Beside every case of stuck feelings, lies a sad little story. Recently, I’ve come across articles that discussed ways to prevent negative thinking “permanently.” The writer would go on to discuss how an individual can eliminate/extract/delete negative memories permanently. And as a result, they will also eliminate the negative thinking. I’m sure many of us would like to forget a traumatic experience; hurtful past relationships; painful childhood memories, etc. Some of us may have already successfully done this through repression (i.e. denying a situation of any expression or exposure, until it has gone from our awareness or rarely takes up too much of our attention). Consequently, the more we push something down, the stronger it becomes. So our thought process and reactive behaviors are not conscious, instead they are coming from our pain. Some even believe that our health problems may also be a consequence of not dealing with our repressed memories and experiences.

Obviously, this will not necessarily help the person to overcome their painful experiences; but will continue to keep them emotionally stuck. This shows to me, that it is important to work on and through our past, not delete it from our memory bank. Instead of deleting, denying, or repressing the past—we need to acknowledge and release it (forgive the past). And by doing this, we can potentially overcome one of our biggest obstacles that prevent us from leading a healthier lifestyle.

I will be honest, it would be nice if there was an on/off switch for when it comes to negative emotions. But, the key to healing lies with bringing your emotional experiences closer to you, rather than trying to push it away or separate from it. Some mild distractions are good because they can be used as an outlet. (examples: cleaning, exercising, taking a shower, gardening, drawing, etc) It only becomes problematic when we refuse to address the core issue(s). Many fear addressing the core issue(s), because then we will have to face/expose our personal story—and most likely relive it as well.

However, pushing it away causes us to become stuck. We often think it’s the other way around, “I feel terrible; I am upset and hurting. I don’t want to feel that way; so I’m going to do everything I can to not feel anything.” Many of us do this quite often to distract ourselves to avoid; or we may choose methods to numb the pain. We have all seen these type of people before (you may be one of them). Some of them will spend extra time at work; take on an astronomical amount of projects; attend every event in the world; avoid intimate conversations (but they will discuss issues that are not about self), etc. They may become heavily involved in EVERYTHING else, but are not involved in their own personal life. I believe these distractions give them a sense of self importance, in their pursuit to also cover up and hide the elephant in the room. But I digress.

The only way to healing ourselves emotionally, involves consciously seeking out our feelings. And as mentioned earlier, when we admit to our feelings, we must also admit to the root cause (our personal story) of it. If you can admit you have a story, you’re half-way home to ending those stuck feelings.

Author's Bio: 

Veronica J Burgess, has over 7 years working in the mental health/therapy field. Veronica has a Bachelors of Science in Child Development and Family Relations, Indiana University of Pennsylvania. And, a Masters in Social Worker--Direct Practice, University of Pittsburgh. Veronica is state certified in Functional Behavioral Assessment. And is trained in Trauma Focused Therapy. Veronica currently is a therapist working with children and their families. As a gifted tarot reader, she has had the privilege of working with many clients from various countries and walks of life. She has a partner affiliation with, where she is a part of the expert community. Veronica is a member of the American Tarot Association and Tarosophy--Tarot Professionals.