Accessing emotion is different from the reason behind the emotion, and is different from the couter-action of the emotion.These are often discussed in mind-body medicine and are just as valuable.
Accessing an emotion begins as an inward process where you ask yourself what is the feeling that I have at this time? Not so easy to do in fact. Accessing an emotion is not the reaction to what happened to me, a thought about a mistake that was made, or the gratitude of achieving something. But rather, a very fine and delicate hiccup that comes by as surprise, that starts to unfold from rest and relaxation.
It is not often that we have the opportunity to find the time for ourselves, and it is even more frustrating when we feel that this work does not amount to anything significant, however, like anything that we practice it tends to improve with time.
The highly sensitive person, the « hard-wired » type, often do not have the chance to relax because of the constant stimuli and pressures in the environment. They tend to breathe from the upper part of the chest, and lose the « back » feeling to their spine – meaning that the connection between their spine, diaphragm, and heart or chest is not settled into that back space, but rather leaping forward in order to get through the day. An exercise that I loved to do in dance class was to walk and run backwards without looking where I was headed, and bring your awareness to that space.
Unlike resources, space is very vast and so why not check it out? In other words, in the large arena there are a few exercises you can practice to orient yourself and body.
The value of the inward process is often overlooked in our society, whereas in other cultures of the world it is regarded as high functioning. An inward process has often been termed selfish, but it is wise to consider that we only know others in the capacity for us to know ourselves, and more so, in the capacity for us to feel and have compassion for others.
Deep breathing, meditation, yoga, chanting, all brings you closer to accessing the emotion and quite possibly feeling it for the first time. It is not scary place, but very real and comforting. I invite you to first begin not by trying to get to the emotion (for those who are keen!), but by relaxing the body; simply. This could mean exercise, deep breathing, stretching, singing, dancing, etc. Do something for the body that you could be thankful for.