Growing up, I was always taught to be tough with my feelings and put a wall up against them. My parents were in the army, so you can imagine where the be tough came from. They always said that you have to be strong and fight your feelings.
Over the years, I learned its not just me who has been taught this. So many of my clients understood this to be the healthy approach too. After trying to put up a wall for the first 20 years of my life, I got really sick, at first emotionally, but it then manifested physically as well. All that this healthy approach does is suppress emotions. Putting up a wall causes you to hold your stress in rather than finding an outlet for it. When you try shut down your emotions, they still need to come out somehow, and this can manifest in the body and create sickness. It can lead to heart disease, sleep problems, digestive problems, depression, obesity, memory impairment and worsening of skin problems. Studies have shown that high levels of cortisol are associated with an increase in risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
I can tell you first hand it isnt easy to learn how to deal with your emotions in a genuinely healthy way, but it is worth it. The amount of energy required to hold in your emotions is far greater than the amount required to feel them and move on. So how do you start allowing yourself to feel when youve spent so many years working so hard to push your feelings down?
Here are 4 techniques you can use to start releasing stress from your body. It may feel strange at first, but try each of them a few times and see which techniques work for you.
4 Steps To Release Stress
1. Yell into a pillow
Yes, I just told you to yell into a pillow! Yell as loudly as you can. You may want to hold back because you think someone might hear you, but dont. Pillows absorb a lot more noise than you might think.
Alternatively, you can get a foam bat on Amazon and hit a pillow. Put your full body into it, and dont be afraid to make noise! It may be easier to learn how to do this with a stress management counsellor to become comfortable with the process.
2. Write a letter
Write a letter to the person who is causing you stress as if you were going to send it to them and express all your feelings. After youre done, read it out loud with emotion and see how you feel. This should release some of your feelings and reduce the intensity of your emotions.
3. Talk to somebody
Pick up the phone and call somebody you trust. If you call somebody who is judgmental, you are just going to feel worse, so choose who you call carefully.
First, here are the benfits of proper breathing. It is important to understand the benfits before stariting. It is imporant to breathe through your diaphragm and not through your chest. Get a yoga belt and put it around your stomach. Try taking 10 breaths for a count of 4. Watch the band go up and down to ensure youre breathing correctly. Its hard to do this at first. We all think we already know how to breathe, so its easy to get distracted and stop doing this exercise before we get to 10 breaths. Dont. Stick with it. It takes about a minute, and youll see how much calmer you feel.