Life is full of emotional turmoil that we need to heal. This is where emotional healing comes in.
In this post I will cover different tools and techniques that you can use for your own emotional healing.
I personally have tried everything that I recommend below. After years of working on recovering from various emotional trauma, I have tried just about everything.
I did not want to continue having the same problems, because I had not learned my lesson the first few times (sometimes it takes me a while.) So instead I opted to figure out why things were happening and how to correct for the future.
I spent four years after my divorce exploring limiting beliefs, learning about emotional abuse, and learning even more about myself. As I dug in, I found that awareness was not the only thing I needed.
I needed to re-write limiting beliefs, forgive myself and others and heal the emotional wounds I discovered. This lead me to develop a list of emotional healing tools that I can use.
The best part of this list is that some tools can be used not only for healing, but also for discovery of what is causing your emotional pain.
So let's dive into the tools you can use for emotional healing, plus some pointers on how to pick out the right ones for you.
Emotional healing is recovering from past emotional trauma. This trauma can be cause by both good and bad life events. Examples are: divorce, child birth, moving and abuse. It can also be healing from events that created limiting beliefs. These we may not realize are damaging. These can include things such as childhood experiences.
Everyone has different tools that work better for them. The key is to figure out what works for you, and use those.
Typically there will be a few that you use on a regular basis in combination. Then you will have others you use occasionally. My regulars are journaling, meditation, Reiki and tapping*. The rest I use if I feel I need something more.
The best way to figure out if something works for you is to give it a try. Don't go for a one and done, try it multiple times. It has taken me years to master my regulars.
Here are some tips to find your emotional healing tools.
The healing tools are broken down into two categories.
One focused on the physical body and the other on the mental, emotional and spiritual bodies. Healing all four bodies is necessary for complete healing. They are all tied together. You won't find complete healing until you heal all of them.
Your physical health is important to healing. Without your health it makes it 100 times harder to heal your emotions. There are two reasons for this.
First it is hard to do the necessary emotional work if you are in pain and dealing with medical issues. You need stamina and energy to do healing work.
It can be physically draining to heal your emotions. So making sure your body is working helps.
Second, our bodies hold onto emotions that are not processed. You will speed up your emotional healing by working on your physical body.
This goes beyond a healthy diet and exercise. While those are important, you also need to engage in some form of bodywork that will release the stuck emotions.
Bodywork is a way of working with the body that works the muscle, energy, posture, etc. so that the body can heal.
If you want more of the science behind the stuck emotions I recommend the following book. Molecules of Emotion: The Science Behind Mind-Body Medicine.
Following are the types of bodywork that I prefer. Keep in mind they are not the only ones available.
Reiki is a Japanese healing technique that removes the unnecessary energy from your body and your aura. It also balances and clears your chakras.
Using Universal Source energy a clears what is blocking you.
It has been so powerful for me that I became a Reiki Master. You can learn more about Reiki in the page I created just for it. It includes my story on how it took me 13 years to like it! 🙂 Learn more about Reiki
Who knew that relaxing with a massage could help you not only heal your body but release emotions. Your emotions can end up living in your tissues.
When getting a massage, you loosen the muscles and release the emotions. I have even heard of people having a massage therapist with them at counseling to get double the benefit!
If you have never experienced massage before, I suggest that you ask for referrals. The more you can ensure a good experience the more likely you are to have luck releasing. And more importantly that you will want to go back!
I have gotten regular massages for about 18 years now. I can say without a doubt you get what you pay for. Paying for the more experienced and trained individual allows you to go less and receive the same benefits.
My current massage therapist takes many advanced trainings and is hands down the best one I have been to. And she is also the most expensive – but worth every dime. Thus why I have gone to her for almost six years! (If you are in the DFW area check her out. Be warned she has a wait list, but is worth it!)
Fascia runs through the entire body. When you experience emotions that are not fully processed your body absorbs them.
Fascia is one of the places that can take the emotions. Causing even more pain than the typical physical use of Fascia.
Our bodies release neuropeptides when we experience emotions, they go through the entire body and attach to any receptor that is available. Including the fascia.Myofascial release is a technique used to release both the physical tension and the emotions. Many massage therapists are trained in this technique. So if you want to try both massage and Myofascial Release, look for someone who is trained in both.
