How to Release Big and Small Emotions (Release)

08282_05-320x200This is a beautiful technique that’s as effective as it is simple. That’s because it’s very natural. We knew it as children but have forgotten how to use it.

It works right away with emotions, but once you have some practice with it, you can use if just as well for thoughts and beliefs, and for releasing emotional baggage around desires.

It helps to understand the structure of emotions. If we were fully functioning organisms, a feeling would simply be a transient message about something going on right now, and we would feel it as a quick ripple. That’s a feeling. An emotion, however, is a pattern, and it is remembered and it accumulates energy, leaving a deeper groove each time it is experienced, and it may or may not be about something happening right now. Emotions can come up as a response to circumstances, but more often, they come up as a response to thoughts. An emotion is an energized thought, and it always starts as sensations in the body. This is obvious with strong emotions like anger or anxiety. Anger starts off with muscular contraction, an increase in adrenaline, temperature, heartbeat and blood pressure, and a hotness in the face. Anxiety may start as sensations in the belly. Even the smallest of emotions starts as a sensation, though we may not be sensitive to the sensations. The sensations start up, and they trigger an associated thought-story. With negative emotions, the associated thought-story is usually in voice of the inner critic. The thoughts and sensations then get into a feedback loop, energizing each other, and the emotion gathers up a storm.

You will notice that with negative emotions, the first thing we do is contract. We mentally resist and physically contract our bodies, in anticipation how bad it’s going to feel.

You may also notice the paradox of negative emotions. Emotions promise to hold off the very thing they give us. Fear says I am trying to keep you safe. Anxiety says I am trying to give you the security you need. Anger says you are not liking what is happening. Hurt says you will feel bad if you don’t pay attention to me.

In Asia, they use this clever trick to catch monkeys. There is a circular shackle or a hole through which the monkey puts her hand to grab a banana on the other side. The hole is just big enough to let in an open hand, but not big enough to let out a fisted hand. The monkey cannot get her hand out if she holds on to the banana. This is exactly what we do with emotions. We grasp them. All we have to do is open our hands to release.

Here’s a quick experiment to show how this technique works. Make a fist and squeeze it hard as if you’re holding on to something, and keep squeezing. What does that feel like—a little uncomfortable? Perhaps it feels a little strange, but if you keep squeezing the strangeness goes away. It’s still uncomfortable but secure and automatic. Emotions in the same way are uncomfortable and automatic. And releasing emotions is as easy as opening your hand.

The technique is adapted from the Sedona method’s basic technique. It is a series of questions, which we answer very quickly. The questions in themselves are not important nor are the answers. The questions help us stop, look, and be aware of what’s going on, and they help us re-learn what we have always known: that it is easy and instant to release any emotion. Ask and answer these questions quickly. No matter what the answer is, move on to the next question. Soon they will become non-verbal. With practice the questions disappear and releasing becomes automatic.

When you experience an emotion, big or small:

Can I make a lot of space for this emotion?
Am I able to let it go?
Let it go

It’s easy to remember as space/can I/let go.

What are you feeling right now? You don’t have to label it, and it doesn’t have to be a big emotion.

Can you allow the emotion? See if you can allow the emotion without resistance. Make a lot of space for the emotion in the body. Don’t contract. Don’t resist.  Welcome the emotion, allow it, and love it. Then, make even more space for it. If you don’t think you can welcome the emotion, it’s perfectly fine. Move on quickly no matter what happens.

Are you able to let the emotion go? You don’t have to let it go, the question is: are you able to? It’s okay if the answer is no. Just continue.

Are you willing to let it go? Move on, no matter what you answer.

Let it go now. It helps to sigh, or exhale long and easy while letting go.

Instead of questions, you can make them into statements, something similar to:

I am making space for this emotion.
I can let this emotion go.
I am letting it go Now.

With practice the technique becomes non-verbal and natural and technique-less. You will notice a sensation in the body, make space for it by not contracting, and release it.

The mind will immediately question whether this will work. “It’s too simple.” “If I knew how to let go of emotions, I would have done it already.” “How can this work?” “What is the mechanism?” “I can’t use this until I understand more.”

The answer is just to try it a few times. If you feel you are not able to let go of the emotion, don’t worry about it. Try it anyway. Keep trying. My experience first was with the Sedona method of releasing. I tried it with anxiety, several times a day for about two or three weeks. I didn’t think it was really working, and one day I realized I had not felt anxiety for several days. With practice the technique became instant and non-verbal.

