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Ep #135: Processing Emotions 101 | Becoming You Again Podcast



Are you ready to embrace your emotions without hesitation or fear? Today I'll be your guide into the depths of your emotional landscape. You're going to a learn to truly feel and process your emotions in a healthy, compassionate way. Society has taught you to suppress or react negatively towards your feelings. Now is your chance to change that narrative starting now, by understanding that your emotions are a normal part of being human, and accepting them is the first step towards self-healing.


You're going to learn a step by step instruction of processing emotions starting with the concept of self-soothing and learning to recognize and name our emotions. Your emotional tolerance is as unique as you are, and realizing how to maneuver within it is crucial to productive emotional processing. If your emotions often feel like a high tide, this episode will equip you with the tools and understanding needed to navigate your emotional seas with confidence.


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Grief and trauma are the two biggest struggles women deal with as they go through their divorce. It's highly likely that you are experiencing both and don't even realize what you're feeling. I'm here to tell you that it's okay for you to grieve your marriage (even if it was shitty) and it's normal to be experiencing some kind of trauma (which is essentially a disconnection from yourself - your mind, body and soul). I can help guide you through the grief in all of the forms it show up so you can heal. I can also teach you how to ground yourself in healing so you can ease through the trauma. Schedule your free consult by clicking here.


Featured on this episode:

  1. Interested in the Divorce Betrayal Transformation? Learn more here.

  2. Are you lost and confused about who you are after divorce? Don't worry. I've got 51 Ways to Get to Know Yourself Again. Click here to download.

  3. Want to work first hand with Karin so you can stop worrying about what your life will be like after divorce, and instead begin making it amazing today? Click here to schedule a consult to find out more about working 1:1 with Karin as your coach.

  4. Haven't left a review yet? No problem. Click here to leave one.


Full Episode Transcript:

