Finishing Feelings Soothes Emotional Burnout

mother dancing with her daughters on the street

We’re all in a state of burnout. It’s been eight months since the beginning of the pandemic, almost three months since distance learning started up (again), racial injustice is ongoing and we’re in the middle of one of the most emotionally challenging national elections in history.  

It’s no wonder we and our kiddos are experiencing more intense feelings more frequently. We don’t always know how to work through our emotions in a way that fully releases us from their physical and chemical impact.

In their book Burnout, Drs. Amelia and Emily Nagosaki (sisters and twins), describe emotions as involuntary neurological responses with a beginning, a middle and an end. People often get stuck in the middle of their emotions and that’s when exhaustion and stress set in.

To get unstuck, we need to finish our emotions even when the stressor that first caused them is long gone. We expect the emotions connected with that stressor to disappear, but our bodies and moods often tell a different story. 

Can’t sleep? Have a nagging headache? Feeling cranky? These are often the neurological and chemical responses left over from the initial stressor. That’s when you know you need to finish a feeling. 

Fortunately, there are several ways we can do this: through physical activity, mindful breathing, creative expression, social connection, laughing, crying and receiving affection, like a nice, warm hug.

Take time to notice how you feel in your mind, body and heart and try one of our practices to help you break on through to the other side of stressful feelings. 

With peace and light,

Lisa

Practices to Help Feelings Flow

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