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The Energy of Emotions

Have you ever gotten that feeling when you walked into a place, of just absolute sadness or ickiness?   Or maybe you’ve walked into someone’s home, and you immediately feel welcome and at peace?  Or you’ve met a person you felt you’d known your entire life, but just met?  What you were feeling is the leftover emotion of the space or that person, an energetic imprint that was left behind.  The emotions we hold within our bodies work just the same. They are an energetic imprint of our experiences, both positive and challenging.  These emotions and their energy residues deposit within our bodies and energy fields (you may have heard mention of your aura, chakras, meridians) and they connect us to emotions tied to the memories of what we’ve experienced.

Let’s go back to that place you walked into and felt uneasy, or maybe the other where you felt completely at home.  What you feel when this happens is the energetic imprint of events, emotions felt by others, and the overall ‘vibe’ of the space.  Everyone and everything leave an energy signature long after they’ve left a space.  If you’ve heard of someone ‘clearing a space,’ perhaps using sage, palo santo or incense, what they are doing is neutralizing any leftover emotional imprints, thus removing them from the space.  Clearing old energies also involves setting the intention for what you want to clear.  The home you walked into that felt cozy holds energy of happy emotions.  There’s a joyfulness, serenity, nurturing feeling that has been left by the residents of the home.  These might be energies you want to keep.  In the instance of the place that felt uneasy, there were likely challenging emotions, arguments or anger and disappointment that happened in the space, and when you don’t want to take that on, you set an intention through clearing to invite that energy and the associated unsupportive emotions to move on.

In the body, it’s common to carry residual emotions, both delightful, smile-inducing ones and more reactive, stress-inducing ones.  You can do the work of clearing your body’s energies, too!  Many emotional imprints stay in the aura, the energy body that surrounds your physical body, which sends out an invisible but perceptible vibe for how you’re feeling.  When you’ve spent time with loved ones laughing, enjoying time together, or when something positive has happened in your life, you may notice you exude a lightness, joyfulness, an easy and clear energy.  People may smile at you, or you may initiate a smile at them.  On the other hand, when you’ve gotten bad news, had an unresolved disagreement or recall past traumatic events, you may notice you’re withdrawn, closed off, irritated by others and more easily upset.  That’s when perhaps you want to punch that person who smiles at you (or not…).  You can most readily clear the energy of detracting emotions by using sage or palo santo for yourself, hearing chimes or dusting (sweeping) the energy off your body and into the earth.  Note that sometimes holding high levels of positive emotions can also be unsupportive, so you may find you want to do the same clearing and ask those energies to be more moderate.

Where it becomes more challenging to work with clearing energies and emotions is when they become lodged in the body.  Energy needs to move – notice how when a river is impeded by a barrier that the water still finds its way, and if not, it backs up and creates havoc with flooding.  The energy of your emotions does the same within your body.  The easiest way to keep energy moving is to move your body.  This is a natural somatic process built into our DNA.  Sometimes, though, energies pool in areas of the body that are harder to move – the hips, low back, belly, shoulders and neck are common areas people experience locked or blocked energy.  What causes this to happen are unresolved or unexpressed emotions that had nowhere to go.  In energy work, such as Reiki, yoga, qi gong, acupuncture, practitioners address these stuck energies and emotions through their corresponding chakras or meridians.  Chakras and meridians are energy pathways that naturally occur in the body, running along the spine (chakras) or associated with your organs (meridians).  Using specific movements, applying pressure or visualizing areas in the body serves to target areas holding stagnant energy and encourage its healthy natural release.

We are physical and emotional beings, and expressing ourselves is essential to feeling in balance with our energies and emotions.  Talk therapy, chanting and toning (vocalizing) are additional ways to access energies stuck in the body, giving them a way to be expressed and released.  You can also use guided breathwork practices to connect with parts of your body holding residual emotions and use the breath as the conduit to invoke movement and release.  Journaling is another excellent tool to transfer these blocked emotions into the energy of writing and to help them move out of your body and onto the page.  What residual emotions truly desire is to be felt, acknowledged, honored and processed. 

As children, we’re often told to ‘get over it,’ or ‘stop crying’ or ‘pull yourself together.’  There’s a generalized societal disdain for ugly, messy, challenging or ‘excessive’ emotions and it’s easy to make it a habit and practice of pushing those away.  And guess where they usually go – right into those tough areas where unresolved emotions are apt to be deposited.  In the present, you can break that cycle by taking time to recognize when you’re feeling something uncomfortable and giving yourself space to feel it as your truth.  When you’re happy or elated, blissful or excited, BE that.  When you’re sad or upset, angry or disappointed, BE that. When you have the capacity to process emotions in real-time you give them space to be seen, honored and addressed.  Many of the same practices for moving stagnant emotions and energies are supportive for processing emotions that come up in the present.  When someone says they’re ‘breathing through it,’ they are using the incoming energy of the breath (prana or chi) to connect with the emotion they are feeling and giving it space to be felt throughout the body, and then alchemized out through an exhale.  Many people say they feel better after going for a run – that also gives emotions space to move and be felt, processed and then recycled back out of the body.  Energy needs to move, and the more often you can help it do that, the freer you will feel from emotions that keep you mentally, physically, emotionally and energetically constricted.

As you encounter places or people that feel warm, cozy and safe, or cold, uneasy or sad, remember that everyone, every place, everything tends to hold emotional energy.  This can be supportive, like the home that feels welcoming, or detracting, like the place that was icky.  For people, processing emotions happens on their individual timeline, and no one can force someone to address emotional residue if they’re not ready (or equipped, because having resources to support oneself through emotional clearing is essential).  You have control over your own emotional processing and energies, and you can also support the energies in the places you spend time.  Let those moments of laughter and love fill every nook and cranny of your home, office, car, body.  When you’re having a tough conversation or feeling stressed about something, try taking it outside or open doors and windows afterwards to move it out, or go for a walk near a river or stream – the water is a powerful healing tool to energetically wash away emotions once you’ve expressed them.  The energy of emotions is powerful and giving them space to be felt, acknowledged, honored and processed gives you a healthier relationship with the energies and emotions around and within you.

**As you do the work of expressing and processing your emotions, working with a licensed mental health care professional is strongly recommended

By Jennifer Rizza, Founder of Newtown Wellness Collective, Reiki Master, Yoga Teacher, Personal Growth Wellness Coach & Mentor

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