Learn to Feel Better: The Lifecycle of An Emotion

Consider this: Going slow can be faster.


This paradoxical concept applies directly to our emotions. Feelings travel in waves: this is a neurobiological fact about all humans.  The physiological event of an emotion occurs in our brains, in the form of hormones releasing. 

Imagine a dam releasing water.  The dam opens and there is a rush of water that floods into another area, gradually dispersing.  This is the way emotions travel in our brains, as well.  As the dam opens, the water releases, but the strength of the current will decrease without intervention. In fact, if there are no rocks or branches in the current, there are fewer ripples and swells: the water calms even faster.  

Slowing down allows us to fully experience each wave of emotion. When you feel an emotion, like anger, for instance, take a few moments to focus on the physical sensations of anger. Perhaps you feel tightening in your chest, or constriction of your breathing. Maybe your heart races or you feel pounding in your ears.  Notice the multiple sensations that coincide with anger. Notice what happens to these sensations over time. After three minutes of observing your experience, the sensations will typically change automatically.  They may not have dissipated entirely, but they have probably already changed in some form or another. Take note of the change. 


Most of us learned that some feelings are desirable and some are not. But the truth is that all feelings serve to keep us safe or to help us thrive. By noticing your feelings and the sensations that accompany them, they move through us faster and we are free to keep moving forward.

Feeling stuck with a particular feeling or thought? Let’s get it moving. Send me an email at mkaden@gmail.com or fill out a contact request on the Contact page. I'll get right back to you. ~MK