When I chose therapy at 26, I had little knowledge of what my emotions were. I didn’t know how to cope with my strong emotions or manage my anger. I didn’t know how to increase positive emotions or use distraction, deep breathing and self soothing to work through my emotions.
As an empath, I couldn’t differentiate between what I was feeling and what other people were feeling. I attributed my emotions to other people, using sentence constructions that gave other people power over me, such as “So and so made me feel this way” rather than taking responsibility for my own emotional state. It gave other people all the power and made me powerless.
Energy work can not be done from a place of powerlessness.
The first step to emotional awareness is the realization that as an adult, your feelings are yours. No one gave, made or taught you to feel the way you do. You choose.
The second step is to be aware that you are feeling something. Not thinking or judging, but feeling. That feeling may manifest in body sensations or behavior that you are doing and don’t understand in that moment why. Those feelings may be contradictory. Recognize that you are feeling is important. You don’t have to have a name for it yet, just recognize that you are doing it.
The third step is to increase your knowledge of emotions. What is the difference between anger, sadness, grief, fear, happiness, joy, contentment? How do these emotions manifest for other people? How do these emotions manifest for you?
The fourth step is to be aware of your emotional state. Pay attention to situations where you feel strong emotions. What was happening? What emotion did you feel? How intense what that emotion? How did you react?
The fifth step is to work out ways of reacting that are more empowering and positive. Practice if-then thinking; if I get angry because someone cuts me off in traffic, then I can take a deep breath and let that anger go.
I recommend therapy for everyone that wants do energy work. Most therapists, especially cognitive-developmental therapists, dialectical behavior therapists or talk therapists have valuable tools at their disposal to help you learn about and cope with your emotions.
Your mileage will most certainly vary.