Suppressing, repressing and expressing feelings and emotions are great options in some situations. However, at times, you can get stuck in an emotional dead-end. When this happens, it’s important to know how to release emotions quickly, easily and effectively. Getting rid of emotional baggage is a skill that you can get better at. The Sedona Method questions are one of the most simple and effective ways to release emotions so that you feel more in control, centered and alive.
If you have ever wondered how to release emotions effectively, then you’ll find the Sedona Method questions to be a simple approach that works really well.
Most of the information for this article comes from the Sedona Method book by Hale Dwoskins.
Suppressing and Expressing
We can either suppress emotions by holding them inside or express them by acting them out. Both are useful and not useful. It depends on the situation.
If you’re in a meeting with your boss, clients or other colleagues, and someone says something that makes you really angry, expressing your anger in this meeting could get you into trouble. Its far better to suppress the anger, so that you don’t say or do something you regret later.
However, in an intimate relationship, its much better to express love and affection fully, openly and completely rather than hold it inside. Suppressing these emotions could leave your partner confused or doubting how much you love them.
So suppressing and expressing feelings and emotions can be useful in the short term. However, if you’re continually suppressing or expressing the same feeling for a long time, then this can get you into trouble.
Continually suppressing feelings, especially guilt, anger or resentment is bad for your body and can lead to health problems. Your brain will unconsciously express these feelings, but you continually hold them in. Rather than face the feelings, you might use alcohol, food or long hours in the office as methods to hide these feelings.
Continual expressing of feelings creates problems for other people and affects you as well. If you’re always acting out your anger, then it starts to become a habit, then part of your identity. You become an angry person. Being a person that is regularly angry will affect your relationships with other people, especially your partner and family. People won’t hang around with you as much and will avoid you.
So if long-term suppression and expression of feelings creates problems, then what is the alternative? It’s releasing. It’s the middle ground that people rarely think about. However, it is something we naturally do.
You release emotions when you laugh or when you get that sense of relief after finding your keys or wallet that you thought you’d lost. But how do you release emotions consciously? This is where the Sedona Method comes in.
Yesterday, I described the nine fundamental emotional states and introduced the Sedona Method book by Hale Dwoskin.
The Sedona Method questioning technique is a really simple process to help you release or let go of emotions. It’s so simple that it’s easy to dismiss. However, it really works, especially when done regularly.
The 5 Sedona Method Questions
The Sedona Method releasing process consists of 5 Sedona Method questions. Learning how to release emotions effectively involves understanding these 5 key questions.
1: What am I feeling right now?
The first step is to focus on an issue or problem in your life. As you think about it, notice the feelings and emotions that come to the surface. The feelings don’t need to be strong or intense. A numb, flat or blank feeling works just as well. Once you have a good sense of the issue and feeling, ask yourself “What am I feeling right now? Notice what comes up for you.
2: Can I fully experience this feeling right now?
The next step in learning how to release emotions effectively is to ask yourself, “Can I fully experience this feeling right now? You will either get a “Yes” or a “No” answer. Let this answer come intuitively. Don’t try to push it or analyze it.
If you get a “Yes” answer, then fully experience the feeling as well as any sensations, sounds, thoughts, and pictures that arise with this feeling. Experience this feeling fully in the here and now as best as you can.
This is important because most of our thoughts, pictures, and stories are geared towards the past or the future. We are rarely in the present. So step 2 is to really experience this feeling in the present right now. The only time you can release and change your feelings (or anything else in your life) is in the here and now. So experience this as best as you can right now.
If the answer is “No”, to this Sedona Method question, then notice the feeling that comes up with your “No” answer. It’s likely to be some kind of resistance. Notice what the feeling is and then go back to step 1 with this new feeling.
3: Can I let it go?
The third Sedona Method question is to ask “Can I let it go? Can I let this feeling go, or even the whole issue? Can I just let the whole thing go from my life?” This question is asking, “Is it possible to do this?”
“Yes” and “No” are both acceptable answers. You will often find that you release and let go even when you answer “No”. Answer this question with the minimum of thought. Don’t try and second guess or get into an internal debate about the merits or consequences.
In the Sedona Method book, Hale Dwoskins states that these questions are deliberately simple. They are not necessarily important in themselves but are designed to help you into the experience of letting go. To let go and stop holding on. Gaining an experience of how to release emotions is the most important thing.
If you get a “Yes” answer to this Sedona Method question, move to step 4.
If you get a “No” answer, notice the feeling that comes with that. Again, it will be some kind of resistance or holding-on feeling. Get a good sense of that feeling, then go back to step one and work through the questions again with this new feeling.
4: Am I willing to let it go?
The fourth step in learning how to release emotions using the Sedona Method questions is to ask yourself, “Am I willing to let it go?
Again, avoid any kind of debate. You’re doing this to gain your own sense of freedom and clarity. It doesn’t matter if the issue or feeling is justified, long-standing, or even right.
If you answer “Yes” to this Sedona Method question, move to step 5.
If you answer “No” or are unsure, ask yourself this question. “Would I rather have this feeling or would I rather be free?” If you get a “Yes” answer, move to step 5.
If you get a “No” answer, then notice what comes up for you. Again, its likely to be some kind of resistance feeling. Notice what it is and then go back to step one using this new feeling.
The fifth and final step in the Sedona Method question process is to ask yourself the very simple question “When?”
This question is an invitation to release or let go right now. You might find yourself letting go as soon as you consider or answer this question. However, more often than not, letting go or releasing is a decision. It’s a decision you can make at any time. This question encourages you to make the decision to let go right now. A key part of knowing how to release emotions is making the decision to do it.
If the answer is “Not Now” or sometime in the future, then notice what comes up and go back to step one using this new feeling. It may be a feeling of hesitation or resistance.
If the answer is “Now”, you will typically start releasing immediately.
Releasing Tips and Techniques
Answering the “When?” question will often kick-start the releasing process. However, there are things you can do that make the releasing experience more effective and magical. They work really well with the Sedona Method questions and really enhance the releasing process.
The first method is to release or let go as you breathe out. Practice breathing out the emotion with a full, slow and controlled out breath. It will feel like a sigh of relief.
The next one is to visualize a knot, and then see the knot unraveling as you let go.
Another option is to imagine gripping the feeling in your hand. As you release, see your hand opening and notice that feeling leaving as you do that. If you prefer, you can actually grip your hand and then open it as you release and let go.
Another method is to hold a small object in your hand like a pen. Then as you let go, open your hand and let the pen or item drop to the floor.
The last way is to put your hands on your stomach or solar plexus. As you let go, tilt your hands up and out. This creates an imaginary space for the feelings to leave your body.
Practice these and notice how they enhance your experience of how to release emotions using the Sedona Method questions.
I encourage you to apply the Sedona Method questions to your life on a regular basis. The more you practice the Sedona questions, the better you will get at it.
The results may be quite subtle to start with, but with practice, the results will become more and more noticeable. The wonderful thing about the Sedona Method is that once you release something, that feeling has changed for good, it’s a permanent change.
Use it consistently, and you’ll start to feel lighter and more centered. You will start to experience the higher level emotions of courageousness, acceptance, and peace more often.
If you enjoyed reading this article and found it useful, please leave a comment or question below. I would love to hear what you think!