This conversation has been coming up a lot lately. With my coaching clients, my family my friends. This feeling of heaviness.
I feel a heaviness sometimes with all that is going on. Are you feeling it too?
It’s everything from the pandemic that just won’t go away to supply chain issues and politics, and it can leave us feeling emotionally heavy. The problem is that we aren’t meant to carry all of this heaviness, and in some cases, we take more on without knowing. In this article, we’ll discover why we feel what we feel and what we can do differently so that we don’t feel as weighed down.
As women, we often take on too much. Because we are responsible for a lot, we get lost in trying to focus on everything and spread ourselves too thin. If we aren’t careful, the heaviness that we feel will become a downward spiral.
So, let’s talk about what we are feeling and why.
Are you thinking, seriously? Yes, I am, and here’s why.
What you feel are your emotions, and your emotions are a barometer of what is going on in your life. A barometer measures atmospheric pressure, used especially in forecasting the weather and determining altitude. Your emotions are doing the same for you. Are you going to have a “sunny” day, or will it be “stormy?” Are things feeling a bit heavy right now, or have your emotions been elevated, and you are capable of taking on more?
Emotions are energy in motion. They are meant to be experienced for a period of time – not forever – and intended to pass through – not stay with us. They are a signal from our unconscious mind (or your subconscious, if you prefer) that something isn’t going in the direction that we want it to, that what is happening isn’t aligned with our best interest. We feel it, so we’ll pay attention to it.
But that’s not always what happens. Instead, we feel anger or frustration at a situation, and instead of paying attention and exploring why we are feeling this way, we push it down. We literally trap the emotion that is meant to pass through us when we tell ourselves to just “power through it” or “suck it up, buttercup!” Yes, you’re a strong woman, but if you keep telling yourself, “you don’t have time to deal with this right now.”
So what can you do instead? I’m so glad you asked! You know me; I love to give you actionable strategies! So here are 5 to help you release what is weighing you down.
The first step is to become aware of what you are feeling. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. We women have been socialized to “not make waves,” to “go with the flow,” and to “keep the peace.” So we stuff down our emotions because we don’t want to be seen as “too emotional” or “crazy.” But the thing is, when we stuff down our emotions, they don’t go away – they just go underground where they fester and grow, then come out swinging. I call that the cosmic 2 x 4, and it’s not comfortable to get walloped with it. I know because it’s happened to me on more than one occasion. A painful lesson, to be sure.
The second step is to get curious about your emotions. Why are you feeling what you are feeling? What situation or person triggered the emotion? What does this emotion have to tell you? You can literally ask yourself these questions and pay attention to what answer pops into your mind. Journaling around this is a great way to uncover information that allows you to learn what you need to move forward. There is no by-passing it, though. You are meant to feel this for a reason, and if you aren’t willing to go there, you’re pushing off the inevitable.
The third step is to release the emotion. This can be done in many ways – by journaling, talking to a friend or therapist, crying, or doing something physical like going for a run or hitting a punching bag. The important thing is that you don’t bottle it up inside and deal with it privately, so it doesn’t surprise you publicly. I’ve also got a tool I’d love to share from my Huna studies. It’s called a higher-self release, and it’s done through meditation. You don’t have to do a thing; just listen and experience with curiosity what comes up and what is let go. You can grab the free negative emotion release playlist HERE.
The fourth step is to take action on what your emotions tell you. For example, if you are angry about a situation at work, maybe it’s time to have a conversation with your boss about it. If you feel overwhelmed and stressed out, maybe it’s time to delegate some of your responsibilities or say “no” more often. If you are depressed by what you see on the news, tune out for a while. If people are sucking the life out of you – put a boundary in place or create some distance. What has to change? Take action on that.
And the fifth and final step is to practice self-care. This is so important! When we are emotionally heavy, it takes a toll on our physical and mental health. We need to make sure we are taking care of ourselves by eating well, getting enough sleep, and exercising. It’s also being mindful of what we consume, not just in our bodies but also in our heads. What do you watch on tv? What books do you read? What podcasts do you listen to? That is what we consume mentally and requires our awareness too. Taking a step back can be just the thing we need to feel better. It also allows us to spend that time instead on the things that bring us joy – whether spending time with friends and family, reading a good book, or taking that yoga class that leaves us feeling proud of ourselves.
So there you have it – a 5-step process for dealing with emotionally heavy times. The next time you feel overwhelmed or stressed out, remember these steps and be good to yourself.
Until next time, here is wishing you all the Clarity (and emotional release) you deserve!