Do you have lingering trauma, emotions, or symptoms and can't seem to get in touch with them?
If so, I'm going to show you what NOT to do.
In this video I walk you through:
1 - Why repressing emotions prevents most people from healing
2 - How our brain is wired to repress trauma to protect us
3 - Why getting in touch with emotions is required for healing PTSD
4 - Warning signs you're repressing harmful emotions
5 - Why the body is the "doorway" to emotions
6 - 2 tools to get you in touch with your emotions
I hope you enjoy this training!
Check it out, and let me know what you think in the comments!
To your recovery,
Kayleen & the team at OvercomingPTSD.com
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0:00 Hey everybody, Brad Schipke here and today I'm going to be talking to you about one thing most people do that prevents them from healing altogether. Now, if you're doing this one thing--I did this one thing for years and years and years--it could be the thing that is preventing you from taking the steps forward that you want to in your recovery. And in fact, you cannot take any steps forward until you address this one problem. So if you're facing this one problem (it's likely that you were facing it in one way or another on your healing journey), you're going to be unable to take that next step forward until you solve this problem.
0:32 So what is this insidious problem? It is repressing emotion. So if you are stuck in a loop, where you are just pushing down, pushing down, pushing down and repressing all the emotions that you feel so instantly, when you feel something bad, or anything, you push it down immediately. And this is a very common response. And in fact, it's actually a natural response of your brain and of your body, when you go through a trauma or multiple traumas. Because traumas actually overload your brain and your brain does that: your brain represses the memory. Represses all the pain, all the all the the information that you brought in, so that you don't have to feel it all at once.
1:22 Because if you were to feel all the all at once, all those emotions, everything, it would be overwhelming. And unless you're able to get in touch with your emotions--learn about them, become aware of them, and start expressing them in a positive manner--you're going to be unable to heal. And I can 100% positively say that, because I was stuck there for many, many, many years in my life.
1:47 And I'll actually tell you a quick story. I live in Rhode Island now. I work in Rhode Island now and my parents live in Connecticut. So years ago, I was driving home and I still had PTSD. And you know, when you're when you're driving alone, like you... it's... you're alone; and at the time, my stereo is broken. So I was just alone, alone with my thoughts. And I had this overwhelming feeling of like, I wanted to cry, I wanted to just like, let all this emotion out that I was feeling. But I was unable to. Like, no matter how hard I tried in the car, I could not get myself to cry, I could not get myself to feel any of the emotions.
2:29 And I was like, wow, this is a really, really big problem.. It's the first time that I realized that holy cow, like I am totally... I am totally incapable of doing anything in regards to my emotions, or feeling my emotions or anything like that. And at that time, I thought back and I'm like, "Well, my entire life, I just pushed everything down. You know, when I was bullied in school, you know, I didn't address it, I didn't journal about it, I didn't talk about it, I pushed it down. Whenever I you know, was in a conflict with somebody, I pushed it down. Whenever I felt bad about myself, I pushed it down. And my whole life, I just built this habit of feeling negative emotions, and pushing them down to a point where I was totally incapable of feeling any emotion, or understanding any emotion that was coming out of me."
3:17 So at that moment, I knew that that was the thing that I needed to address in a problem that I needed to overcome, in order to heal and in order to recover--in order to let all those emotions out, right. So if you're holding all the emotions in, they're gonna stay there, right? So what you need to do is like, you need to learn to get in touch with those, and release those and let those out.
3:38 And today, I'm going to be teaching you two tools that will help you kind of get in touch with your emotions, and really help you overcome this once and for all. So I'm talking from personal experience here, that you were going to be unable... if you're unable to get in touch with your emotions, if you are like I was where I just pushed things down my entire life. And that's the way I was taught. And I never talked about anything, or anything like that.
4:04 I'm going to show you how to kind of overcome that and address that in this video. And I promise if you if you stick with me here and you watch it: this has the power to change your life. Because if you actually address this problem, if you if you can admit to yourself, "Yes, I don't. I don't think about my emotions, I don't talk about my emotions, I don't feel my emotions, I feel my emotions as little as possible", then this video will be for you. And this is the video that I needed a long, long time ago. And it would have saved me years literally years in my life if I just knew about these things, and I knew the devastatingly destructive power that repressing your emotions has. So if you're able to, I hope this video is able to help you overcome these things.