This technique is based on muscle testing to find spots that you may be holding emotional pain. Then it is release through acupressure points.
I was unsure how this could work when I first learned about it but was very intrigued. Luckily my chiropractor is trained in it, so I could experience it without tracking down someone new. While not the most powerful thing I have experienced. It did make a big impact on the consistency of my emotional healing. It helped me find balance.
For more information: Neuro Emotional Technique.
As westerners most of us look at yoga as something we do for physical fitness.
Yet, yoga was designed for spiritual growth. The asana’s are meant to help release emotions, and prepare ourselves for meditation and enlightenment.
It is very common to have an emotional reaction in yoga. I remember the first time that I cried in yoga. It was out of now where in a restorative yoga class. Oddly it was not even on an issue that I had been dealing with that day. But evidently the hip opener we were doing brought to the forefront some emotions.
Luckily, I had already known there could be a connection, so I allowed myself to sink into the feelings. A few hours later I was ready to release those emotions.
If you have never tried yoga before I recommend you start at a local studio. The positions can be tweaked ever so slightly to get them just right. An online class or an untrained teacher can block your experience. Once you have the basics down, the by all means head to YouTube!
I also recommend you start with a Hatha Yoga. Then move on to other traditional styles such as Kundalini.
I have lumped all the tools for these four mental bodies together, because many of them will help on multiple bodies. Following are my favorites. These are not the only options!
This is hands down one of the most critical tools that I use for processing and releasing emotions. But more importantly re-writing your limiting beliefs.
Tapping utilizes acupressure points to calm the nervous system and assist your mind in creating new beliefs.
My process is to journal about my emotions. Then run through a tapping sequence based on my journaling. Not only did this release those emotions but it would typically uncover new emotions that I did not know I had. (I call this free tapping, just like you can free write in journaling!)
Be prepared to cry, laugh and release!
While not difficult, it can take time to get used to and learn the process. I recommend you check out The Tapping Solution*. This was the main site that I used to learn.
While it can be beneficial to work with someone who is trained I personally don't believe it is not completely necessary. Especially if you know what you want to tap on and are good at understanding your feelings.
When I first started I read a book on it. Then worked with a practitioner for a few sessions. Finally I did the tapping summit*. This gave me enough experience that now I do it on my own. I also use Brad Yates Youtube Channel.
While meditation has been shown to have many amazing benefits, it has been the hardest one for me to master! My mind or my body does not like to slow down.
What has worked for me is scaling up with "easy" methods.
I began with walking meditation. Then went onto guided meditations. I also do a meditative journal process. Finally I was able to simply sit and do "traditional" meditation.
I use an app/website called Insight Timer. It has not only a timer for “traditional” meditation, but also thousands of free guided meditations. Plus music, classes and audio lessons.
Including over 1,000 guided meditations on emotional healing. Plus, as a bonus you can earn stars for having a regular practice. They don't get you anything but bragging rights! 🙂
A couple of my favorite guided meditations in the Insight App:
Hands down the best thing I do every day! I use my journal as a place to understand my feelings, discover why I do things, release old beliefs and so much more.
For me it is like having a counselor with me at all times.
While journaling can take time to get used to, it is worth the effort to learn. Start out with 10 minutes a day of free writing about your emotions and what you are feeling. Do not judge yourself. This is your space to explore without any fear.
As you discover new feelings and blocks, use that information to either tap, do mirror work or speak to friends and your therapist.
Don’t give up on this without trying for at least a couple weeks!
For more on how to Journal, check out my journaling page. It will provide and overview and links to my journaling articles.
I am sure you have heard this before. It hurts you to not forgive. It is not about them, it is about you.
Yet I am more than aware that this is also one of the hardest things you can ever do!
I read article after article on forgiveness. I journaled about it. I tapped on it. I did guided meditations on it. I have used everything in this article to work on forgiveness as part of my emotional healing.
Then finally I found the book that changed everything! Radical Forgiveness by Colin Tipping. Not only did this make more sense than anything else I had read. But Tipping has practice exercises and worksheets you can use to forgive.
