Processing Emotions to Overcome Struggle and Trauma
As human beings, our emotions and feelings are an integral part of our lives. They shape our experiences and the way we interact with the world around us. Emotions are complex, and each person experiences them differently. However, one thing that is common to all of us is that we all go through negative emotions such as disappointment, anger, or fear at some point in our lives.
These emotions can be difficult to handle, and many people tend to avoid them and push them aside. However, avoiding emotions can lead to unresolved trauma and prolonged suffering. Especially when it comes to teenagers and young people. Therefore, it's essential to lead by example, and allow ourselves to feel our emotions fully and process them in a healthy way... and give teenagers opportunities and tools to express their emotions fully too.
The mind-body connection
There is a close relationship between our mind and body. Our physical health can affect our mental health and vice versa. For instance, when we feel stressed or anxious, our bodies release cortisol, which can lead to physical symptoms such as:
Blurred eyesight or sore eyes.
Muscle aches and headaches.
Chest pains and high blood pressure.
Indigestion or heartburn.
On the other hand, physical exercise has been shown to have a positive effect on mental health. Exercise releases endorphins, which are natural chemicals that make us feel good. It also helps reduce stress and anxiety and improves our mood.
Therefore, it's crucial to take care of both our physical and mental health. Eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep [7-9hours per night], and exercising regularly can help improve our mental health, and reduce the impact of negative emotions, and stressful situations.
The effects of childhood experiences on mental health
Our childhood experiences can have a significant impact on our mental health. Adverse Childhood Experiences [ACE's] such as abuse, neglect, or witnessing violence can lead to long-term mental health problems such as anxiety and depression, as well as a host of physical illnesses, or even suicide.
Therefore, it's essential to identify and address childhood trauma to prevent its long-term effects. Finding a good therapist, mentor or coach can be a useful tool in helping individuals process their childhood experiences and develop coping strategies to manage negative emotions.
The sooner this takes place: the better.
Which is where music and songwriting come in.
Handling stress, overwhelm and anxiety
Stress is a common trigger for negative emotions such as anxiety and depression. Therefore, it's essential to learn how to handle stress effectively.
There are several ideas for handling stress, including:
Practicing mindfulness - Mindfulness involves paying attention to the present moment without judgment. It can help reduce stress and improve mental well-being.
Exercising - Regular physical exercise can help reduce stress and improve mood.
Getting enough sleep - Lack of sleep can lead to increased stress levels and negatively affect mental health.
Connecting with others - Social support can help reduce stress and improve mental well-being.
Taking breaks - Taking regular breaks can help reduce stress and improve productivity.
Practicing relaxation techniques - Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, and yoga can help reduce stress and promote relaxation.
Relating to others - Positive social interactions can help reduce stress and improve mood. Therefore, it's essential to develop healthy relationships with others.
Expressing gratitude - Expressing gratitude can help improve mood and build positive relationships with others.
Practicing forgiveness - Forgiveness involves letting go of anger and resentment towards others. It can help improve relationships and promote positive emotions.
Believe it or not, the art of writing music and songs encapsulates each of these stress-managing practices perfectly. How?
Mindfulness - With the right coaching, the art of mindfulness can help a teen songwriter maintain focus on the present moment, and utilize the safety of the moment to both show up authentically, and create from that sense of safety.
Exercising - Once a song is written - and even recorded - it's hard to listen to a piece of music without wanting to move, dance or sway.
Getting enough sleep - Overwhelming thoughts are often the culprit of insomnia. Who hasn't struggled with late night thoughts keeping us awake at night? By writing those thoughts out on to paper, and turning them into a song that addresses those overwhelming thoughts: people [especially teenagers] can start to sleep better at night.
Connecting with, and relating to others - Music, whether it's listening to music, singing songs together, or co-writing, increases our levels of dopamine, which is our bonding hormone. Entire communities can be established through music [hello Gaga's Little Monsters, or Beyonce's Beyhive, or the famous Dead Heads].
Taking breaks - Creativity is oftentimes brought on by times of stillness. We need to take breaks within the monotony or busyness of life and business in order to write music.
Practicing relaxation techniques - Music has been proven time and time again to relax us.
Expressing gratitude - Again, with the right coaching: songwriting can be a fantastic tool in helping teen songwriters in particular shift their focus from the stressors in their lives to the things they can be grateful for as a result from the stress.
Practicing forgiveness - Similar to point 7: songwriting can be a fantastic tool for prayer, manifestation, unsaid communication, and forgiveness.
Using music and songwriting as a tool to overcome struggle, stress, and trauma can be incredibly effective... with the right coaching and support. Songwriting can help to process emotions and turn them into something beautiful and empowering. It allows you to express yourself and connect with others who may be going through similar experiences.
If you or your teen is struggling with negative emotions and want some help in processing them, consider using music and songwriting as a tool. You can also book a free discovery call with me here to learn more about how I use music as a tool to help people overcome trauma and empower themselves.
As a coach, I have used implementing these techniques and tools for years now. Here's an example of one of my first private Empowerment through Music songwriting clients, Sydney Witt who worked with me to write an album of personal anthems to remind herself that she is not her anxiety. The process of writing thirteen songs even helped her application to get into The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts.
Keep creating - and I look forward to speaking with you soon!