Staying with the Emotional Process… Where Less is More

When working through any problem, many people want to blaze through the issue that they are facing. This makes sense. When we’re experiencing discomfort, our natural response is to speed up to get out of it. It is no different when we experience emotional discomfort. We have an urge to get out of it as quickly as possible.

This is possibly an instinctual part of who we are. It can feel quite vulnerable to walk into this emotional territory. Especially if we’re going to it with someone else.

When rapidly moving through the emotions of a story, we can experience relief (or catharsis). However, we can return back to the negative emotion in a few short days. This is because it’s possible to share the emotion, without actually resolving it. We can feel as though we’re walking through the same story and same problems over and over again.

Why does this happen? It’s because you aren’t reaching a place of emotional regulation. When you release intense emotion, you go from a state of heavy activation to deactivation rapidly. However, this doesn’t give you the ability to better tolerate true deactivation. In this state, your mind and body head to a place of greater calmness.

This doesn’t sound like something that you need to “learn” how to tolerate. For many people, they do need to learn how to stay with deactivation. Doing so can help to maintain calm contentment as a more natural state. However, with dramatic release, people are experiencing a level of fatigue, more than they are actually experiencing balanced rest.

This process takes practice. It takes time and personal awareness to identify the personal experiences of slowing down. It also takes time to learn about how your body can benefit from this. With mindfulness therapy practices such as Somatic Experiencing, you can learn how to identify your emotions. You will also build up tolerance to noticing and staying with them.

In time, you’ll also further identify what deactivation is like. This will allow you to build up your tolerance to this as well. Then you can stay with rest and relaxation. With this, you’re relationships will be enhanced, as well as your life overall.


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