It’s not easy being human.
While life can be joy filled, most of us carry old emotional energy around like a dirt cloud.
We carry our hurt, anger, and fear and it weighs us down.
In my work as a life coach and executive coach, I’ve worked extensively helping people with emotional well-being because it’s crucial for a happy life.
You’re looking to lighten your emotional load!
This article offers you over 30 emotional release methods I’ve curated to help you be freer than you are now. Let’s get started!
Emotional energy accumulates
Emotional energy accumulates in the body because we were unable to fully feel and accept it when something happened. So the practice is to lean into the emotion as it arises, without any story or thoughts.
NOTE: Here’s the NICABM website for mental health professionals, National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine.
Set your expectations
Emotional release takes time.
And it can be frustrating because you begin to ask: How many times will this come up for me? Will I ever be able to let these emotions go?
Set your expectations when it comes to letting go of old energy. This process is like chipping away at a rock.
Be patient with yourself because emotions are stubborn. The ego is stubborn! However, as we allow them, bit by bit, we lighten their presence.
Emotional release helps us get enough distance to say: I see this anger. I feel this fear. And I can let it go, at least at this moment.
Remember, you’re designed to heal your life. And your soul is here on earth to learn and grow.
It’s OK if it takes a lifetime.
Emotional release: completely love and accept it all.
There’s an affirmation widely used in the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT): I deeply and completely love and accept myself, which is more powerful than you might think.
At the heart of emotional release is your willingness to love and accept your headaches, your anger, your hatred, your rage, and your fear of everything, as you slowly move it out.
I know… this seems impossible. At least it seemed that way to me. (My story is here.)
However, as you recite this seemingly simple phrase, your body rests. As you accept something, you’re no longer fighting it. You stop resisting.
Resistance takes a lot of energy and creates tension! While emotional release lets go of tension.
For example, put your two fists together, like they’re fighting one another. That’s how resistance feels to the body, like hitting a block wall.
Being human is hard! However, we’re sent here to learn and grow and watch our humanness moment by moment.
Therefore, we need a mighty dose of patience with ourselves.
The body is designed to heal.
It’s empowering to remind ourselves that as we feel and release, we are healing our lives. The body is designed to heal.
Emotions are energy, and while they can be uncomfortable and we feel stuck with them, there are effective ways to release painful emotional energy from the body, so you can be free.
Note: If you’re feeling particularly vulnerable, then seek the help of a qualified healthcare professional.
32 EMOTIONAL RELEASE METHODS
Emotional Freedom Technique or Tapping
According to The Tapping Solution, founded by siblings Nick, Jessica, and Alex Ortner, “Tapping is also known as EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). It is a powerful holistic healing technique that resolves a range of issues. It’s based on the combined principles of ancient Chinese acupressure and modern psychology.”
They state on their website: “The basic Tapping technique requires you to focus on a negative emotion at hand. This can be a fear, a worry, a bad memory, or any unresolved problem. You do this while maintaining your mental focus on this issue. Then you use your fingertips to tap 5-7 times on 9 specific meridian points of the body.
Tapping on these meridian endpoints, while addressing the root cause of distress, sends a calming signal to the brain. This allows you to feel relaxed and in control.”
Personally, my family has used EFT for decades and believes it’s a powerful healing method.
Prayers and Mantras
Easy to remember prayers and mantras fill the mind with high-vibration thoughts, replacing negative, low-energy thoughts. It’s a great way to fall asleep, wake up each day, recite while walking, etc.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Recovery (EMDR)
According to the EMDR Institute, “EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences.
Repeated studies show that by using EMDR therapy people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference.
EMDR is done in therapy with a therapist who is licensed in EMDR.
THE BODY KEEPS THE SCORE BY BESSEL VAN DER KOLK
EMDR is also a modality used for treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – PTSD according to The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel Van der Kolk, M.D.
In this remarkable book, on page 208, Dr. Van der Kolk writes, “Neuroscience research shows that the only way we can change the way we feel is by becoming aware of our inner experience and learning to befriend what is going on inside of ourselves.”
In Chapter 15 – Letting Go of the Past: EMDR, on page 255, he writes:
I highly recommend this book if you’re interested in PTSD, whether you’re a therapist, clinician, counselor, or layperson.
The Sedona Method
Some techniques are simple and can be used on the go, like The Sedona Method. It’s one of my personal favorite emotional release techniques because it’s easy, you can do it anywhere, anytime, and it goes a little deeper without going too deep.
