Today’s episode is about emotional healing. This is something that comes up with my patients from around the world and also with the people that participate in the programs that I offer.
Whether it’s healing something like HPV and abnormal pap smear results, or helping with anxiety and depression, emotional healing comes into play.
So, I feel like it’s an important thing to for us to talk about as it’s an essential part of the stress recovery process. I also cover emotional healing in my most recent book Master Your Stress Reset Your Health.
What Is Emotional Healing?
We hear a lot about the mind-body connection, but what does it mean to process emotions?
Well, stress can come from a psycho-emotional level (our minds) like a traumatic experience, or it can come from a physical level (our bodies) like infections, toxins and injuries. And it’s the combination of those stresses and even spiritual or energetic stresses that compound into the total load of stress that we’re exposed to. This is our environmental exposure to stress. And we know from research that it’s this exposure that turns on our gene expression and makes us susceptible to all kinds of health issues.
We are so used to going to different practitioners for different parts of our bodies (including different practitioners for the mind and body) when in reality we are one whole being and all of our systems are interconnected. Our digestion is in communication with our immune system, our hormones with our nervous system, etc. They’re all talking to each other and that means that they can either have a negative influence or a positive influence on each other.
Our physical bodies (digestion, glands, muscles, bones, etc.) are always in communication with our nervous system and our minds. So, our feelings and our emotional state are also in communication with our physical bodies. An example of this is not feeling hungry when you are feeling anxious or depressed.
So, it is very important for our health (mental and physical) to allow ourselves to feel and to process emotions. Emotions come naturally to us as humans. Our bodies and nervous system inherently know how to feel emotions and to cry, laugh, and yawn. The problem here is that from a young age most of us are taught not to express our feelings or emotions. Society, schools, religion, or our own households teach us that we must suppress all of this.
Meanwhile research shows that when we don’t allow ourselves to feel and process all our emotions there is a high risk of developing health issues, again, mental and/or physical conditions. There are several good books on this topic, including by Carolyn Myss and The Body Keeps The Score by Bessel Van Der Kolk.
Unfortunately, I don’t think people have enough support to learn how to process emotions and to recover from stress and trauma. As much as we might be bringing awareness to stress and trauma, we’re not so much being guided what to do about it. And so then the stress and trauma just start feeling heavier and heavier.
I want to help you to have the right tools to transform the effects of stress and trauma, to recover from it, and it begins with learning to feel your feelings instead of suppressing them.
What also helps us heal on an emotional level is for us to start making decisions for ourselves, and to get in touch with our intuition and messages from your body. So, I would much rather give you information for you to then connect with yourself and see what feels right to you. Then along the way you’re also learning to listen to yourself, you’re learning to feel your emotions, you’re learning to try things with curiosity, and learn through the experience.
How Do We Heal Emotionally?
First, we have to establish that healing is possible, and that recovery from stress and trauma is possible. Then we can start to look at how best to approach this healing.
A lot of times you hear me talking about how to heal on a physical level, such as how to get cortisol, the stress hormone, back to optimal levels. The amazing thing I find with my patients is that when cortisol, as well as adrenaline and neurotransmitters, are optimal, they find it so much easier process emotions and heal on a psycho-emotional level.
This is important because a lot of people find themselves spending hours and hours, and thousands of dollars, in talk therapy and end up feeling like they’re only getting so far with it. In that case, we have to be sure we are also addressing the physical part of you, such as cortisol, adrenaline, neurotransmitters, nutrient deficiencies, thyroid imbalances, digestive issues, etc.
For those of you who are doing the work to balance your hormones, microbiome, and nutrients, but you haven’t paid attention to the mental, emotional, and even energetic aspect of your healing, then I encourage you to make that a priority. For some people it is very helpful to work with a therapist. And then you might decide to try different forms of therapy, from CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy to EMDR, which has been shown to be very helpful for stress recovery and PTSD.
There are also natural treatments like homeopathy, which is an ancient system of medicine that’s very helpful for processing emotionally and connecting the mind with the body to heal.
Also, psychedelic medicine, which has been shown more and more to be effective at helping us heal on an emotional level. Psychedelic treatments include the use of psilocybin, ketamine, as well as MDMA and Ayahuasca, which is a plant medicine from Central and South America that has been shown to be extremely effective at healing PTSD and addictions. If you’re interested in psychedelic therapy you can learn more by watching Episode 151 of How Humans Heal where I share my experience of attending a shamanic journey in the Peruvian Amazon.
Other tools that help with emotional healing are meditation, mindfulness, breathwork, journaling, and rebalancing of the chakras. The important thing is that you experiment and find what works for you specifically.
Something that you can do for yourself starting now is to become more aware of your emotions, and to allow yourself to feel your emotions. Be curious about your emotions, because I think so often, we don’t allow ourselves to fully feel because we may think we don’t have time for this, or we fear what could happen if we let it all out. It’s almost like our emotions are monsters and we run away from them.
If we don’t allow ourselves to feel these emotions, we will never be able to process them, and we will continue to carry the weight of them through our lives in our bodies.I learned this lesson the hard way – by developing severe migraines and a chronic inflammatory joint condition. It was through my own process of healing emotionally that I have been able to recover from these physical health issues.
What Happens to Our Bodies When We Heal Emotionally?
