While it is clear that one has a physical body, what might not be as clear is that one also has an emotional body. So much attention has been placed on the mind or what could be called the mental body, that emotions often seen as being insignificant.
And that the only time emotions do appear is when one has certain thoughts. This often creates the impression that emotions are just an effect of how one does or doesn’t think. Based on this outlook, one’s mind is in control and emotions are at the mercy of one’s thoughts.
If one was to go along with this and adhere to the perspective that their thoughts are in control, then it will be vital that one ‘masters’ their mind. And if ones thoughts create their feelings, then what else would someone do.
In order to change something, it is often said that one needs to go to the root of the problem. And with thoughts being seen as the cause, it is only natural that one would place their attention solely on their mind.
A Deeper Look
However, just because something has been around for a while, is believed by a lot of people or is something that ‘experts’ or authority figures stand by, it doesn’t mean that it is the truth. What was seen as being correct at one point in time can be seen as completely inaccurate at another time.
Thoughts can define how one feels; to think about a beach is generally going to make one feel different than if they were to think about their house being destroyed. And while this is true, ones feelings can also play a part in how they think.
To hear that humans are emotional beings that think might sound out of place. What might sound more accurate would be to say that we are thinking beings that feel. And as much as one might want to see themselves as always acting through logic or reason, behaviour is generally the result of how we feel.
After this, the mind gets involved and creates some kind of logical reason or justification for how one has behaved. But no matter how what the mind comes up with, emotions were the driving force.
So not only can our emotional body influence how we think, it can also have an impact on our physical body. And yet through a lack of awareness when it comes to emotions and the effect they have, dis-ease is generally seen as being a consequence of one’s DNA for instance.
But just because one is unaware of something, it doesn’t mean that it is not having an effect on their life. Emotions can be ignored and dismissed when it comes to ones physical health and yet that doesn’t mean that one is immune to their effects.
One thing that could make one want to heal their emotional body is due to them suffering from emotional problems. But, even if one doesn’t think that they have emotional problems, they might find that they behave in ways that are dysfunctional and that their mind is out of control.
These two things might appear to have nothing to do with how one feels and yet how one feels can be the cause of what is going on in their mind and how they behave. For example, if one is experiencing emotions that are not too pleasant, one way of dealing with them, in the short term, is to obsessively think about something or to become addicted to doing something.
What the mind is doing is regulating how one feels. And if these feelings were not there one wouldn’t need to become obsessed with ideas or fantasy’s or addicted to people or rituals, simply because their emotional body would be at ease.
Although it can seem as though emotions are only experienced in one part of one’s body or even that their mind is creating these emotions, each emotion that one feels is experienced in a different area of their body.
The chest area is where one can feel: abandoned, rejected, grief, sadness and loss. Above the stomach one can feel: hopeless, powerless, shame, loss of control and death. And further down, in the stomach, is where guilt can be felt and then under that in ones hips, is where fear can be felt.
There are other emotions and other places; these are some of the main areas.
So while one can feel guilt when they have gone against their own values or feel rejected when a relationship ends and then gradually settle down, it is also possible for someone to end up being stuck there.
And to constantly feel guilty, rejected or even ashamed or to feel this way in certain environments is going to cause one to suffer. When one ends up being emotionally stuck, it can be the result of having trapped emotions in their body.
One of the biggest reasons why someone has trapped emotions in their body is because they have experienced some kind of trauma. As their feelings were not processed, they then stayed in their body. This could relate to: childhood abuse, the loss of a loved one or a car accident.
The Usual Approach
Now, when it comes to dealing with the emotional body and releasing these emotions, to enable one to be emotionally free, a masculine approach is not what is needed. This approach is all about doing and not being.
When one feels down about something, it is common for people to say: stay positive, keep your head up or they should just let go, amongst other things. And while his would work if it related to something physical in nature, emotions are not physical things.
The mind can repress or deny what is too painful to face. But this is unlikely to deal with how one feels, it is simply avoidance. These emotions can then end up being trapped in one’s body and control their whole life.
And while the mind can live in a fantasy world and pretend that everything is fine, the body, as well as their relationships, will reveal exactly what is going on for someone. The body doesn’t lie as Alice Miller once said; whereas the mind can be full of lies and illusions.
One problem with today’s world is that we often ignore the body and only listen to what the mind has to say. The truth is then ignored and what is not true becomes the truth and this can include the world at large and our own personal lives.
So if the trapped emotions are not dealt with through doing or through force, how are they dealt with? They have to be faced and felt and as this is done, they will gradually be released. This is unlikely to be something that happens overnight and could take a while.
The assistance of a therapist or a healer might be necessary. If one was to face their emotions by themselves, it could be overwhelming.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.