Throughout Ally, it’s important that you monitor how you’re doing emotionally, and if you start struggling it’s important that you slow down or back off the exercises until you can come to a more balanced place.
This doesn’t mean you should stop the program if it brings up difficult feelings for you, since connecting with and allowing these emotions to be released from your body is one of the purposes of the program. It’s about making sure the feelings that are coming up are manageable for you. If you find yourself having a hard time dealing with what’s coming up, it’s important that you NOT try to push your way through anything that is too difficult for you.
The level of emotional difficulty you may encounter during Ally is related to a number of things, including:
o How familiar and comfortable you are experiencing and managing emotions. If you tend to have a hard time allowing yourself to experience and express emotions, then the things that come up for you during Ally may be particularly difficult to manage.
o How much you have dealt with your past. If you’ve tried to push away or “forget about” your past and “leave it behind you”, you may encounter more difficulty allowing the things your body has been holding onto to release and come to your awareness.
o The level of trauma and challenge you’ve encountered in your life. The more personally threatening and difficult your past has been, the more difficult the emotions may be to manage when they arise.
o How your nervous system responds to emotions. We each have a unique nervous system that processes emotions in its own unique way. Some are quite resilient, while others are more sensitive. So the way that your specific nervous system manages emotions will determine your experience as you go through Ally.
So how do you know if what you’re experiencing is too much? If you find yourself experiencing any of the following things, please slow down, take care of yourself, and depending on the severity of the symptoms, consider seeking professional help:
- Insomnia or increased difficulty sleeping
- Increased numbing behaviors like drinking, overeating, watching too much TV or playing too many video games, etc.
- Disabling or worsening anxiety or depression
- Irritability or emotional over-reactivity
- Any thoughts of self-harm
- Any other thoughts or behaviors that decrease your ability to function in your life
Please take my advice about seeking professional mental health care seriously if you start struggling during Ally!!
Many people tend to go into hunker down and tough it out mode when they start struggling emotionally, especially if they carry judgment about feelings. But if you do this, it will effectively reinforce the holding patterns in your body, reducing or even eliminating the possibility of change and pain relief.
So if you start struggling emotionally, the most effective thing you can do for yourself is to seek professional help with someone who can help you and your nervous system navigate the feelings that are arising. THIS will give you the best possibility of finally relieving this pain you’ve been struggling with.
Another reason seeking professional help is important is because many of the deepest wounds we suffer happen in isolation. We don’t have help at the time to deal with it (and that is part of the reason that it gets buried in the body), and we are left to try to deal with it alone. Healing from this kind of wound can only happen in relationship. And a trained professional is able to help you heal on this level as well.
Taking all of this into account, be thoughtful about how you progress through the remainder of the content in Ally. Listen to yourself and your body by monitoring how you’re doing emotionally, take good care of yourself, and only move through the content in Ally as quickly as you can comfortably tolerate. You will not gain anything by pushing yourself. You will not heal more quickly. Remember … you can’t make grass grow faster by pulling on it!
And if you do start struggling emotionally, please don’t judge yourself. It is not a character flaw if strong feelings are arising for you that are difficult to be with! It’s more an indicator that your nervous system is having difficulty processing the things you’re reconnecting with. So please use it as an opportunity to be kind and gentle with yourself, and get the support you need.