I think that as humans we’re probably only allowing ourselves to feel less than 5% of our emotional capacity. I know that for myself, and I know that from observing patients and others in my life. We really restrict ourselves from feeling and we have no idea that we can experience such emotional breadth. Just like when you go to the gym and workout your muscles, you can learn to expand your ability to feel, and feel comfortable and confident doing it.
There are many books out there that talk about emotions. For example, Atlas Of The Heart by Brene Brown where she talks about 86 different emotions that we can feel. Or 90 Seconds to a Life You Love by Joan I. Rosenberg where she talks about how most emotions can be felt in 90 seconds.
When we expand our ability to feel emotions and to feel comfortable feeling emotions, we are being more present. By practicing allowing ourselves to just be present with our feelings, we will be able to connect with ourselves more.
A colleague of mine, Dr. Debi Silber created The Betrayal Institute where she helps people heal from betrayal every day. You can find more about it in Episode 59 of How Humans Heal. So know that these resources exist and that it’s possible to heal. There are tools available to help you heal emotionally from what you’ve been through, including somatic therapy and myofascial therapy (which will be discussed in the next episode).
I think emotional healing is as necessary as good sleep, exercise, drinking water and eating healthy foods. Just imagine what it would be like if could feel so grateful for something, or love and joy at full capacity. We know that the emotions of love and gratitude really shift us on an energetic level. Research shows that these emotions create a change on a cellular level and therefore we can then see a positive impact on our health.
We Have More Power Than We Think
In quantum physics, which is this concept in science and math where there are more possibilities than we realize, things are not just black or white, and things are not decided until the very last second of them happening. For example, there are experiments where even atoms don’t show their decided location until they are observed by the observer. We tend to oversimplify and want to control and anticipate everything, when in reality, there are so many variables, we will make ourselves more stressed by focusing on control.
What we can do is take these lessons from physics and use them in our understanding of ourselves. By practicing being comfortable and navigating in the unknown. How do we get more comfortable with the unknown?
First, by processing and letting go of what happened in the past, we free ourselves to be in the present moment. Learn more about this from Eckhardt Tolle.
Then, by understanding that many possibilities exist and that it’s in the last moment that one will become a reality, we realize that the best way to shift our perspective or situation, is to simply choose a different way of looking at it. We can decide which reality we want for ourselves and in that way, we can create our future as we want it to be.
We can choose how we want to relate to ourselves and allow ourselves to feel. We can choose to be in silence and instead of attaching to a feeling or a thought as the only reality, we can be the observer and observe all the possibilities. And, with curiosity and acceptance, be able to see the reality as it is now and what it is that you would like to create in your life. We can get into a state of love and gratitude, intentionally, and from that state, we can create a different reality for ourselves.
The more you can envision what you want to create in your health and in your body, the more you spend time believing it and envisioning it, you can create that for yourself. This is how a lot of people experience healing, sometimes spontaneous healing or distance healing, because they’re able to get into this state of creating a new reality for themselves and their existence using these concepts.
I mention it here because I think it helps in terms of emotional healing. I think it helps with getting out of that feeling of being stuck in terms of trauma and feeling that our future is already determined by our past. It’s not, as long as we step in and start choosing differently.
When we are able to connect with ourselves and feel our emotions to an extent where we can process them so that they’re not in the way, we will feel so much better, relieved and less stressed, and our overall health will improve as a result.
The Highly Sensitive Person
Ph.D. Elaine N. Aron wrote a book in the 90’s called The Highly Sensitive Person which talks about how some people have a more sensitive nervous system so they can pick up on emotions, as well as physical sensations, more easily than others. I also think that many people have been suppressing their ability to feel their emotions and this means they can train themselves to develop this capacity to feel more.
It’s about allowing ourselves to fully find out what our capacity is. What is your capacity to listen to yourself and your own signals from within, and to feel? What is your body really telling you that you maybe haven’t been listening to?
It’s that ability to sense your body and your response to your environment that can really help you heal. And so, I encourage you to practice this openness to feel and perceive. You can create some quiet moments in your schedule, for example by spending time in nature and journaling. You can start practicing by making a space for it in your life but at the same time not trying to force it or pressure yourself. You just have to allow yourself to completely lose yourself in the moment.
It’s only by practicing feeling our emotions, and the subsequent self-discovery process, that you will find yourself open to the infinite possibilities for your existence and realize that your future does not have to be determined by your past experiences.
If you’re interested in a safe and effective body, mind and spirit detoxification that will actually make you feel better and that you can do without affecting your daily routine, you can check out my New 14-Day Detox Program here. In the Detox Program I teach you to connect with yourself, and use mind-body tools, such as biofeedback, to process emotions.
If you’re ready to start healing emotionally by rebalancing your cortisol and neurotransmitters, you can start by ordering this home test kit. You can also sign up for my Stress Warrior Program here. Also, if you want to learn more about how to recover from stress so that you can get back to feeling your best, you may want to read my book Master Your Stress Reset Your Health.
In the book, I also share the quiz I developed to help you identify how stress has affected you specifically by knowing your Stress Type. You can also take this Stress Type Quiz online.
If you want to go through your specific case me and improve your health (mental and physical) you can set up a one-on-one appointment here.
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More Resources from Dr. Doni:
- Start with Dr. Doni’s Stress Quiz:
- Latest Book: Master Your Stress, Reset Your Health
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- 7-day SelfC.A.R.E Stress Reset
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