Emotions give color to our lives. Without emotions, positive and negative, the world would be a dreary place. We need to experience negative emotions so we can more fully appreciate positive emotions. However, emotions are more than just fleeting thoughts and feelings—every emotion releases chemicals within our bodies and can have profound effects on our mental and physical health. Sometimes negative emotions get trapped inside and can continue to affect our bodies even years later.
“Trapped emotions can cause you to make the wrong assumptions, overreact to innocent remarks, misinterpret behavior and short-circuit your relationships. . . . They can interfere with proper function of your body’s organs and tissues, wreaking havoc with your physical health, causing pain, fatigue and illness” (The Emotion Code, p. 11).
“Psychoneuroimmunology is concerned specifically with the impact of mental attitudes on the body’s resistance to disease, especially exploring the links among and between the mind, the brain and the immune system. The researchers involved in this field have established solid evidence that emotions, mental attitudes and person’s ability to cope all strongly affect and determine the function of the immune system” (Feelings Buried Alive Never Die, pp. 220–21).
Because our feelings, emotions, and attitudes affect our health (especially when we trap them inside), knowing how to accept, process, and release emotions is important to maintaining a healthy body.
There are several authors who write about releasing emotions, but their methods vary a little. In The Emotion Code, Dr. Bradley Nelson explains how to release these negative emotions with the use of energy medicine. Karol K. Truman explains in her book Feelings Buried Alive Never Die that we can instruct our beings through thought and intention to replace the negative feelings with positive feelings, “restore the cells’ perfect function by re-programming them,” and “bring harmony and balance back to the DNA and RNA” (p. 94). Truman includes a “script” that she has found to help her to connect with her higher self and process the negative emotions that she experiences. Other authors have used essential oils to help release negative emotions.
“When we smell essential oils, it stimulates the olfactory cells that are part of the olfactory system. . . . Anatomically, the olfactory system is closely related to the limbic system of the brain which is responsible for long-term memory, emotions, autonomic nervous system, regulating blood pressure, heart-rate, and attention. The close proximity between the olfactory and limbic systems is why essential oils have such a profound effect physiologically and psychologically.” (AromaHeal 1, pp. 11–12).
“[Essential oils] foster the right environment for healing, but they will not do the work for us. In gardening, it is a common mistake to pull the weeds while leaving the roots. This is particularly true for hard and rocky soils. To ensure we uproot the whole plant, we can add water to the soil, which allows the entire weed to be removed. Similarly, essential oils prepare our emotional soil so that weeds may be removed with greater ease. However, they do not do the weeding for us. If we neglect to do the work of pulling our weeds, we have simply watered the problem. On the other hand, when we combine essential oils with emotional work, we reap the fruit of our labor” (Emotions & Essential Oils, p. 9). Emotions & Essential Oils discusses each oil and oil blend in terms of what negative emotions the oil may help release and what positive emotions the oil may promote. To help facilitate the healing process, it is best to combine the use of essential oils with meditation, journaling, and personal inventory.
In her booklet “What to Do in an Emotional Emergency,” Megan Burnside suggests 5 practices to find peace when we experience overwhelming emotions. Each practice includes breathing in an essential oil to help bring emotional balance. Burnside mentions the need to embrace emotions and allow oneself to fully experience them in the moment before allowing them to pass.
Rather than dividing experiences into “positive” and “negative” ones, we should focus on living fully or being “whole.” “One of the most vivid examples of a ‘whole’ experience is childbirth. Childbirth is incredibly profound and joy-filled. The experience as a whole is a challenging and breathtakingly beautiful mix of all emotions. They can’t be separated” (“What to Do in an Emotional Emergency,” p. 18).
All the authors agree that to prevent trapping negative emotions, we need to take the time to recognize them, embrace them, experience them fully, and then release them as soon as possible so they don’t continue to bother us. A healthy body needs a healthy mind. Enjoy the “now,” live life to its fullest, and let yourself embrace and release your emotions.
For more information about this topic, see the following books:
The Emotion Code by Dr. Bradley Nelson
Feelings Buried Alive Never Die by Karol K. Truman
AromaHeal 1: Simple Techniques to Support Emotional Healing with Essential Oils by Christi Turley Diamond, BS, MEd, and Karisa Tomkinson, BS, MS
Emotions & Essential Oils: A Modern Resource for Healing
“What to Do in an Emotional Emergency” by Megan Burnside