Why does this work? Well, first, it is very natural. Second, we are bringing emotions back to their true function of feeling-message by interrupting the association with thought-stories. Also, we naturally develop equanimity with this method. After all, what we are experiencing is just a body sensation. And finally, we are breaking the false identification with the whole pattern of body sensation and thought-story.

69 thoughts on “How to Release Big and Small Emotions (Release)

    1. Kaushik Post author

      Hi Cindy,
      That sounds like an effective technique. It’s all about fully experiencing the thought and emotion and then releasing it.

      Reply
  1. Platypus

    The emotion I thought of was sadness. My stray kitty looks at me and cries through the glass doors leading to the lanai. I can’t let her in because she has leukemia and she can’t infect my other kitties.

    I really tried to let the emotion go – I know I’m doing the best I can for her – but I kept thinking it wasn’t right to let it go, and that I should feel FOR HER. Like it’s not fair to let the emotion go because it dismisses what she is feeling…

    Reply
    1. Kaushik Post author

      The kitty is lucky to have you as a mother. Grief is wholly natural. You can release the pain of it, and when you do, what’s left is love.

      Reply
  2. Trisha

    You’re right…when you let go of grief, love is all that’s left. So this begs the question…are we letting go of ALL emotion? Or just the uncomfortable ones??

    Reply
    1. Kaushik Post author

      My experience is that feelings never go away. Feelings which are body sensations–messages from the mind-body–intuition if you want to call it that. They are transient–short-lived ripples in the body. They turn into ‘emotions’ when the mind takes these feelings and associates them with thought-stories and the past. A feedback pattern is created, so that the mind-story energizes the sensation and sensations energize the mind-story. The whole pattern is remembered so it is stronger with each iteration.

      I believe when we let go emotions, we are bringing emotions back to their true function of feeling-message, so that they don’t leave traces.

      Love is not an emotion. It’s simply our natural state. When all fear is gone, there is just love.

      Your experience may be very different. The point is here is that with this technique, it’s been easy and quick to release anxiety and fear. It’s so very simple, that the mind initially will say this can’t possibly work. But it does!

      Reply
  3. prasad

    Hi,

    This is very simple even as compared to sedona method. It really works. The beauty of it is simple and uncomplicated.I think if it is consistently applied to deeper emptions , this give a effective release.

    Prasad

    Reply
    1. Kaushik Post author

      Thanks, Prasad. Yes, it’s simpler than the Sedona method, and this takes about five seconds to do. For me, it was the end of anxiety forever! Have you tried it?

      Reply
  4. Lac Erta

    But how do you deal with the life situation the thought of which originally had given you the anxiety. Now, when the anxiety’s gone, the life’s situation is still remaining to be dealt with.

    What I found is that in some cases an anxiety helps me to deal with a life’s situation. For instance, I have to look for a job but I don’t want to and instead I spend my time by enjoying being awakened to a much better extent than it used to be when I was going to job every day. But from time to time I am getting anxiety attacks related to the fear of future that force me to start acting in a way such as sending resumes, making enquiries, etc. The whole process is so unpleasing and the whole perspective of slaving yourself at a job that you hate is so depressing , too, that the only state in which I can force myself to function is the state of anxiety.

    It looks like an anxiety is an important part of the existence. At least, as a safety valve to protect us from laziness.

    Reply
    1. Kaushik Post author

      Hi Lac,

      What a wonderful question! You’ve given me an idea for an article. I’ll try to address it here as well.

      You point out the classic workings of dualism. The mind is dualistic and thinks only in opposites. The mind says, with anxiety I am motivated, so without anxiety I will be completely unproductive!

      It hasn’t worked that way in my experience. I have no anxiety at all–no past, no future. I am far more productive than I ever was. There is no worry, no doubt–just intention and action. I don’t know if this can be understood intellectually. It has to be experienced.

      I call these fears the second obstacle. It is the ego’s fear of awakening, and it shows up in various ways:
      -I will be lazy if I awaken
      -I will lose all interest in worldly things
      -I will become emotion-less
      -How can I possibly get by without thoughts?
      -How can I really know happiness if there is no pain in my life?
      -What’s the point of living without pain (this is a strange one, but we all have this in us–this peculiar attraction we have to suffering).