You found this podcast because you're either going through a divorce or you are divorced, and let me tell you you're in the right place. You're listening to Becoming you Again, episode no 135, and I am your host, Karin Nelson. Welcome to Becoming you Again, the podcast to help you with your mental and emotional well-being during and after divorce. This is where you learn to overcome the grief and trauma of your divorce. We're going to do that by reconnecting with yourself, creating lasting emotional resilience and living a truly independent life, so that your life can be even better than when you were married. I'm your host, Karin Nelson. Hello, welcome back to the podcast. I'm so happy that you are here today because I have something that I think is very important to teach you Now. I have done previous podcast episodes where I talk about processing through your emotions, the importance of allowing your emotions. I didn't go back and count, but there's at least three, probably more like seven, I don't know. You can kind of skim through the titles and figure out which ones there are where I talk about emotional processing. But today is going to be a very special one because I'm actually going to walk you through emotional processing 101 and give you a basic rundown of what you can do as you are learning to open yourself up to processing emotions. Because let's be real here, no one actually teaches you how to process your emotions. As you're growing up, as you're living your life, you're going to school. Nobody teaches this class. In high school, most parents I would say the majority of parents are not informing you on how to just allow your emotions to be there, on how to just let them lay inside of you or sit with your emotions and feel them and allow them to be a part of your everyday life. Most of us are taught to stop crying, to stop feeling that way, to stop being so emotional, to just push through, to just try harder, to just work harder. Emotions make you weak, so why would you want to give in to them? That is what we're taught and I'm telling you we are doing such a disservice to ourselves and to our children and to the world when we try and pretend like it's bad or wrong to feel emotions. It is not. It is the path to healing. It is the path to self-love and compassion, which then creates love and compassion for everyone else around us, and it is the thing that makes you and I and everyone else on this planet, the most human we can possibly be. And humanity, my friend, is a beautiful thing, because no one teaches us how to actually process through our emotions. No one kind of informs us on the idea that it's okay to feel emotions, it's okay to be sad, that it's okay to cry, that it's okay to be angry, that it's okay to be joyful, that it's okay to be energetic, that it's okay to feel happy and, yes, I am putting positive emotions in there as well, because we often will feel bad when we feel happy. We often will tell ourselves that it's not okay, that it's too much joy, that we're having too much fun or we're feeling too bad and we need to just suck it up and get out of this feeling right. So what we're taught, instead of actually feeling and opening ourselves up to the emotions, is three things. These are very typical. You'll recognize them right when I start to describe them. We are taught to either avoid our emotions, to resist our emotions or to react to our emotions. Now what do those look like? Very commonly, when we avoid our emotions, we are distracting ourselves. We are watching Netflix, we are drinking, we are watching porn, we are over exercising, we are pretending that what we're feeling is not actually there. We're ignoring it, we are avoiding that feeling at all costs. The more you avoid it, the more you have to avoid it because it keeps showing up. The next one is resistance. Resistance is when you feel a sensation in your body and then you try to pretend like it's not there. You can tell that there is something happening in your body. You can tell there's an emotion that wants to come up, and yet you're not willing to feel it, you're not willing to take a look at it. Have you ever stopped yourself from crying? Have you ever told someone to stop crying? That's kind of that idea of resistance, of not allowing it and not recognizing it and not being willing to take a look at what is creating that feeling. And then the last one is reacting, and reacting is where we're kind of acting out against our emotions. So like we feel angry, we throw something, like we're reacting to the anger. We feel frustrated, we yell at the people around us. We are reacting to that frustration. We're upset with someone because of something they did. We give them the silent treatment. We're going to react to our emotion and project it on the things and the people outside of us. So those are the three ways that society, culture, just being a human in today's world, those are the things that we have kind of picked up as the way to deal with our emotions, rather than actually opening ourselves up to them and allowing them to be there. But here's the thing as we get more in touch with ourselves and with our body and with learning how to ground our nervous system and how to regulate ourselves, the more we learn to trust ourselves in knowing that we are going to be okay if we can allow these emotions to be there. Emotions are just a physical sensation and it wants to be present inside of our body, and the more we feel safe to open up to that and to process through the emotion, the easier it is to allow ourselves to heal. So I'm going to walk you through this emotional processing 101, just some basic steps to take so that you're going to have kind of a basic guide to help you as you are learning to process through your own emotions and as you learn to open yourself up to feeling so that you can heal. Alright, so processing emotions 101, the very first thing that you need to know about yourself is you need to know how to self-soothe. Do you know how to do that for yourself? What does that look like for you? Answer that question. We are kind of, as a society, talked out of knowing how to self-soothe. We do it for babies. I mean, obviously babies can't self-soothe, but we help them with that. We rub their backs, we rock them, we hold them, we shush them, we speak kindly to them, we sing lullabies to them, we smile at them, we whisper in their ear. Like that's just some of the things off the top of my head. I'm sure there are like hundreds of other ways that we soothe babies when they're crying, to teach them how to regulate their own emotions, to teach them how to regulate their own bodies and to understand what's happening for them, because they're so little they don't understand. But we're kind of talked out of doing that for ourselves Because it looks weird if you were to rub your chest with your hand. It looks weird if you sing to yourself to kind of calm yourself down. People think you're strange. There must be something wrong with you. But what if that weren't true? What if you could tap into the way that your body and your brain and your nervous system reacts to self-soothing and it didn't matter what other people thought. If you allowed yourself to do that, what would that look like? A way that I self soothe is I like to take the palm of my hand and rub it on my chest, and I like skin to skin. So if I'm wearing a sweatshirt, I will put my hand inside my sweatshirt, touch my chest skin and rub back and forth. That, to me, feels safe, it feels inviting and it helps regulate my nervous system to know that I am safe in this moment. But what could it look like for you? Answer that question. That's step number one. Step number two Remind yourself that you can stop processing the emotion anytime you want. If it ever becomes too scary, too hard, you don't know what to do. You don't want to feel it anymore. You can stop at any time. That is always your choice. That is always your prerogative. You always have consent for yourself to say yes, I want to open myself up to feeling this emotion, or no, I've had enough, or no, I'm not ready, or I want to stop. Totally up to you. Number three I want you to decide what your window of tolerance is. Now I haven't really done a podcast episode on window of tolerance, but just so you know, it's basically like we all have a level where we can process through an emotion and not feel too uncomfortable, not feel too out of sync with ourselves. On a scale of one to 10, what would yours be? You get to decide where the number is, where you're going to stop, where it's too much, where it's too heavy, where it's too painful, or whatever adjective you want to insert there. What is your window of tolerance? Where are you willing to go to? What are you willing to allow yourself to feel, and where does it become too much and you're ready to stop? What's that window of tolerance? What's the number? The next thing you need to do in this processing 101 is you need to name the emotion that is coming up. You need to recognize it, give it a name. Then you need to allow the feeling to be inside your body, even if it doesn't make sense in your mind or even if you can't describe exactly what it feels like. You just have to allow yourself to feel the sensations that are in your body and then you're just going to observe it with compassion, without judgment, without telling yourself you're doing it wrong, without telling yourself you shouldn't be feeling this way, without telling yourself that there's something wrong with you. Just observe it. The next thing you're going to do is you're just going to describe it. What does it feel like in your body? Where do you feel it? Is it fast, is it slow, is it hot, is it cold, is it heavy, is it smooth, is it a color? Where do you feel it? Describe it. What is that emotion feel like in your body? And now you're going to check in with yourself at this point and you're going to ask yourself do I want to ground myself? Do I want to continue allowing this emotion to be present inside me, or do I feel like just these few steps alone have opened myself up to this feeling and am I ready to move on? You get to decide Again. You have total consent over this whole process and you get to recognize is the intensity going down? Is it still very high? Do I need to continue on with this process, or do I feel as though opening myself up to this emotion has allowed it to dissipate and move through me? If you still have some processing that needs to happen, you're going to continue allowing yourself to feel that emotion, opening yourself up to it. What thoughts come into your head. Are there thoughts you need to write down? Is there some movement that you need to do with your body to work that emotion through, to allow it to move through your body? And if you feel as though you've been able to process through your emotion and open yourself up to it and let it flow through you, that's when you can take a breath, thank yourself for allowing the emotion to be present and recognize the healing that has come because you allowed yourself to process through that emotion and just know that most likely you'll have to do it again. Processing through one emotion one time in your life does not mean you will never feel that emotion again. It does not mean you have somehow created a space of humaneness where you don't feel emotions anymore Now. It just means that you are getting better at allowing the emotions to be present inside of you rather than stopping you from being the best human that you can possibly be, because when we step into avoidance, resistance and reaction to our emotions, we are not necessarily showing up as the human we want to be. We can allow ourselves to process through and open up to these emotions. Most likely, that's when true healing, compassion and self-love shows up. Alright, my friends, good luck with this process. I believe in you. I believe it's possible for you to learn how to process through your emotions and allow them to be a part of your life. Of course, I practice this in my own life and sometimes I'm really good at it and other times I'm not. So give yourself compassion, give yourself grace as you learn to do this and keep coming back to it over and over and over again. I love you, my friends. Thank you so much for being here. I will talk to you next week. Thanks for listening. If this podcast agreed with you in any way, please take a minute to follow and give me a rating. Wherever you listen to podcasts and for more details about how I can help you live an even better life than when you were married. Make sure and check out the full show notes by clicking the link in the description.

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