions that are preventing you from feeling good.

When you keep resisting and keep resisting your negative emotions, thus, building more layers, chances are you get to a point where you feel stuck in these emotions. You feel so far away from well-being that you don’t know where to go and what to do. You have no idea what to do to finally feel positive emotions again.

At this point, it is not beneficial to distract yourself or to try to make yourself feel better. This would build more layers. Instead, resolve the resisted emotions by dealing with these emotions in order for you to come back to normal and to no longer be stuck in negative emotions.

You have to work on every emotion, thus on every layer. Like peeling an onion, you peel the different layers to come to the core, thus to come back to well-being.

Use this process when you feel stuck in negative emotions:
  1. Find a quiet and comfortable place, take some deep breaths in and out.
  2. Feel into your body
  3. Try to feel the sensations in your body and pinpoint one sensation that is standing out right now. The one that is very present.
  4. Try to locate the sensation (head area, neck, belly,..) and give it three descriptive words such as: “heavy/lights, hot/cold, Solid/flowing,..”
  5. Now ask yourself: “What thought caused this emotion?”
  6. Let the answer come up.
  7. You may come up with the thought: “My belly is too fat”
  8. Now question the thought. A great process for questioning your thoughts is “The Work” of Byron Katie*. Use these questions to release the thought that is causing the emotion:

Is that true?

Can I be 100% sure that this is true?

How does thinking this thought feel in my body?

Who would I be without that thought?

Answers for “My belly is too fat”

Is that true? Yes, my belly is really too fat

Can I be 100% sure that this is true? If I’m thinking deeper about this: No. there is a reason my body is holding on to this belly fat. On top of that: Who says what is fat and what not? It’s just a common agreement of society of what is fat and what not.

How does thinking this thought feel in my body? Now we use the answer of step two or you find another sensation building on this thought. I feel a sensation around my belly: it’s heavy, stuck and pressures. Spend some time really feeling the sensation here while describing. 

Who would I be without that thought? That’s the best question of all. Try to imagine who you would be without this thought. How would you act? Behave? I would be simply relaxed and calm. I would be more loving to my body.

 

Chances are big that you feel a sense of relief in your body.

After you’ve done this process with one thought, the emotion should be released and you can go to the next sensation in your body. Again, take the one that is standing out the most. The one you feel is the most dominant and go through that process again.

You may need a lot of time for dealing with all the layers, with all emotions, every thought. But doing this with every emotion peels the layers of the onion once at a time until you come to the core of well-being.

 

The end opponent

A lot of the time, when we have resolved many layers of suppressed emotions, thus, peeled so many layers of the onion, we are likely to think “Oh ok, that’s enough right now, I’m good”.

But, a lot of the time this is not enough.

Often when we get to the core of something, when we are close to a big revelation, we love to say “it’s enough”. But especially then, you have to keep going.

If that’s the case I invite you to feel into your body again and see if you really resolved all emotions. Even the slightest sensation is worth looking at.

Most of the time the more you peel, the weaker the emotions get, so the emotions can be very subtle. Do this process with even the slightest sensation.

 

The process by Byron Katie is way more complex than described here.

She has a beautiful book that explains the process in detail: Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life*

This book is also available in German: Lieben was ist. Wie vier Fragen Ihr Leben verändern können*

Or you can watch a video on Youtube “I’m Afraid of Trump—The Work of Byron Katie

 *This is an affiliate link.

picture: Flachovatereza (CC0 Public Domain)

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