      It can also show up as a “spiritualized” ego, where the goal is not awakening, but the intellectual or spiritual study of awakening. It can show up as intellectualizing a process that the intellect cannot possibly understand.

      Perhaps you or other readers can add to this list.

      Can we simply allow these fears, fully experience them, and let them go?

      -

      Reply
      1. lewis

        i think what he means is that the anxiety is an effect of procrastination, built up ober time. The method works as it simply recognises the emotion and let’s it go. doesn’t allow it to become a burden to progressing with work. In your case maybe you do your job application out of neccesity not anxiety.

        Reply
  5. Lac Erta

    I think I have to clarify my comment. When I am present, I realize how pointless it is for me to look for a job in an industry where I have worked for 20 years but at which being present and successful are mutually exclusive states. At the moment of such realization I don’t feel any anxiety or fear; it rather feels good, you are present, you see things for what they are. And you are happy. You don’t feel guilty. You are enjoying of being awakened. It is a wonderful feeling, a bliss.

    And the life goes on, and you have to pay the bills. And you have to start acting, otherwise…

    What I found, the only real stick that can make me moving is the fear of future that manifests itself as an anxiety. Otherwise I will not be acting. But then, the whole result acting is becoming spoiled because I acted out of anxiety.

    What a vicious circle!

    Reply
    1. Kaushik Post author

      Hi Lac,
      I understand. I don’t have an answer that satisfies intellectually. While awakening, I have gone through emotional turmoil and anxiety, and when I discovered how to release these, instantly, what was left was apathy and detachment. I think old drivers and motivation fall away, but natural intention has not yet surfaced. It does, and then action comes about very naturally.

      Reply
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  9. Brando McGregor

    Wow thank you for this. I have been dealing with anxiety on and off for most of my life. During the times when I am anxiety free I am completely in sync and functioning. When I am anxious though I become hyper aware of my body and begin to fill my head with very pessimistic thoughts. I become a prisoner of my body and my feelings. And I become annoyed by existence itself. A feeling like I just want to stay in bed and stop.

    I came up with something similar to the sedona method…embracing the feeling and then moving on. I got this from various websites but this website really puts everything into wonderful perspective.

    I have been meditating a lot and have been realizing that I really need to love myself. My anxiety is trying to protect me from myself but it is actually imprisoning me.

    What I would like to know….this is a habit I have…when I am feeling wonderful I have a habit of saying to myself…”wait a minute…how can i be feeling this good when just a few days ago i was feeling like hell? how did my anxiety go away so fast. There’s no way i can be cured. Last time it took this many days to overcome. Theres no way…” and so I start to check to see if its there. And if its not there…i tend to focus and focus…like picking at a scab or scar…until I feel it again. THen i go through the entire cycle of trying to conquer it again.

    I am trying to learn how, once i have conquered my anxiety, how to keep myself from “second guessing” myself and rechecking and rehashing the same anxiety. How do i stop this cycle of anxiety, curing the anxiety, checking to see if its still there, recreating it and then fighting it all over again? It’s so exhausting.

    I am meditating and learning about the flow of love. Loving myself. But i want to learn how to….keep my mind from revisiting old wounds and always constantly doubting my well being.

    Reply
    1. Kaushik Post author

      Hi Brando,

      Yes, anxiety is debilitating. When I had anxiety, I would usually experience it in the mornings intensely for an hour or so, and then at a little less intensely at various periods in the day.

      This method, and the Sedona Method and other release techniques work in the same way: you completely allow what you are feeling and you let it go. We are not able to see that we can let these emotions go easily and completely because we are too busy resisting them.

      The habit of saying “wait a minute…how is the even possible that I can let go of anxiety…”–this is a common feeling. The intellectual mind and the ego want to understand. I think it may be that it is hard for us to accept that anxiety and other stored emotions don’t have any reality except the one we give them. How is it that something that has caused me so much misery never actually existed?

      When you feel that way, allow it. What you may be feeling with it, is some fear that this may come back, and in that case, completely allow the fear and let it go.

      Yes, sometimes it is exhausting. Awakening is like that–it ebbs and flows, and sometimes the ebbs seem like real downers. As you have said: Love yourself, allow, be patient, continue to be aware (meditate), continue to release.

      love and peace,
      k

      Reply
  10. Brando McGregor

    Kaushick I thank you so much :) I am definitely coming to this website often. Everything I have gone through I have gone through before. But sometimes rather than remember that it all goes away i focus on the struggle. and feel like i cannot control my mind. I have been modifying my habit to check and looking at it as something trying to protect me. I thank it and then tell it I no longer need it. I am fine with my spirit protecting me. I do not need the ego to protect me.

