First published in Jeunessima Magazine 11
We often read articles that say that you need to release old and negatives to make way for the new and positive, right?
Yet what does it mean to release something? What are we releasing? And how can we do this?
Let me try to answer these questions in this article.
Many will say releasing is about getting over old emotions and situations, forgiveness even, and in some ways they are correct.
What we are talking about here is forgiving ourselves.
Forgiveness of others is entirely voluntary. It is their choice to do so. Forgiveness of self though, well that is the truest and most selfless act of love.
And for many, self-love is the hardest road to find and then stay upon.
Let’s just take the example of finding your way to a new supermarket in town. While you know where you want to go, finding your way there can be hard. It seems to be that detours and road works have been specifically put in your way to halt your journey, get you frustrated and … lost.
And just when you are ready to give up, you find a sign, an arrow, or suddenly the map with the path to your destination is very clear!
And that is what releases are, not the detours, but the signposts, upon the journey of self-love. They allow you to find and follow the direction of the real and authentic you.
At a psychological level we are looking at halting the flight, fight or freeze reflex that affects most people 10-20 times a day. That is 10-20 times a day where our minds are fooling themselves in the belief that they are in a life or death situation. (Sometimes they are, yes) … but 10-20 times a day?
The effects of the stress hormones in turn, shrink the hippocampus of the brain. This part of our brain helps regulate emotions and is essential for memory.
Have you ever noticed that when you are stressed how easy it is to loose the car keys? Not to mention how easily an emotional situation fires off and turns into more drama!
Let’s find calmness, clarity and the beauty and truth of who you really are and your path ahead through a simple but psychologically profound and effective exercise with an external release.
Use this breathing exercise first, before you do any release work. It is also a great exercise for stressful situations or for states of anxiety.
External Release Exercise
1. Breathe in for 4 seconds
2. Hold your breath for 7 seconds
3. Exhale for 8 seconds
4. Repeat once or twice more
This causes an autonomic nervous system shift from a sympathetic (fight, flight or freeze) state to a parasympathetic response.
Now think of a situation, person or people. Place the vision of it/them in front of you.
In your head say to the situation or people: “I love you, I forgive you, I thank you. I release you.”
Repeat over and over again until you feel a “shift”, an emotional and physical change inside (usually around the stomach, you may even giggle).
This is a very simple form of release.
By the way, it is not necessary for you to believe that you love the people, forgive them for what they have done, thank them for the lesson learned, or even believe you have released them. Your sub-conscious mind takes care of that.
In essence though, as we think, so we attract. What you are actually saying is: “I love me, I forgive me, I thank me, I release me.”
The psychology – if you can still the mind for 17 seconds or more (as happens in the breathing exercise) we begin to ‘reset' the brain, halt and undo the fight, flight or freeze tendencies and damage.
Going over, whilst maintaining this calm mindset and reviewing situations and people also begins to retrain the brain for if the situation should arise again.
And in case you are wondering, yes the breathing is a really good start to easing panic attacks.
But as I've said before … these things only work if you try them …
And just in case this one doesn't work for you, don't you worry. There are plenty more tools in the box. If you are looking, for instance, for an exercise that helps you with an internal release, click here.
You Are Not Broken!
… You are … So Much More …