It Takes 90 Seconds to Feel an Emotion Fully—Then You Can Choose to Move Beyond It
Do you sometimes get stuck in a negative emotion like fear, shame, despair, or anger? The kind that loops itself like tire treads in your mind and hijacks your day, leaving you defeated and worse yet, resorting to a maladaptive coping mechanism like overeating or drinking to help you deal?
Fear not. There is neuroscience on your side and a way of handling these emotions through an energy healing lens that can help you find liberation.
According to Harvard neuroscientist Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, 90 seconds is all it takes to identify an emotion and allow it to dissipate while you simply notice it. In her book, My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey, she writes:
"When a person has a reaction to something in their environment, there’s a 90-second chemical process that happens in the body; after that, any remaining emotional response is just the person choosing to stay in that emotional loop.
Something happens in the external world and chemicals are flushed through your body which puts it on full alert. For those chemicals to totally flush out of the body it takes less than 90 seconds. This means that for 90 seconds you can watch the process happening, you can feel it happening, and then you can watch it go away.
After that, if you continue to feel fear, anger, and so on, you need to look at the thoughts that you’re thinking that are re-stimulating the circuitry that is resulting in you having this physiological response over and over again."
In other words, we can choose how we feel. If we hold an emotion for longer than 90 seconds, it's because we have chosen a thought that re-stimulates those brain cells to trigger that cycle all over again. There is immense liberation in this knowledge. You have the power to respond from a place of higher consciousness.
It's not such an easy task, however, to feel emotions if they are linked to trauma we have experienced in the past. But it is possible, with some courage and support. If you are in the process of releasing trauma, I encourage you to get the support of a therapist or healer.
Sometimes it is too scary to allow ourselves to feel an emotion fully. Sometimes it is too painful. But if you really drop into an emotion and allow it to move through you like a wave, it will pass. You can do anything for 90 seconds! The reward will be that you have processed the emotion and it will no longer linger in your field to hold you back.
The next time you feel a negative emotion, instead of reaching for that cookie to stuff it down or numbing out with Netflix, try the following steps:
1) Sit down and breathe. Ground yourself as well as you can. Set an intention that you are going to allow yourself to be vulnerable enough to feel. Ask your spirit guides and angels to be there to support you. They will come swooping in, even if you can't sense them.
2) Allow the feelings to flow through you. Simply be mindful of what you are experiencing in the present moment without judgment. Drop down into your sacral chakra, about two inches below your navel. This chakra is the seat of your emotions. It is the most delicate of all the chakras. Imagine a soft orange-red flower unfurling. This unfurling is the chakra opening, allowing you to feel. Water is the element of the second chakra, which symbolizes a flow with life.
3) Imagine your inner child sitting in your second chakra and ask what it needs. The inner child is a part of your consciousness that helps you identify your true emotional needs. For example, if you are experiencing feelings of abandonment, can you imagine giving your inner child a great big hug and offering safety and security to yourself?
Also ask, "What is this negative emotion trying to teach me?" "What is the negative belief I need to release?" "What is a positive belief I can replace it with?"
4) Take a moment to recognize that you have consciously shifted a negative pattern. Congratulate yourself for your courage. You are capable of healing and choosing a life of joy and freedom.
I wish you strength and courage on your journey. May your September be filled with positive changes.