How To Navigate An Emotional Detox

by Kristi on October 21, 2014 · 1 comment

in Tips

Hello, my friends!

Is it just me or has this week been kind of a doozy?

I feel a little like I’ve been through the ringer. I’ve been noticing lots of old patterns and other ‘stuff’ coming up recently (Hello, Mercury retrograde!), and it’s been bringing a lot of emotions to the surface. I’ll be the first to admit that it can be totally draining when we go through these emotional detoxes, but there’s also a lot of deep clearing that happens, which is a really awesome thing.One skill I’ve really begun to grasp through my three year stint in therapy and personal growth work is learning how to  be present with and work through my emotions. It takes awareness and a lot of courage to face your emotions head on, especially when whatever you’re feeling is something you’ve previously labeled as ‘bad’ or ‘negative’ (such as sadness, anxiety or anger). Trust me, I know.

Let’s face it, we all go through periods in life from time to time when it seems like the you-know-what hits the fan all at once. When these periods of really intense emotion come up, it can feel pretty overwhelming. For many of us, the tendency is to resist. Our minds immediately tend to think that something really bad is going on. In reality, there is no such thing as ‘negative’ or ‘bad’ emotions. They’re all simply emotions. Our job is to allow them to come up, feel them (in some cases this process could take seconds or it might mean marinating in an emotion for several days) and then release them. The problem comes when we start to resist our emotions, or when we identify so deeply with a feeling (of sadness, hurt or whatever) that we allow the emotion to become who we are.

Generally speaking, as humans, we will go to great lengths to avoid feeling our emotions. We eat over our emotions, we watch TV or we distract ourselves by staying ‘busy’. And so we stuff them down, deeper and deeper until we numb out. The thing is…..our emotions never go away. Eventually, everything comes to a head. (Um, crying in the middle of the produce section because the TJ’s grocery clerk asks me how my day is going… Please tell me you’ve been there.)

So how do we navigate these periods of emotional detox without going crazy?

Here are some tools to help you out!

The first step is to let whatever needs to come up come up. That usually starts with identifying the behavior you use to avoid feeling your emotions. This could be anything from overeating or over-exercising even to procrastinating on Facebook for hours. For me, it’s nearly always snacking. I’ll catch myself mindlessly chomping on a fist full of popcorn and I’ll ask myself, “What’s really going on here?” Then, I’ll tune in and recognize I have a general feeling of anxiousness, sadness or unrest (rather than actual hunger) in the pit of my stomach.

The second step is to dwell in the emotion for a bit. STOP yourself in the middle of whatever your’e doing (put down the bag of popcorn, put your hands up and back away slowly….) and just breathe into it. Allow yourself the space to feel whatever needs to come up. And, remember, whatever is coming up for you is totally ok. If you need to feel sad, then feel sad. Put on some Phil Collins (or whatever does it for you) and have a good cry. As my dear friend Heather says, allow yourself to marinate in the emotion for a little while. Seriously! Try it and watch how relieved you’ll feel afterward.

The third step is kind of optional, but I find it really helpful — especially when I’m working through something really deep or there’s a recurring theme that keeps coming up for me: journal. Journaling really helps me take in everything I’m going through so I can process it and put it into perspective. You’d be surprised what kind of “aha” moments you’ll discover when you start to journal on a regular basis. (OMG I’m totally putting all of my expectations on this relationship or this guy to ‘save’ me because I still feel unworthy or incapable somehow. Just a random example. Not that I’ve ever been there or anything. Certainly not recently…)

And lastly, give yourself a break. These periods of unearthing our emotions are intense. And, as I said before, it takes a lot of courage and strength to deal with your emotions head on. This is not an excuse to beat yourself up. Let go of judgement and allow yourself to simply be a kind and gentle witness to whatever you’re feeling. Be sure to give yourself plenty of rest, treat your body well with healthy foods and exercise. Rest if you need to. Know that you’re doing some deep and powerful work, babe. Congrats!

So, lemme have it. What’s been coming up for you this week? What emotion are you needing to feel? How are you working through it? This is a totally safe space for you. Leave me a comment below or over on my Facebook page. I’d love to hear what you’ve got to say.

As always, have a beautiful week my friends! <3



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{ 1 comment }

Hello there!

In today’s post for Alex Beadon’s Feel Good Blogging Challenge I’m supposed to share with you my top three business tools. Except, um, you guys, I don’t really have any business tools. I wish I had some cool apps or specifics to share with you but I just don’t. I kind of go with the flow. Instead, today I’m going to bend the rules a bit and share with you my top three spiritual tools.

Here ya go!


1. My journal. 

I’ve been keeping a journal regularly for a little over 4 years now, and it has been instrumental in my personal growth and spiritual journey. My journal is kind of my place where I let it all out. When I’m feeling sad, angry or even elated, I love sitting and spending a few moments gathering my thoughts. When I’m struggling, putting pen to paper almost never fails to help me make sense of my feelings. Journaling regularly helps me check in and stay in tune with my inner self. I highly, highly recommend keeping a journal if you’re doing any kind of personal growth or spiritual work.

2. Meditation.

Meditation should actually probably have come #1 in this list, now that I think of it. It is by far the biggest, baddest tool in my spiritual toolbox. I turn to meditation whenever I need to tune into my inner self, whenever I want to feel more relaxed, less anxious or fearful, or whenever I just want to feel amazing. I also consider my meditation to be a ‘safe’ space where I can allow my emotions to come up and be released. I meditate at least daily – usually once in the morning and again before bed – however, if I’m really working releasing a specific limiting pattern or belief or focusing on improving a certain area of my life, you’ll find me meditating several times a day.

3. Books, podcasts, videos, blogs, etc.

I regularly devour a myriad of spiritual and personal growth books, podcasts, videos, blogs etc. It would be impossible for me to list every single one, however, some of my favorites are listed here.

Do you have a business? If so, what is your favorite business tool? If not, what is your favorite tool in your area of expertise? Leave me a comment below!



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