With The Sedona Method, you allow and accept your emotion, then ask yourself if you can let it go IN THAT MOMENT. You’re not letting go forever necessarily, just at the moment.
Meditation – Guided or not.
There are countless books on ways to meditate. My favorite is Jon Kabat Zinn’s, Wherever You Go, There you Are. In meditation, you are observing whatever comes up, anger, fear, sadness, longing, thoughts … and returning to the breath. This works as an emotional release method if you want to release during meditation.
Use the breath to relax the body and calm the limbic brain (fight or flight). Again, there are countless breath techniques. Here’s an easy one that I like: Inhale 4 counts, pause, then exhale for 8 counts.
Breathe work is extremely valuable in helping people calm their mind and body.
This very effective technique uses the vibration and sound of the out-breath from deep within the body to release emotional pressure.
Play with this by exhaling while making an ahhhh sound that vibrates in your throat. Then, notice if your body feels slightly better.
Crying is productive when you feel relief from it. It’s a natural way to allow sadness to be felt and released. However, some people say they can’t cry… so don’t focus on it if it’s frustrating for you.
And if crying doesn’t bring you relief, then there might be emotions that are a little deeper. Possibly get professional help for those deeper emotions that want to be felt. It’s not easy to feel pain and discomfort, so when you need help, seek the help of a skilled therapist or counselor.
Salt alkalizes the body which is calming and good for you. Think of swimming in the ocean and how good that feels to your body. Notice how cuts heal and your skin looks sun kissed! Saltwater in your tub can do the same thing. Try 1 to 2 cups of Epsom salts into your bathtub and close your eyes and relax.
There are countless benefits to walking. So, get out and walk each day when you can. Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Way talks about imprinting the ground with your heartache and pain with each step as a kind of meditation. I did this for years while grieving the loss of my husband and it worked wonders.
Walking barefoot on the ground outside grounds your energy with mother earth. I like to walk barefoot on moist grass, concrete, sand, etc. to reconnect with the earth and it’s calm, soothing energy.
Dr. David Hanscom MD, in his article, You Have to Feel to Heal – Emotional Awareness, talks about a technique called Pendulation.
It’s an exercise that helps the client experience the pain in the body, then go to a place of calm in the body, then connect the two sensations. Picture a pendulum swinging back and forth and ultimately landing in the middle. Here’s an excerpt describing the idea behind it:
“You have to “feel to heal” but if you were exposed to the full force of your unpleasant emotions, it would be intolerable. The pain would be too intense. It is impossible. Instead, there is a process called pendulation. The idea is that you allow yourself to be exposed to a level of emotions you can tolerate, pull back, and re-engage when you are ready. It is a lifelong process that eventually becomes automatic.”
Be in nature.
One of the advantages of nature is that people feel closer to God/Source/universe in nature.
Nature enlivens the senses and connects us to the part of ourselves that is peaceful and not thinking, etc.
A study at Yale University “found that people who spent two hours a week in green spaces — local parks or other natural environments, either all at once or spaced over several visits — were substantially more likely to report good health and psychological well-being than those who don’t.”
Start the day with an attitude of gratitude.
This is a form of emotional release because gratitude replaces fear and lack. So, in the spirit of feeling your emotions as they arise – feel them, release them, then think of what you’re grateful for.
My favorite gratitude prayer: Say each morning before your feet hit the floor is below.
F.A.C.E. technique by Jeanne Nangle
Created by myself, F. A. C. E. is – Feel it. Allow and Accept it. Choose a high vibe thought. Exhale.
- Face your emotions fully.
- Accept how you feel.
- Choose a strengthening, empowering thought.
- To face my emotions, I begin by noticing: Am I sad? Angry? Afraid? I notice where the feeling is in my body. Is it in my chest, stomach, or throat? Say to yourself: I am angry. Use wording that feels accurate for you. Let yourself feel, don’t avoid or hold onto the thought or feeling.
- Next, accept that you feel this way. Say: It’s OK that I’m afraid. I accept that I feel this way.
- Choose thoughts that strengthen and remind you that you’re stronger than you think and in charge of your life.
- Breathe throughout to ground and relax you.
Basic Let Go technique
Use this when you’re on the go and don’t have time to pay more attention to the emotion.
Take a gentle breath and as you exhale say Let go. Simple!
High vibe thinking™
Instead of using the term positive thinking, since toxic positivity is such a problem in our society (people masking their feelings with positive thoughts), I’m using a term that I coined in my book, The Thought Store: 8 Simple Thinking Habits for Work and Life.
