There is that which is dynamic. That which moves.
There is that which is stable. That which stays still.
Both principles are required, and fused with one another, in order to give rise to Life.
Emotions are a form of movement.
When we have our emotions 'stay still', we are introducing imbalance into our being.
Another way to put this is that emotions are meant to be expressed. They must. Emotions move into or arise from our body--and they must leave. That is the whole point of having an emotion.
Much of what can be termed emotional problems, pain, sickness, etc--is a result of a misunderstanding of this dynamic function of emotion. The need of emotions to move, to move through. Instead, we felt an emotion (say, anger . . .) long about 1981 and pretty much decided to feel that emotion for the next 30 years. It's been installed. That puppy is going nowhere.
That's a big reason why things feel so wonky in our bodies and our lives. We work so hard not to feel certain emotions, especially intense ones such as jealousy or fear (etc), because we want to be such good girls and boys. But I suggest moving your attention from the point at which the emotion initializes--allow it to come, it's okay--and instead ask yourself what is happening at the expression point of that emotion.
As you observe yourself for the emotions that arise constantly in your life, ask yourself--do I have an expression for this? For example, if insecurity is a big feature of your life, allow it. Don't try to stop the insecurity necessarily. Rather, when insecurity arises, how will you express it? How about finding a 'security stone', a beautiful stone to keep in your pocket? When insecurity arises, hold the stone and let the insecurity move through and out of your body. When you feel restless, how about dancing? When you feel like crying, why don't you take a few minutes alone in your bedroom and allow that? When you feel affronted, how about making a big sound, "BAGAAWWWW!!! NO HE DIDN'T!" and then laughing it off?
We are each responsible for expressing emotions, and responsible for selecting the expressions.
So take some time to observe yourself and name the emotions that like to come and play with you, and ask yourself if you have adequate expression for them, and if not, have fun choosing a corresponding expression to each emotion you often feel.
By the way, if you can't think of any fancy expressions or don't want to, breathing works every time. INHALE . . . EXHALE . . . IN . . . OUT . . . WHOOOOOOO. With every exhale, move the emotion through your mouth and allow it to move on out into the air and dissipate. Another reliable tool for emotional expression is journaling. Another one is art. Even if you aren't an artist, per se, pick up some play dough or some finger paints at the dollar store, and have at it. Also, don't set a time limit necessarily. How long does it take to express an emotion? I have no idea. As long as it needs to!
(By the way, informing another person that they are the ones you 'made' you feel a certain way is not expression, and is not the truth. It's not necessarily okay or safe (for you or them) to dump your emotion on another being. We'll talk about communicating emotion with others in an upcoming blog post.)
And all the emotions from the 80s? Ha ha. Same thing. If you have a painful memory or simply in an emotional rut, maybe set aside a day or an hour and call on your body--hey, all you emotions that I've kept in prison for decades (sorry about that, honeys), today's your day to fly--and then dance, cry, laugh, write, breathe, and pound play dough; and let them find their way out. You'll FEEL them as they come, might not be totally pleasant, but remember they are saying good-bye this time.
I know we have a lot of rules and beliefs in our society and our family culture about emotional expression (or not). But maybe examine what rules are operating with you about that, and instead, begin to believe in 100 percent expression (give yourself permission), 100 percent responsibility for expression, 100 percent safety in expression (for yourself and others), and possibly allow yourself some enjoyment of expression. Even if, say, you are angry, find a way to enjoy the expression of anger. Go to a quiet spot in nature where no one can hear you, and scream your heart out. And it's okay if you enjoyed that!
*goes to find the playdough*