As a self-help writer, I get this question a lot. And to be honest, there were times where I, myself, sought the answers to these questions. How do I channel sadness into freedom? How do I channel anger into freedom?
We all reach a time in our lives where we’re feeling overwhelmed. Where all we want to do is curl up into a ball and throw a blanket over us, shielding us from the world.
For myself, I was considered the “strong one,” which, completely unaware, placed a huge amount of pressure onto me. If I’m the strong one, I can’t show those moments of weaknesses.
But there comes a moment when you can’t do it anymore, and the only thing for you to do is feel emotion, whether it’s good or bad.
As children, we’re all taught to limit our emotions. Don’t cry. Don’t show you’re weak. Don’t be too soft. But what happens when you’re an adult? Those emotions stay bottled up inside of you and show their face in different ways.
Suppressing your emotions can lead to physical, mental, and emotional stress on your body, and it can negatively affect memory, self-esteem, and even blood pressure.
In other words: bottling up your emotions does more harm than good.
So how can you channel sadness into freedom? How can you channel anger into freedom? You’re about to find out now.
Accept that you’re angry or sad
If you want to channel sadness into freedom (or anger), you need to acknowledge those feelings inside of you.
You’re angry. You’re sad. You’re feeling some way and that’s okay.
With anger, more often than not, you’ll physically feel it. Your breathing becomes quick and shallow, you feel heat throughout your body and you become stiff.
If you’re unsure of what you’re feeling, use the scenario to help identify your feelings.
Don’t ignore your feelings
This is a huge. And I say it’s huge because while it sounds like an easy thing to do, it’s not. It’s actually very difficult, especially if you’re someone who’s been spending their entire life bottling up their emotions.
When you feel emotions bubbling up within you, don’t ignore them. Instead, let them out.
If you feel like crying, cry. If you feel like screaming, grab a pillow and scream into it (you don’t want to scare the neighbors).
However you wish to express your emotions (safely, of course), do so. Let it out. Some people scream, some cry, others go for a walk. It doesn’t really matter what you do, just as long as you let them out.
Keep letting your emotions out
This isn’t a one-time deal. You’re going to have to practice this actively.
If you’ve been suppressing your emotions since you were a child, you have a lot of emotion to release.
When I started releasing my emotions, I could cry at almost anything. If a song came on, I cried. If I watched a movie, I cried. I couldn’t help it. All those years, I kept these emotions inside of me, and they needed to get out.
Talk about it
Whether you talk about it with your partner or a therapist, it doesn’t matter. What matters is you talk to someone you trust about these emotions, where they come from, and how you can move forward.
While you may have released some of your emotions, certain people or factors in your life could be fueling your feelings. Talking to someone, specifically a therapist, can help you discover what lies behind your emotions.
Shower yourself with compassion
As you start to explore your emotions and feelings, practice compassion. Don’t be judgmental towards yourself as it’ll only cause guilt and shame. That’s not what you need to heal.
As humans, we’re meant to experience a range of emotions. Your emotions are not good or bad; they are simply indicators of how something affected you.
If you feel like yelling, don’t feel guilty. If you feel like crying, don’t take it as a sign of weakness.
Practice meditating and deep breathing
Meditation is a very powerful tool for releasing suppressed emotions. It also helps you gain self-awareness and calms your nervous system, bringing you internal balance.
Meditating on a regular basis will help you tap into your emotions, allowing you to observe them rather than become them.
While you have a past, as we all do, it doesn’t need to be a part of your future. By learning how to channel sadness into freedom, you can work on living the life you want to live.