There are stages in our life when we need to set priorities. We need to stop trying to fit in with what doesn’t make us feel good and free ourselves from expectations, those unwritten contracts and demands that trap us.
Sometimes we are able to free ourselves from worrying about the opinions of others. There are times when that is not important and we just want to breathe a sigh of relief and feel; to allow us to be ourselves.
At certain stages of our life we stop feeling like we need to solve other people’s problems and not our own. Because often disconnecting ourselves from others’ problems that consume us is the best way to help. Indirectly, of course; allowing us to unload, to empty ourselves and become aware of who we are.
To be happy we have to distance ourselves from certain things
To be happy we have to distance ourselves from certain things such as repressing our emotions. Not feeling a particular way traps us. It happens with sadness for example, an emotion we have socially penalized.
We don’t realize that to be happy we have to practice acceptance, understand ourselves and allow ourselves to express our emotions, because each one of our multiple emotions deserves to be heard.
It is a question of self-knowledge and growth. If we remove pieces from our puzzle repressing our sadness and hiding our fears, the most direct consequence will be that the smile on our face will disappear.
Why? Because we are hiding, not taking care of that part of ourselves that is telling us something and whose job it is to make ourselves heard (or better yet, self-heard). That’s why it’s important for us to allow ourselves to FEEL, in capital letters and without censorship.
To feel, the foundation of our wellbeing
Feeling, that fundamental pillar of our emotional health. The best release or cleansing mechanism is to stop setting up obstacles to our emotional abilities and focus on understanding how we feel.
To allow ourselves to cry, to manage our joys, to be open to surprises, to reflect on our anger is what really helps us to get close to fullness.
To do this we can apply methods such as mindfulness, which helps us to get in touch with what is really happening and what we are feeling. That is, to become fully aware of everything going on around us.
To reorganize our habits is very good too. We can get used to writing how we felt during the day or how those around us make us feel. Having to focus on emotional experiences is the best way to practice this skill (and need) which we have indeed lost.
Reconnecting with our emotional brain
In our brain resides both the tempest and calm of our experiences. It processes everything; it loads and unloads. The intensity of conflicts and what we allow ourselves, is felt in the amygdala, our emotional watchman.
It is the place where, along with the hippocampus, every emotional event is located. That’s how the amygdala functions as a storage for memories and impressions which explains why sometimes we have answers and sometimes we don’t.
In a way, we need to train our brain so that not every emotional event is traumatic and can easily fade away. That is how the amygdala, in charge of “remembering” the emotional climate, will facilitate the handling and coordination of different emotions (along with the prefrontal cortex).
That is why it’s necessary to alphabetize our brain and not allow it to disconnect from anything we might feel. Because at certain times we realize that perhaps we have spent our life setting up barriers to our reality and under-appreciating what each emotion has to tell us.