    Reply
  11. Iana

    Hi Kaushik,

    Wonderful website, I have been using your techniques, and it has helped a lot.
    I am worried about one thing, I still don’t know what I want, mostly professionally. I would like to work with passion, but I think I have been doing what I had to do for so long that I can’t hear myself anymore.

    Maybe you could do this your next article :)

    Reply
    1. Kaushik Post author

      Thank you, Iana. It is always nice to get feedback on the techniques.

      It’s interesting you ask about passion. We want passion, purpose, positive thinking and all their cousins for the same reason. With purpose, life seems more fun, closer to Truth, more energetic, more purposeful, and making decisions is easier and of course we get a lot of validation.

      The trouble is that most of our thoughts are in service to the ego, which is the thoughts and feelings we take ourselves to be. Passion, positive thinking, and even spiritual advancement are stories of the ego–stories driven by desires and fear and conditioning. So we strive and chase passion and positive thinking, and we need our stories to go in certain ways.

      In my experience, as I release, and develop awareness, there is an inner peace and acceptance, in which passion is sometimes invited.

      You’re right, I will write more about this in an article.

      I hope you are doing well!

      love and peace,
      k

      Reply
  12. Vera

    This article is wonderful. I have found that I have developed intense anxiety, living in my own thoughts and self-judgment, as i grow up. I am beginning to try “awakening” techniques that bring me back to the simple enjoyments of adolescence and childhood, when you didn’t question everything, you just let it flow, you let love in without being afraid of it. It’s very hard… But seem to slowly be working! Thank you.

    I just had a question about this technique though. It works well when anxiety is only related to YOURSELF. What about when the anxiety you experience is a product of pain from SOMEONE ELSE, a relationship past that has not been settled in real life, so how can it be settled within yourself? I am able to release my PERSONAL feeling of pain, but then there is still something unresolved attached to this other person that begins the anxiety cycle all over again. so once you rid of the feeling, how to deal with the real life problem causing it.

    xo:)

    Reply
    1. Kaushik Post author

      Hi Vera,

      Thanks for the wonderful comment, and you ask a very important question.

      Relationships seem to be the ego’s favorite playground and many of us find resistance there. In the type of scenario you describe, there can be unresolved pain which can last quite some time. There is longing, a need to be heard, a wish to forget, compulsive thinking, obsessive stories running in the head, and so on.

      See it as an opportunity. As the Dalai Lama says, when you don’t get what you want, it’s sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.

      I have written here about how to deal with the pain of ended relationships.

      The Sedona method can be helpful. It asks to see that much of our conditioned suffering comes from the need for approval, the need for security, the need for control, and the need to awaken.

      Other resources I can suggest: The Sedona Method, EFT, Eckhart Tolle, greatfreedom.org, Byron Katie…(see External Resources page).

      Any amount of pain is simply resistance. Anxiety is anxiety whether it is about “me” or someone else–it is all body-sensations connected to thought-stories. We can learn to let go, and releasing gets easier and easier and easier

      love and peace,
      k

      Reply
  13. nichola

    i dont know if this will sound a little silly but i will try and express as well as possible. I am aware that i emotion is there…usually is the form of anxiety, unease, etc and with this tends to be obsessive thoughts that bring on anxiety etc….and so on a certain level practicing awareness and meditation i have learnt that when my thoughts are not as active/ thinking of certain situations i am not ‘feeling; the emotion….however..at the same time, i am still somewhat aware and this brings double anxiety, that all i have to do is have this or that thought and the emotion/feelings will return and i will once again be there again….so for me its like they are always there, even when they are not (hope this is making sense).

    Now when you say feel/ accept the emotion i feel scared…thinking, well i dont want to feel it again, i want it to go….and i=how do i JUST feel it without all my painful thoughts attaching to it? can i feel the emotion without the thoughts? if so how?

    Thank you and i hope i am clear enough for you to offer some help x

    nichola

    Reply
    1. Kaushik Post author

      HI Nichola,
      I do understand. For years, I had on and off episodes of depression and anxiety. During the times that I felt ‘normal’ there was always an underlying anxiety that this will not last. The fear is that at any time, because of some life event or interruption in schedule or perhaps no reason at all, the whole thing will collapse. And of course this is re-enforced, because it seems that the fear does come true.