Do yourself a favor, get the book, read it and do the worksheets. I keep a printed set of them by my journal spot, so I can work on forgiveness anytime I am feeling overwhelmed. Please keep an open mind when reading this book.
Forgiveness really is the path to emotional healing. If you do nothing else, work on forgiveness.
If you are not familiar with Mirror Work it is when you talk to yourself in the mirror. This may feel crazy, but it has an amazing power. The premise is that you learn to love yourself by directly looking in your own eyes and declaring your love.
To heal emotionally and move on you have to love yourself enough to actually do that. If you don’t love yourself, you will find ways to not allow yourself to heal. You will find a way to continue the suffering.
I think this is one of the fastest ways to get to the core of a problem. I have been amazed how five minutes in front of a mirror can reveal the real issue (and usually some tears with it!) And this has occurred after years of dedicated work on healing!
I recommend getting the book, so you can reference back to the affirmations, journal questions and meditations. But you don't have too, it is equally as powerful doing it on your own. Start by looking in the mirror every morning and saying "I love you."
There are many different types of breath-work. The idea is to use breathing to alter your state and release, re-energize or discover.
The one that I used the most is Harmonic Breathing. It is an ancient form of breathing that has you utilize two in breaths and one exhale. You do this for a minimum of seven minutes. It is hard to describe how it feels, but it is similar to having a great meditation experience.
Other than a simple deep breathing in and out, I highly recommend you work with a trained practitioner. Having someone else there to guide you and be present is important. Some breath-work techniques can take you to physical and spiritual places you did not know could happen. Don't do this with an untrained guide.
Some yoga styles incorporate breathing, so you may want to start there.
You cannot go it alone. You need your friends to help you process and heal. Without my friends I would have been lost through my major transitions.
Just being able to cry with someone, so you don’t feel alone is important. Loneliness can block your emotional healing.
Make sure you cultivate relationships where you are both interested in learning, growing and becoming better people. Do this before you need them and let yourself rely on them when you need them.
The right friend at the right time is very powerful.
Past life regression allows you to go back to lives that are directly impacting you today. This has been one of the most powerful experiences I have had. More powerful than when I walked on fire.
Once you get to the point where you have a final few pieces that you simply can't figure out. That don't make sense. Past Life Regression may be what you need.
I had a few limiting beliefs and issues that kept appearing. No matter what I tried, I could not figure out the source or even try to re-frame them without knowing.
So I decided to give past life regression a try. I had already believed in it, and knew they could impact your current life.
But wow, I did not expect at all what occurred.
I suddenly was able to understand why some things kept happening. And why I felt the way I did. I was able to break the connection, and be aware in my daily life of patterns that were still occurring.
However, hands down the best gift it gave me is the knowledge of what karma really is. (The need to learn a specific lesson, no matter how many lifetimes it takes. Such as all aspects of love.) And with that the knowing, that it is not just about this life. If what I desire does not occur here, it will in another life.
It has taken the stress of timing and understanding away.
If you want to learn more before you try it I recommend this book: Beyond Past Lives: What Parallel Realities Can Teach Us about Relationships, Healing, and Transformation
Also Gaia has a show on it as well that is helpful.
Find a good therapist! They can help you through the dark days probably better than anyone else. That is what they are trained to do!
They can help you see things in a different light. They won’t judge. Their advice is unbiased with only you as the focus.
Without my two favorite therapists, I would have struggle through many of my transitions.
Counseling is NOT for the weak. It is for the strong. It is for those that want to grow. It is for anyone who wants to continually get better and not make the same mistakes in life.
If you are serious about healing, you need a good therapist.
If you need help finding a good therapist, ask for referrals or search on the Psychology Today website.
If you go to them, and don't like them. Keep looking for one that is the right fit for you.
As you work on healing keep these things in mind. It can be a hard road and I don’t want you to give up. Life really is better when you heal your emotions. Just keep trying.
While emotional healing is not easy, it is always worth it. Do the work and you will forever be grateful you did.
Need a coach to help you walk through your journey? Learn more about my coaching services.
* Updated 2/5/2020 to add in new healing tools and expand on how to use other tools.