In a lot of the work I do in mindset with women we work around negative experiences they have had in the past which continue to affect them and their behaviour in an unhelpful way.
So many of us (I’d even go as far as to say all of us) have experienced something, often in our teenage years, that still has an impact on us now. In those formative years, experiences we have can inform our subconscious mind of what is safe, how we see ourselves, what feels good and what should be feared. Often this makes absolutely no logical sense to our conscious mind. Let me give you an example…
As a teenager I was not very fit and would come last in cross country races, leaving me feeling very embarrassed which heavily impacted my sense of self esteem and confidence. As I got older, I’d find it hard to be consistent with exercise and would self sabotage because my subconscious mind equated exercise with feeling embarrassed and unworthy and wanted to protect me from feeling that way again. Now of course my conscious mind logically knows that I’m unlikely to feel embarrassed by going to the gym (although it is possible) but while my subconscious was kicking off, I found it really hard to be consistent with exercise.
There are several ways that those kind of negative experiences can affect us, including self sabotage as I give in this example – all depending on the severity of the experience and the degree to which it now impacts us.
It’s worth noting at this point that for certain experiences, seeking therapy is really the best option. I have found that these tools are useful from a self help perspective, but some of us really do need the support of someone else who has been trained to help.
So, with that in mind, if you do find that negative experiences and the emotions connected to them are unhelpful in your life now, there are a few ways you can help yourself to release them.
As I’ve got ‘more woo’ I’ve come to realise the importance of clearing out, releasing and letting go as something that is so helpful in living a wholehearted life. What each of these methods will do, is help you to let go of the experience and emotions tied to it so you can move on with your life. Often these experiences and emotions can feel like a heavy weight on your back, or you’ll notice how they are making you behave in a certain way (like self sabotage). Each of these methods support you to break the connection and move on in a positive and helpful way.
Journalling / talking to someone
Before progressing to another method, I’d absolutely recommend that you take some time to journal or talk about the experience and feelings it brings up. There may be a lesson there you haven’t fully grasped, or some other way you need to fully process the experience.
Remember – it’s ok not to be ok sometimes, we all need to allow ourselves to fully feel our feelings without numbing them out, so this part of the process is important.
Just letting yourself write whatever pops into your mind when you recall it, is the simplest way to process through writing. Likewise, if you have a trusted friend, talking about it can be very cathartic.
Emotional Freedom Technique
I’m such a big fan of EFT – emotional freedom technique. It’s based on a similar concept to acupuncture, that we have channels of energy that flow through our bodies, but which can get stuck. Acupuncture prods the energy, where as EFT taps on certain meridian points to correct the flow.
I personally adore Brad Yates EFT on YouTube, this video is a great place to start when it comes to releasing emotional pain. However, when I’ve done EFT the most profound experiences have been when I’ve done it myself in the mirror and have really let the emotions come up (ugly crying!) so they can properly be released.
Cord cutting is a guided visualisation process where you energetically cut the cords that tie you to an experience, place or even a person. When I’ve used this, I’ve often had to do it a couple of times, the feeling of release getting more profound each time I’ve done it.
YouTube has a good selection of free videos to check out here.
Slightly similar to cord cutting, you can visualise the negative experience / emotion leaving you, being released etc. Water can be a good one for this, so taking a shower or bath and visualising the negativity being washed away is great. You can also take a stone or pebble and visualise all the negativity being transferred to the pebble, then throw it into a river or the sea. One of my clients enjoys going for a run and imagines herself running away from the crap and leaving it behind her.
Burn, baby burn
Finally, my absolute favourite way to release unhelpful experiences, behaviours, feelings etc is to write them all down and then burn them, preferably on the full moon for a total witchy woo fest. No visualisation needed here, watch your negative stuff literally go up in smoke! (Obvs take safety precautions!)
If you want to get even more woo woo, I’d suggest you look into crystals that might support your work. Crystals are something I’m still getting to grips with, but I believe that black tourmaline and smokey quartz can be helpful in dissolving negativity. You could also look at the reverse of what you’re releasing, for example if you’re releasing a negative experience that has been impacting your romantic relationship, or your self love, you might want to try working with rose quartz.
I’d love to hear from you, have you any negative experiences that you feel still impact you now? Have you ever tried any of these releasing methods? What’s your favourite crystal?
Love these ideas – I personally like to write things down on paper and rip them up into smaller and smaller pieces or visualise a negative experience and make it black and white, then out of focus and then smaller and smaller until it’s nothing. So often we are told to “just get over” bad things but numbing / ignoring feelings has never worked for me and actually just makes it worse in the long-run. x
Love that visualisation we learned it in NLP. Yeah I think we all need to figure out our best way of processing things properly x
I’m a big fan of writing stuff down. It just seems to drain all the negativity out of me. Also helps me work things out and find solutions.
I love reading and listening to music to calm any anxieties as well if I need a bit of escapism.
Totally agree, it really helps doesn’t it x
I like to write things down too- I find it helps to clarify things and also to put things in perspective a bit.
I’m definitely a writer for processing things!
Laura,your posts are wonderful….I get so much from them….they help me enormously…thankyou and keep it up
Thank you so much, I’m so glad you are finding them helpful!