      If you notice in yourself, what you are doing is suppressing thoughts and emotions you have about your anxiety. You are suppressing the anxiety about having anxiety again. This is normal and common.

      Accept that the underlying fear exists. It is no different from higher-level anxiety you have. You can work on releasing this anxiety in the same way.

      It’s helpful to remember that anxiety–any emotion in fact–is an association between thought and body-sensations. When the thought is very subtle, we feel this as an emotion. When the body-sensations are very subtle, we feel this as emotional thoughts. So the anxiety you about having anxiety is also an association of some thoughts and some body-sensations. Nothing more. You can be present to it, watch it, and ask yourself to let it go.

      I hope this helps.

      Thanks for bringing up a very important point.

      light and peace,
      k

      Reply
  14. Tiah

    Stumbled onto your website this morn, looking for “awareness exercise” to implement today.
    The time (hours) spent here has been useful. I appreicate your work and I have book marked the site and I shall return. I am so grateful for your “return” and prescence, what a treasure you are.

    Reply
  15. Girish

    Hello Kaushik:
    Namaste.
    i have a lot of anxiety and fear. Recently unemployed and not much chance of finding a job with benefits in this economy I have great fear, worry and anxiety. Shifting attention seems frustratingly hard and produces no relief. Can we create our own worldly experiences or maya? Then how could I have created unemployment and lack of financial security. Is it karma,? If so, then by shifting my attention to free myself, then am I not merely sweeping the dust under the carpet?
    Love to hear from you.

    Reply
    1. Kaushik Post author

      Namaste Girish,

      Maya and karma are spiritual concepts. Whether they are true or not is irrelevant.

      The way I see it now is that we all have a very basic fear in us, a confusion, a resistance. The first thing to do in life is to get rid of this, because anything else we do or feel or think or say is completely uncertain as long as we have this basic fear.

      After four years of searching and learning and practicing awareness and release I was in a very peaceful state. Life was easy, I released depression and anxiety, and I had much more clarity. Still do.

      And yet, this very basic fear of life persists.

      Once I recognized this, I recognized that really the first order of business is to be rid of this fear. And the way to do that is to look at yourself.

      At this point, I am not sure that this will work, but the insights I’ve had so far are consistent with this, and I am putting some trust in Nisargadatta and Ramana and John Sherman and Jed Mckenna. And in a few weeks of looking at the sense of “I AM”, enough has happened that I want to continue.

      The only other thing I suggest to people now is to release. Because releasing has worked for me, and it’s worked for others, judging from the letters I get.

      No, shifting attention to yourself is not shifting the dust under the carpet. We take on some strange ideas about this stuff, and one of the strange ideas we take on is that freeing oneself is a mystical, other-world kind of thing. It isn’t. This is the most practical, matter-of-fact, down-to-earth thing I can do. It’s the first order of business.

      I hope this helps.

      k

      Reply
  16. radiance

    Hi, thank you for the website and the techniques!

    The last time my crisis hit me ( anxiety, distress,memories, pretty much fear at its most) I did not deal with it, it was during a winter break before my birthday. (lasted for about 2 weeks.)
    instead i just buried it deep inside and developed thought patterns to suppress it and hoped it would go away in that manner

    my crisis came back after having a panic attack a bit over a year later, where i engulfed more emotions since a year ago. and at first it was being dealt with the same way as the first time, and it lasted a lot longer too, over 2 months..

    after a phew months the emotions weren’t running as wild as before so i decided I should inform myself about my emotions, i became aware of them being there and how they can attach to thought patterns and the past events to create a viscous circle. ( past relationships, past actions etc. )

    i want to face all my unanswered fear based emotions that are are still inside my body scattered before i enter adulthood.

    i don`t know how to find them, and once found how can i release them for GOOD, and forget the thought patterns that i strongly associated with them?

    Reply
    1. Kaushik Post author

      Hi Radiance,

      It hasn’t been my experience that I can release anxiety and depression for good with the release technique. They come up and release them. I like the release technique and I still whole-heartedly recommend it. It helps release painful emotions and it helps us see the nature of emotions. It provides psychological comfort during distress. It provides pain relief–not a cure.

      The cure is to look at you. (see The Relief).

