Yes, it is normal to get emotional during meditation! But I understand why you may be wondering because emotional healing isn't often discussed with meditation. For me, however, emotional healing has become part of my meditation story.
During my time on Wall Street in New York, I felt disappointed in life. I felt incredibly disconnected, lonely, and depressed.
All of this was the result of how I functioned in the world growing up in an Asian household and learning to be tough, tough on the outside. Having feelings and expressing them was a sign of weakness for me.
I took pride in not being emotional. Instead, I've always kept it together. Before I came to meditation, I hadn't cried in over a decade. That took a toll that I didn't know was happening. Everything I felt was completely bottled up. This eventually led to severe depression.
The emotions flowed
When I finally hit rock bottom, I taught myself how to meditate from a book and count my breaths down from 10 to 1. For the first three months, I cried every time I sat on the pillow. I just sobbed and sobbed. The tears flowed and sometimes I didn't even know what I was really sad about. It seemed like I had lifelong grief.
Meditation brought me into contact with what I was feeling. I hadn't given myself permission to feel. Little did I know about the tension, stress and feelings that I was holding down.
Every time I sat I felt so much better after every meditation session. I felt a lot lighter. It was cathartic. Even though I cried a lot, it intuitively felt right to release so many old emotions. As a result, I felt happier and more passionate – something I hadn't felt since I was a kid.
The strong feelings that you feel
Reconnecting with that feeling of innocence is an opportunity in meditation. Developing a healthy spiritual practice is accompanied by intense emotional feelings, healing, and liberation.
So if you experience sadness or grief or anger or anger – strong emotions during your workout – it is natural. Sometimes it is viewed as messy, crazy, weak, or even unprofessional to be emotional. But it is good that you allow yourself to feel your feelings. To really be in touch with your emotions and to have self-awareness, true inner strength is required. It also helps you develop your emotional intelligence.
Where do our feelings come from?
Why do our emotions arise? When we meditate, we create space to feel and our deeper truth begins to seep away. Because of this, many people don't want to slow down, pull the plug, rest, and meditate. They don't want to feel the truth about what they really feel within themselves.
People often feel out of control when their emotions arise. As soon as we start crying and feeling sad, there can be fear that we will become depressed, get lost in that depression and never find our way back. We are afraid that our emotions will overwhelm us.
Unfortunately, in our society, we have not been taught to value our emotions. Especially for our men who are afraid of being vulnerable and of being the target of attack and judgment. What happens in the end is that we distract our emotional pain. When we feel upset or angry, we project that anger outward and unleash it, unfold it on someone else and make it the cause of our pain and suffering.
Feel & Heal
Emotional healing is critical to the development of human consciousness, individually and collectively.
When we realize that anger is rising within us because something has been said by another person, we realize that we need to face our deeper feelings and emotions. Our emotions are energy in motion. We have to recognize what we are feeling.
Unfortunately, we were actually taught to hold a lid on, shut it down, and keep it for later. When we put our emotions aside, we cram them into ourselves and they build up in our pain body.
Pain body is a term that was coined by Eckart Tolle. It is all of our unfelt feelings and wounds. When we don't take the time to process what we feel about something, it builds up in our system and contributes to our unconscious wounding, including stress and anxiety. Anxiety is a symptom of filling up and repressing our authentic emotions – when we protect ourselves from feeling and letting people in – we feel stress, tension, and fear.
If we cut ourselves off from our emotions, we can lose contact with life, with ourselves and with our life energy. The truth is, when we cut ourselves off from sadness, we cut ourselves off from joy. Whatever we suppress affects all parts of our lives. Depression is a word that indicates that our minds, our energies are being depressed, that they cannot flow, and that they cannot move or get through.
We need to create space for silence so that we can get in touch with our deeper truth. It is important that these emotions move through you like waves, moving in ebb and flow. By feeling and contacting our strength and energy, we become liberated.
Think about how you feel after crying or other emotional release. Do you notice how much better you feel? It's cathartic. Your whole body experiences a liberation. You feel relief and wholeness.
Emotional intelligence & intuition
When we cut ourselves off from our emotions, we become more distant and incoherent. This separation from ourselves leads to our separation from others. It's no wonder that our emotional intelligence increases when we're emotionally in tune. We can understand other people better and give them space to feel feelings and not take them personally or on ourselves.
Intuition also speaks to us through our emotions. If you are enthusiastic about an idea and don't know why, this is your emotional guidance system, your inner guidance and your creative intelligence, who know the right way. Your emotions are drawn into a greater awareness. Once you are in touch with your emotions, you can now begin to refine and feel more subtly the guidance that flows through your emotions.
Emotions can make meditation feel messy and raw. After meditating and expressing feelings, find a healthy way to express your feelings through writing, art, experiencing nature, or other forms of mindful communication. You will be grateful that you did!