4:52 But what I want you to know is that repressing your emotions is actually a natural thing. So I don't want you to think about this and be like oh, I've been repressing this my whole life and, you know, like, I don't want you think there's anything wrong with you, or anything bad about you; because it's actually a normal function that our brains and our bodies do to protect ourselves so we can actually function. So it does have two main functions here if (I can get the cap off). So just draw them below here right now.
5:20 So the first one is for protection. And the second one is for to allow you to function right in life. So those are kind of the two roles that repressing emotion do for you in a positive way, because it's not all negative. So there is a there's a reason why. And there still is a reason where you might want to repress your emotions in everyday life. So just like imagine for yourself, if you could not repress your emotions, if you could not control your emotions, what life would be like, right? You would go through some negative situation, or some emotions will be triggered. And you'd be forced to instantly feel everything you felt, right?
6:06 Like that would not be a very good, not a very nice way to live life. So there is a purpose to this, there are good things too and there are things that will help you in the future as well. But the first reason here is to protect you. So like your body does this naturally, to protect you. So when you go through traumatic memory, that is so much charged information just being inputted into your brain, right?
6:33 So all of these overwhelming emotions, all of these overwhelm distressing images, and thoughts and feelings, all of these things are getting inputted into your mind. And your brain literally gets overloaded, you have this part of your brain that's called the working memory that has your information processing system, which is what actually processes the information that comes in. And what happens happens is, when you experience a traumatic event, that working memory, your working memory, gets overloaded. So it can't process; it can't successfully go through... sift through and process all of that information. Because it's just too much, it's too intense.
7:11 So in an attempt to protect you (and it does protect you short term), it represses those emotions and represses those memories and pushes them back into the long-term memory, where they're not fully processed, in an attempt to protect you. Now, what happens long term is that since those traumatic memories are stored in your long-term memory, they can be triggered, right, and then you feel all of those emotions, as if you were going through the trauma again, so you re experience all those same emotions. And it's not until you're able to fully process those unprocessed memories, that those emotions don't come up all of those negative charges don't come up or anything like that. So it's it's first there to give you protection and it also allows you to function.
8:03 So again, like I said before, imagine that you are going through life, and you just have to feel every single emotion that that came to you, right? So like imagine back in when you know, we were hunter-gatherers or something. So you're hunting in the woods, and like a bear comes up or whatever. Imagine like, you get scared, right, or you're hiding from some type of predator or something. And you have to, you have to cry or you have to scream or you have to do something, and you're unable to repress your emotion, right? That repression protects you, but also allows you to function. So those are the two main points on, you know, why we repress our emotions is to protect ourselves.
8:40 And so we can actually function in life because we would be totally useless if we could not have some sort of control over those emotions. But now I want to talk about some... before we get into these two tools here, I want to just go through some warning signs that you might be repressing emotions. So, some signs usually can be detected inside of the body. And that's what the tools are going to help you with later. So if you're feeling any kind of lingering stress or tension in your body (a lot of people hold it in their their chest), you can kind of do like a quick scan right now and ask yourself, "Am I feeling tension anywhere in my body?"
9:16 So a lot of people feel it in their chest; a lot of people clench their jaw. Or just feel like tense in the shoulders; I held up my shoulders and my chest. And in my heart, my heart would be beating a lot. So if you have like these lingering kind of chronic feelings in your body, that is a sign that you are... you have these repressed emotions that need to be addressed, and uncovered, and processed. So now I want to walk you through two different tools that will help you kind of get in touch with that body--with your body--and the feelings and the tension inside the body. So you can start exploring that, feeling that, and expressing them and getting in touch with them. And ultimately healing them.
10:00 So the two tools I'm going to teach you today are the body scan; and what we call PMR, which is Progressive Muscle Relaxation. So the body scan is very, very simple. So what the body scan is, is usually lay down in a comfortable position, and close your eyes. Usually take a few deep breaths, relax your body as much as you can. And then what you do is you literally scan your body--right--mentally, so you put your focus, starting from your toes and going all the way up to your head. So with your eyes closed, you kind of just imagine your toes, and you feel any tension or feeling that you have there. And you consciously release that any tension that you feel.
10:54 So then you move from your toes, to your feet, to your ankles, to your calves, knees; just move up your body, to your stomach, to your back, to your chest, to your shoulders. And as you go through every single muscle group, you just relax it. And what that does is twofold: it helps you get kind of that physical relaxation, but more importantly, it gives you an awareness of where you hold tension in your body. Because once you become aware of where you hold the tension, you're able to release that much easier.