      And while you’re looking at you, it can help if you understand the original problem. The problem is fear, which comes about in our very early years, the first effect of the fear is a detachment from life. We feel separated from our own lives. And after that, nothing can be certain.

      I hope this helps.

      k

      Reply
      1. radiance

        “And after that, nothing can be certain.”, if nothing can be certain than that technique is just choosing the easy way out of the whole process no?

        its just not resisting those emotions/thoughts. imagine being a fishermen ( questioner) standing in the river (life) attempting to catch fish ( answers) but each time you feel a fish hooked ( think you got your answer) it eats your bait and leaves ( negative emotions arise once more) and is a continuous process.

        what you are telling me is you have simply decided to just stand in the river and let the fish swim by you your entire life? that it wont really get the job done, but it relieves you from the pain followed by not catching the fish?

        what i am looking for is not a temporary relief strategy, i want to truly understand why my brain is automatically thinking so much from the second i wake up from slumber it begins to re-think the past and try to make a sensible story outline of it. during this process i used to feel extreme fear based emotions in the morning.. now its less extreme but is still there. =/ doctors tried giving me pills but i never took em never will i don’t believe i have anything wrong with me i am just in a weird delusion of reality sometimes and of who i am idk how to act based on “me” sometimes.

        Reply
        1. Kaushik Post author

          Forget about rivers and fish. The actual thing is much more powerful than any metaphor.

          We have a fear in us. The fear causes a detachment from life itself. We feel we are at stake, that life must be protected, feared, defended. The effects of this are highly individual. I felt the effects ultimately as anxiety, depression, addictions, confusion. You are feeling the effects as automatic thinking and fear-based emotions.

          Do the looking. Look at you. The sense of you is very ordinary and it’s right up here on the surface. You don’t have to dig down deep. Bring your attention to the sense of you. Do this whenever you remember.

          You don’t have to believe what I say about fear and detachment. If you understand that, it may help; if you don’t, the looking still works.

          Reply
  17. bob

    This website reallyy seems helpful. I’ve been dealing with obsessive thoughts about my sexual orientation. This girl was calling me gay. Its affected me for a few months now. I know in my heart that I’m not gay but its made me replay thoughts in my head about my past and I just wanna let it go. I’ve never worried about it before now. I’m naturally an optimistic person so it hurts me a lot. But I know that I can move on from this. Hopefully with these techniques.

    Reply
      1. bob

        I have talked to a counselor before but I don’t feel that it helped much. There are days when I don’t have any thoughts then I get scared that I don’t get them and it starts up again. I want to break that cycle without having to resort to pills. I know there was life before unwanted thoughts and there’s life after. I know I’m a strong person.

        Reply
        1. Kasia

          Good for you! I am going to try this technique too! I am hoping for good results! I have been struggling with obsessive thoughts and anxiety for years, and I wanted to find something to help without medication. I like what you said Bob, there was life before unwanted thoughts, and there is life after unwanted thoughts. :o) That made me smile. I feel the same way. Good luck to you!!!

          Reply
  18. steve

    I’ve had a lot of trouble understanding the Sedona method and it didn’t help that a lot of people make such a big deal about releasing. You have a excellent way of describing how to release emotions.

    Thanks

    Reply
  19. esp

    I should be the last person to rule something out because it’s simple, and certainly what was discribed is simple and quick enough to be worth a shot. That being said everytime I turn start looking into something like this I find myself really angery with both my parents and the schools I attended as a child because I’ve really started to realize just what sort of damage they did to me growing up (as if fighting with my own nervous system wasn’t enough when it comes to letting go of the past). Parents and teachers have the responsiblity of teaching the young how to not only survive, but thrive in the world. I can’t help realize that my parents and teachers have been negligent at best, when they said let it go they didn’t mean let go of the emotion they meant act like it didn’t happen even if you still felt all the pain and hurt from it…I was even taught that a person must never relax under any circumstances (I couldn’t tell you when I last got a part of my body to actaully relax) it only gets worse from there…things like trusting someone else automaticly means getting hurt, putting yourself first is always wrong (didn’t stop me from deciding that I come first, when I found that not putting myself first only made resent all of humanity more with each beat of my heart), having to much money means you should be resented (that one just caused me to stop seeking aproval and start seeking the very resentment I was told comes with having money), that all realationships are based on power and control (one person over another), or pity and it’s when not if you will get hurt.