High-vibe thinking™ doesn’t focus on positivity. Instead, the goal is to have thinking that encourages you to be true to yourself, including all emotions, while keeping your thoughts empowering, expansive, enlivening, and uplifting.
And we can send positive thoughts to those we love who need them!
High-vibration thinking helps you use the power of thought to fulfill your soul’s purpose.
Journaling is well known for its cathartic power… as you write you’re getting it out on the page. This can help you organize your thoughts or the opposite. You can write nonsense… dumping onto the page whatever comes out.
Walk a labyrinth
A labyrinth is an ancient symbol that relates to wholeness. It represents a journey to our own center and back again, out into the world.
When I felt lost, I’d go to the labyrinth in San Francisco.
There are 3 stages of the walk:
Purgation (Releasing) ~ A releasing, letting go of the details of your life. This is the act of shedding thoughts and distractions. A time to open the heart and quiet the mind.
Illumination (Receiving) ~ When you reach the center, stay there as long as you like. It is a place of meditation and prayer. Receive what is there for you to receive.
Union (Returning) ~ As you leave, following the same path out of the center as you came in, you enter the third stage, which is joining God, your Higher Power, or the healing forces at work in the world.
Diaphragmatic breathing with hands on the stomach.
While breathing gently and deeply, expanding your abdomen, place your hands on the abdomen.
Ask God/Source/Universe to be with you.
You’re never alone and when you ask for a higher power to be with you, you’re acknowledging that you want support and guidance, and you’re co-creating your life.
Invite your spirit guides to be with you.
This is another form of spiritual support and one that I rely on heavily. I ask my spirit guides to be with me all day. Rebecca Rosen in Spirited offers many useful tips for involving your spirit guides in your life.
Visualize yourself being washed with sunlight.
Take a break, close your eyes and picture bright loving light washing over you.
Listen to Poems of Self-compassion by the poet David Whyte.
The popular and soulful poet, David Whyte, recites poems of self-compassion including Mary Oliver’s The Journey and The Wild Geese, as well as other renowned poets who write about self-love and self-compassion. This audio is absolutely healing and incredible.
Avoid sugar in all forms.
When you’re struggling with low emotional energy, sugar will make it worse. ie: sugar, sugar substitutes, flour, alcohol. In The Sugar Blues by William Duffy, he breaks this down beautifully. He was talking about this in the 1970’s when we didn’t hear about it all the time.
While I’m not a fan of depriving myself of foods I enjoy, if my energy is anxious, nervous, or afraid, during those times, I’m especially going to dump sugar.
Try and decrease sugar for all of the well-known reasons though.
Write about ALL synchronicity that happens.
Have a synchronicity journal to keep tabs on all of the remarkable ways this universe is guiding you. Read it regularly to remind you that you’re not alone on your soul’s path. (synchronicity – a meaningful coincidence, it’s not random, you’re getting guidance and support.)
Do something creative.
Exercise – of course, we all know that:)
We all know how important exercise is for managing your energy, right? I’ll borrow Nike’s phrase, Just do it. Exercise is a great form of self-care.
Allow Ebb and flow.
When you’re in the flow you feel warm, peaceful, and happy. So, when you’re in this place express gratitude for feeling that way.
However, when you’re in an ebb, you’re not feeling so great.
Understandably, in an ebb, you’re distracted, uncomfortable, uneasy, etc. In the ebb moments, focus on any of the techniques listed here and remind yourself that the ebbs DO NOT LAST.
The ebb is temporary and you will be in the flow again. In the ebb keep your thoughts high vibration.
Surrender is acknowledging that we don’t have to control everything, nor would we want to. We’re co-creators of our lives and we can turn over to a higher power what feels like too much, and when we need help. We surrender our fear, our helplessness, our anxiety, etc.
Mashhur Anam Holographic meditation.
This is one of my favorite guided meditations. The meditation happens at about 30:00 minutes into the interview and lasts about 10 minutes.
Reiki is a form of energy healing based on the idea that we are energetic being and that energy or Chi or qi flows through us.
I list it as an emotional release technique because I’ve heard multiple accounts of people having a rush of emotions come to the surface during a Reiki session.
It’s a courageous act to stand back far enough to feel and let go, repeatedly. Emotional release helps you accomplish this.
We feel it to heal it. That’s how the body is made.
The over 30 emotional release methods I’ve suggested in this post will help you feel your emotions and move emotional energy out of the body.
Stuck emotional energy makes us feel tired, depressed, anxious, and a host of other uncomfortable or negative emotions.
You’re designed to heal and I wish this for you along your soul’s path.