When you think about meditation, you probably imagine that it’s always calm and peaceful, as long as you can settle down your mind, right? You sit, close your eyes (or not) and breathe. And with each breath, you start to relax. You release some tension in your shoulders, your back, your belly, your hips and you begin to relax so much you almost feel like you might fall asleep.
But actually, there are times when, without warning, that stillness is interrupted. Emotions from past experiences and situations begin to trickle out like a pot of hot water boiling over or it may feel like a sudden rush that hits you hard. It can feel physical like a tingling down your spine, a hot sensation in your chest or an ache in your leg. You may even have a sudden urge to cry to release these emotions. These emotions can come from places of both joy and sorrow. They can come from the joy of being newly married, having a baby or starting a business. And they can also derive from the sadness and anger of going through a divorce or losing a loved one.
Whatever your experiences in life, the emotions tied to them are stored in your body and psyche. So when you regularly make an effort to settle down, sit still and hold space for yourself, it’s very common for these emotions to surface because your body and mind are looking for a release.
So what do you do with these emotions?
Sit with them. Acknowledge them. Thank them for showing up. They are a part of you and your journey so do your best to face them with compassion and understanding.
What are you feeling?
Fear? Anger? Resentment?
Excitement? Joy? Pride?
These are all valid feelings that we often hold back or repress. Welcome them, sit with them and really feel into them. We store a lot of emotions in our bodies that can be toxic if we’re not willing to express and release them. So when you feel them coming during meditation, inhale, exhale and let them out. Roll your shoulders, stretch your arms, move your body in ways that help you to release your emotions if you feel the need to do so. You may even cry. Be open to however you need to release your feelings.
These emotional releases are all a part of meditation, so don’t fear them. Sit with them as you begin pulling back the mental, physical and emotional layers inside. You know what you’ve been through. Use meditation to create a safe space to process your emotions so you can learn from your past and be more mindful as you move forward in life.