    My anger turned to peaceful self-empowering rebellion at some point

    I guess what I am wondering is at what point did soceity get so screwed up that we had to prevent any real letting go while demanding all the while that we do exactly what we were trained never to do? They can’t have it both ways, so why am I hearing about this in my early 20′s and before I was even 5 years old? What is wrong with humanity to demand we not only suffer but then lie about it? The only thing I ever did right was refuse to lie about what I thought and felt, it may not have allowed me to let go, but even if I still had such a strong and negivitive charge on 75% of my life at least I had most of my health. I bet we’d all see alot of health improvement if we’d just stop lying about letting go of things that we are still carrying around.

    Just writing this post professing my anger at my parents and teachers for these concepts (which are the tip of the big ugly ice burg) actaully thing I muscule starting in my lower leg starting to loosen a bit for the first time in years. But the question remains, when did emotional if not spiritual negligence on the part of parents and teachers become acceptable? I’m not saying legal intervention (I have other beleifs that demand that be considered a non-option) is needed I’m asking why there is no stigma attached to not teaching people at young ages what feelings really are want what can be done they can do about it. What is it that gives my parents and even more so my teachers to take victimize someone so heavliy?

    Reply
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  21. Jen

    Hi,

    I really appreciate this method of release and feel it can be very helpful. I just read about it almost a week ago and began to practice it immediately. Yesterday and the day before I was somewhat successful with it, but today I can’t seem to grasp it. I start analyzing it and obsessing about it (trying to remember the 3 steps, questioning if I am doing it right, frustrated that it isn’t helping me today etc). I am more vulnerable to the all consuming nature of depression and anxiety today than I was yesterday- no situational triggers- just a really rough day that is all too familiar. Is it common for it to seem fluid and natural one day and be almost impossible to grasp the next (especially when you need it)?

    Thank you,
    Jen

    Reply
    1. Kaushik Post author

      Hi Jen,

      Yes it’s very common. I say that based on my experience and others here who’ve reported on their experience.

      In these depths, it’s only natural that the urge to analyze, obsess, doubt, review, recount…and all of that…comes up.

      Just use the technique whenever you remember to. It takes only seconds. The three steps are there only to provide us a framework. The steps are just meant to remind us to “stop”, step back, allow whatever’s happening, make space for whatever’s happening in your body and mind, watch, and then ask yourself to let go of it. It’s just something we have to do a few times to understand the experience of it.

      Let me know how it goes.

      k

      Reply
  22. Kirra

    Okay, even after reading this I have no idea how it works. But I just tried it for the first time and I already feel a shift? I am still miserable and sad but I can feel a tiny difference…i’m very surprised. Nothing else has ever worked for me.

    Reply
    1. Kaushik Post author

      We have the natural ability to release. Whenever you remember to, allow whatever you are feeling, make space within your body and mind for it, make even more space, and tell yourself to let go of it.

      Reply
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  25. Nick

    Hi! I don’t know if you check your old articles anymore for comments but I really wanted to say thank you. I realised recently that I have been suppressing my emotions for the last 3 years! (ever since I got out of an abusive relationship). I’ve had intense anxiety socially and by myself since those days and I really longed to return to when I was a confident happy go lucky guy. I believe your method will help me out of my anxiety cycle (finally!). I will try it for the next month consistently coupled with mindfulness meditation and see if I can release my painful trapped emotions. If it works I’ll reply to this comment. (And I will be your biggest fan forever!)

    Thank you so much and hope to post it again in a month!
    =)

    Reply
    1. Kaushik Post author

      I’m very pleased to hear from you Nick. Yes, let us know how it goes for you.

      At this point, there are only two techniques which I recommend to people. This release technique has become very natural for me now; I don’t have to think about it. Which leads me to believe that it is not a technique at all–it’s something we all know how to do naturally. The technique serves to remind us.

      The other technique I recommend is John Sherman’s “look at you.” Best to go his website if you’re interested.

      Thanks, Nick!

      Reply
  26. Bob

    Hi Kaushik,
    great article I’ve heard this many other places in it seems to hold true.
    do you have any examples of what it feels like to allow your feelings.
    also how long does it take once you start fully feel them before they subside.
    lastly what is the look at you about. thanks!

