To a child all feelings may seem huge, since they feel so small – and are.

Children are very natural about their feelings. They experience them and let them go.

Unfortunately, it does not take long before we learn that our feelings are unwanted and inconvenient.

Then we start to reject them and hold them in with all the negative effects that brings.

What Happens To Our Feelings?

Our feelings become objectified. We learn to treat them like objects at a store, some unwanted and others preferred as demonstrated to us by our families and educators.

And so the stress starts. According to Yogi Amrit Desai, founder of Kripalu Yoga in a June, 2010 article in Natural AwakeningsHealing the Root Cause of Addiction with Ayurveda A Natural Cure for Unhealthy Dependence by Linda Sechrist,  

“It is important to recognize that most people don’t know the difference between tension and stress…

He observes that stressors—thoughts and reactions to our lifestyle, relationships, work environment and family life—are introduced through the ego mind. Emotionally charged thoughts and feelings of blame, shame or guilt then get metabolized into our biological body system. Stored in the form of toxins and neuro-glandular imbalances, these feelings create energy blocks that prevent the free flow of energy, or prana, the body’s self-healing wisdom.

Energy blocks may take the form of muscular tensions and weakness in liver, kidney and digestive functions. Gradual decline results in a progressive deterioration of biological processes and consequently can manifest in external symptoms of fatigue, fear, anxiety and insecurity.”

Essentially we are socialized to have certain emotions and reject others and our unwanted emotions then get stuck in our bodies and gradually make us sick.

Why Rejecting Feelings Is A Mistake

When we reject our feelings, we cannot own them and process them.

When we are processing our feelings, we take them in, accept them feel them and listen to them. It is called metabolism.

Metabolism comes from the greek word ” metabole” for change or transformation. At any given time as we interact with our world we are in the process of metabolism – of perceptions, thought, feelings, emotions as well as material substances such as food and water.  All forms of life engage in metabolism, from plants to humans.

When we are unable to metabolize a food it will clog our bodies. When we are unable to metabolize or process emotions, they will clog our system as well. Ideally we process all food and experiences each day so that we are in a state of flowing with life. If only it were that simple!

It is often not  possible to process all information and feelings when they occur. Some feelings can be part of a larger process.  The grieving process is a good example of that.  However, the most difficult situations are those where an acceptable arrangement is not possible – situations that are abusive, demeaning, and dehumanizing –  because the pain of these situations often does long term damage to the energy of the body, and takes a long time to heal.

Learning To Accept And Release Feelings

It can be useful to think of feelings as information.  When the feelings are the result of a past experience transferred onto the present, it is a sign that there is unfinished business in the past that must be dealt with. Another way of looking at it is that energy has become blocked in the body, it has not been metabolized. Under these circumstances it is our job to accept the feelings so that they can be released.

There are releasing practices available including meditation,and the energy healing practices of eft (emotional freedom technique) and reiki that help with processing emotions. Writing in a journaling has been widely used and can be effective.  Therapy groups have been helpful to many.  The more severe the experiences causing blocked energy the greater the need for therapeutic solutions.  The body has its wisdom and in some severely abusive situations it will “store” emotions to be processed at a later date if that is what is needed to survive.

Highly sensitive people and severely abused people need to be aware that they can accept and take charge of their healing process by finding therapeutic practices and groups that will let them forgive and let go of the past. Engaging in such practices helps minimize the potential for long term destructive addiction and therefore is valuable for all people.

Photo Credit: h.koppdelaney via Compfight cc

About Maria Hill

Maria Hill is the founder of Sensitive Evolution. She is the author of The Emerging Sensitive: A Guide For Finding Your Place In The World. In addition, she has created the immersive Emerging Sensitive Program of "sensory processing yoga" using frameworks to help sensitive people master their sensitivity and turn it into the asset it can be. She also offers the Emerging Sensitive Movie Club focused on movies and discussions about living in the world as a sensitive person and navigating the challenging cultural shifts of our times. She is a longtime meditator, reiki master, student of alternative health and Ayurveda. Maria is also an abstract painter whose portfolio can be found at Infinite Shape and also very interested in animal and human rights and the environment.


  1. Maria on September 10, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    Thank you for stopping by. I have tried EFT a few times, but have been working with TM and reiki for so long that I did not pursue it further. However I hear wonderful things about EFT and suggest it on my site.

  2. Nathan on June 26, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    Yes sometimes I am bothered but cannot find where the dis-ease is coming from. When I look for the feeling, it goes away and I am left feeling empty but cannot metabolize this emptiness.

    • Maria on June 26, 2013 at 3:30 pm

      Hi Nathan,

      Thank you for stopping by. I think you ask a great question. Sometimes our buried feelings feel like a slight discomfort or restlessness. It can feel risky for them to come out of hiding. I would suggest a few options:

      1. journaling is a way to create a safe place for feeling.
      2. another is to create a safe or sacred place internally. Perhaps you can create a mental image of a safe place and when the discomfort arises, you can invite it to that safe place where is can be whatever it is without hiding. Just giving the feeling a place where it is welcome can help it come out into the open.

      Sometimes you have to allow the feelings to show a little of themselves at a time. That is good. If you have a lot of anger, then taking a little bit at a time and accepting it is easier than trying to handle years worth of anger all at once. Each time you do a little bit of feelings processing, you add to your strength and compassion, s the benefits are enormous.

      One tip: whenever you have difficult emotions, look for the fear. when you allow the fear in yourself and others, you can be in a kind place to yourself and the other people in your life. It can make your relationships easier.

      I hope this helps. Let me know if there is anything else I can do.


  3. JC on July 11, 2018 at 2:10 pm

    Does anyone know if it’s possible to start EFT if you go into it knowing that the repeated part of the spoken words you’re supposed to say is untrue and you feel it never will be?

    • Maria Hill on July 11, 2018 at 2:19 pm

      JC, I am not knowledgeable about that but would encourage you to find an EFT group that could advise you. I would imagine there are a number of them. You could also look up some people who specialize in it and ask them directly. Sorry, I could not be of greater assistance.