11:24 And one side note I want to address (and it's actually a very, very important side note) is that every, every every emotion is felt in the body. So every negative emotion that you feel is in the body. So when you have tension in your body, you have tension in your mind. And when you have tension in your mind, you have tension in your body. And when you release that tension in your body, it helps release that tension in your mind. So that is kind of where what we're going for here, it's that we want to kind of use the body as the doorway to our emotions, to learn more about our emotions. And that's a really great visual to kind of understand about...
12:05 Understand what we're aiming for here is that we're trying to utilize the body get to know our body: how our body's reacting to trauma, so that we can use it as a doorway, to understand more about our emotions. Because once you start identifying where you hold the stress or the tension, you can ask yourself, "Okay, what am I feeling like and when I release this, and you can start to make connections between you know, your mind and your body. So that's the first tool there.
12:33 And the second tool is very similar to the body scan, but what you do is, again, you scan, or you focus on every single muscle group in your body. But instead of just consciously trying to release the tension, you flex the muscle group for five to 10 seconds, and then you release it. And then you do that through every single muscle group in your body. And by the end of that you get a very deep relaxation, a very deep physical relaxation, but you also get very in touch with your emotions.
13:07 Now what I want to say, on top of this is as you're doing this, as you're doing these two tools, or just going throughout your life, what I want you to do is just allow yourself to feel what you need to feel--right--so wanting to allow and accept. Because often what happens when you start getting in touch with the body, and start getting in touch with your emotions, and you start figuring out what's what's really going on there you'll start to notice that you have this force. You'll start to feel some emotion, you might even feel that really in your body, you might feel some emotion come up. This is how it felt for me, I felt this emotion kind of come up but then I felt this other force literally pushing it back down.
13:58 So when you start to relax your body, you'll feel emotion start to come up, right? and I'm not saying you have to. If this ever gets overwhelming at any point, you can stop. You can stop and you can relax. The sole purpose of this is just to start getting you in touch with your emotions, right? To start breaking that barrier and start building the skill of being in touch with your emotions, because it's very important. It's not everything. It's not everything; you're not going to fully recover on this information.
14:31 But you need the skill; you need to be able to overcome this problem if you want to heal. So like I said, when you feel that emotion come up, what you want to do is you want to just allow it and you want to accept it, because we often judge ourselves for feeling emotions; and when those emotions come up you want to... you want to notice thoughts; thoughts and feelings. So you want to know is how it feels in your body. Are you pushing it back down and you can literally feel that? If you become aware of it you will literally feel yourself pushing the emotions down.
15:00 And do I have any kind of negative thoughts that are popping up in association to that emotion that's coming up, right? So if I'm relaxing, and I feel this emotion coming up, do I have this, this thought or this belief come up, that is basically saying, "No, you can't feel that." or like judging you... it's like, oh, if you feel that you'll be weak or something like that. You want to be aware of those thoughts, and then just drop them down to be addressed later.
15:31 But this is basically how you overcome the obstacle of repressing emotions. And I can promise you: if you don't learn how to get in touch with your emotions, if you're someone like me, who's repressed emotions my entire life, you'll just want to get started on doing this. And again, if it starts to ever get overwhelming, just stop. Like you don't have to, you don't have to force yourself or push yourself beyond what you feel safe or comfortable doing.
15:59 But at the same time, you'll you'll need to get uncomfortable, right? So like, if we want to grow, if we want to do anything in life--get to the next level--we're going to have to get uncomfortable. So this isn't meant to be a totally comfortable thing. Like overcoming trauma, overcoming PTSD is not like a super comfortable thing. You know, you can't, you know, sit back in an easy chair and just expect everything to go away without any sort of effort or work on our part. So you have to... you have to expect some resistance or some, you know, pain or some emotions to come up.
16:29 But you want that to be a good thing, because until you're able to do that you're going to be unable to go deeper, right? So I hope that this video was able to help you. If it was, leave a comment below and let me know if you liked it. And let me know what else you'd like me to kind of cover and and learn. And this was something that somebody actually asked me to cover, because they said they were having a lot of trouble holding down their emotions, and they were having trouble getting in touch with it. And that was the biggest blocker for them. And this was the biggest blocker for me at some point in my recovery.
17:01 So I'm... I really hope that this was able to help you. Again, leave a comment below if you liked this video; give me a little thumbs up hit that subscribe button and the little bell to get notified of future videos. We release videos like this every single week. So again, I hope this was able to help and I hope you have a fantastic day.