    Reply
    1. Kaushik Post author

      Hi Bob,

      All seven billion of us have the same problem–a basic fear of life, a dissatisfaction, and separation from our own humanness. That much is common, bu the insane consequence of it and the recovery from it seem to be highly individual. So it’s hard to say in general how it can go for anyone.

      For the release technique: I tried it whenever anxiety came up (three or four times a day), and after about ten days I realized it works.

      What does it feel like? It feels like an absence of resistance, or at least, less resistance than before.

      The “look at you” is a powerful technique. My experience with it is not complete, however, I have seen enough benefit that I recommend it people. I suggest you go over to John Sherman’s site (justonelook.org) to check it out.

      I hope to hear from you again! Take care,

      k

      Reply
      1. Jen

        Hi! I visited John Sherman’s website again and am confused about something. When he says that once the out breath ends to slowly count to 10, does he intend to hold the next in breathe until we have reached 10 counts? This might be confusing- forgive me if it doesn’t make sense. I ask this question because I have a feeling you will know how this breathing regimen goes exactly.

        Thanks so much,
        Jen

        Reply
        1. Kaushik Post author

          Hi Jen,

          I haven’t paid much attention to John’s mindful meditation. I think he suggests that to calm the mind and to understand that you are fully able to control where you put your attention. I feel I already have that in the release technique.

          So I haven’t paid much attention to John’s explanation of the breathing technique. But I’m sure you don’t hold your breath to the count of 10. Be completely comfortable.

          The important technique is the act of looking at the sense of you.

          Anything else that we do to bring about psychological comfort or calm the mind is fine. Whatever works for you is fine. I like the release technique. Adyashanti’s True Meditation is a good meditation technique. Talking it out, the forum, yoga–whatever, is all fine. The important thing is to do the act of looking at you.

          k

          Reply
  27. Alex

    Kaushik,

    Nice to see someone like-minded when it comes to emotional well being.
    Now, i wanna know, since you said your anxiety significantly diminished, have you used standard Sedona method releases (on wants – change/approval/control/oneness…) or just simplified version you described?

    I am sure that releasing is not only thing that helped, just curious about the above

    Thanx

    Reply
    1. Kaushik Post author

      Hi Alex,

      Ah, good question!

      I know what you mean about the change/approval/control/separateness. I read about in the book and it made sense to me. But I didn’t pursue it much–I think I prefer simple and direct methods. This felt too complicated. That’s just me; I wouldn’t discourage anyone from trying it.

      Your’re right, releasing is not the only thing. What has had the most impact is hard to say, but it seems to me that looking at you (to dissolve the effects of fear), looking to see the delusion of self, noticing, and releasing, in total have been very effective.

      Thanks, Alex.

      k

      Reply
  28. jollylovesjuliet

    I should always remember this techniques its simple and its free…good for both parties specially me being married I encounter lots of feeling-message which I think sometimes made me feel depressed…but now I know I should embrace all of those emotions & learn to let it go…thank you so much Kaushik!!!

    Reply
    1. Kaushik Post author

      You’re welcome, Juliet. This release technique has becomes very natural, because I think this is our natural function. The purpose of emotions is to give us a message, and once the message is received there’s no need to hold on to it.

      Reply
  29. Pingback: Learn to Let Go | projectfirestarter

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  31. tom medors

    THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY CORTEX.
    HAVE BEEN DEPRESSED FOR YEARS DUE TO LOSSES IN FAMILY AND MY OWN GENERAL HEALTH. THERE ARE SO MANY GOOD THINGS IN MY LIFE I HAVE BEEN MISSING….
    THIS SIMPLE EXERCISE IS CHANGING MY LIFE!
    IN A MATTER OF TWO WEEKS I HAVE EXPERIENCED HUGE TRANSFORMATIONS IN MY MOOD AND THOUGHTS. IS THERE WAS A WAY TO CHANGE MY DREAMS AS WELL?
    BLESS YOU,IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST MY SAVIOR
    tom medors

    Reply
    1. Kaushik Post author

      I’m very glad, Tom!

      And thanks for the comment, as it encourages others to try this simple technique. As far as I can tell, everyone who has actually tried this technique has been successful with it. There is nothing mystical about that; this is a natural and innate skill which we have simply forgotten.

      I know of some who want to try this but cannot seem to actually do the thing. That resistance is fear of course, and the fear of trying this can itself be released, simply by allowing it, acknowledging it, being with it, and asking yourself if you can let that go.

      Thanks again, Tom.

      k

      Reply

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