Seven Steps to Release Toxic Emotions

By  September 29, 2008

Ayurveda describes disease as the final expression of toxic accumulations in the mind-body physiology. Every impulse of life can be considered in terms of whether it brings nourishment or toxicity to body, mind, and spirit. A nourishing experience brings you health and happiness. A toxic experience brings misery and contributes to poor health.

We need to purify both emotional and physical toxins on a regular basis in order to experience true health and emotional freedom. Addressing emotional toxicity is the first step to total rejuvenation—if we allow toxic emotions to accumulate, the emotional toxicity ultimately leads to physical toxicity as well. Whenever you carry resentment, hostility, regret, or grievances in your heart, your health and vitality are eroded.

Dealing effectively with emotions requires knowledge and practice. Use this seven-step process to release emotional toxicity and purify your emotions.

1. Identify the emotion.
Whenever you find yourself in a state of emotional turmoil, find a quiet place and identify the emotion. Say to yourself, "I feel _____." It may be angry, sad, hurt, betrayed, etc. As clearly as possible, define and describe what you are feeling.

2. Witness the feeling in your body.
Emotions are thoughts associated with physical sensations. Observe the feeling and allow your attention to embrace the sensation. Breathe into the feeling. By allowing yourself to experience the physical sensations, you‘ll find that the charge of emotion dissipates.

3. Take responsibility for what you are feeling.
One of the most important aspects of healing the emotional body is understanding that we have a choice in how we respond to and interpret our experiences.

4. Express the emotion to yourself.
You can write about your feelings or speak them out loud in private. Describe the situation or circumstance and the effect that it has on your heart and soul. Allow the words to serve as a conduit to release the emotional toxicity. Studies have shown that journaling about upsetting emotional experiences can improve your immune function, as well as help you gain clarity and insight.

5. Release the emotion through some physical ritual.
Do some deep breathing, get a massage, dance with abandon, or go on a long run. Allow your body to release the tension that is stored with the emotion.

6. Share the emotion with the person involved in the situation once you have calmed down.
If you have processed steps 1 through 5, you should be able to share it without blame and without trying to manipulate the person for approval or pity.

7. Celebrate!

Do something nice for yourself. Reward yourself for uncovering and releasing the pain of the emotion. Nourish yourself: Listen to your favorite music; buy yourself a present; eat a delicious meal.

By following these steps when you find yourself reacting strongly to anyone, and by making a commitment to regularly acknowledge gratitude and relinquish all grievances from your heart, you will feel truly emotionally refreshed and rejuvenated.

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