Most people experience feelings of tightness in the chest or heart area from time to time.
If you can recognize these feelings for what they are and deal with them before they grow out of proportion, you will have a powerful way to stay centered and healthy during challenging times.
Personal Growth System
Label the feeling
Close your eyes and focus your attention on the feeling. If you had to describe it as an object, what would you say the feeling resembles? Does it have a shape (f.e. a circle, a cone, a cylinder...), a color (red, black, orange...), other character traits (f.e. feels like flames, needles...)?
Sit with the feeling
Don't push the feeling away. Just sit with it compassionately. Experience what it does as you watch it more closely. Can you play with the object mentally? Can you hold it in your hand, like you are playing with a ball? Try to do this in your imagination. These feelings don't like it when they are being watched.
Usually, this will already create a shift in the tightness you experience.
Put space between you and the feeling
Although this emotion is inside of you, it is not you. Your mind and body have created it, probably below the threshold of your conscious awareness. Now you have to deal with it.
If you created it, and you are aware of it, you can also make it go away by seeing it for what it is. Because awareness transcends what it is aware of.
Unveil the mental model that created the feeling
Every effect has a cause. A mental program that you are subconsciously running created the issue that you are facing. Take pen and paper and try to write out:
1) what triggered the activation of the mental model
2) what this mental program could be
For example: trigger = someone rubbed you the wrong way -> process = you want to be liked and appreciated by everyone -> outcome = you feel anxious because you're not liked by this person.
Evaluate the mental model
You will never have control over all the triggers that come your way, so you have to evaluate your mental model and replace it with a better one. Write down what this could look like.
For example: trigger = someone rubs me the wrong way -> process = I am good enough just the way I am, and no one is going to change that -> outcome = I accept that I will never be liked by everyone, and I am totally OK with this.
Let it go
Bless the feeling, bless yourself for having had the courage to look inside yourself, and just let it go. It can't hold its power over you if you just let it go. Imagine it flowing out of the center of you.
This process requires work and practice, but you will improve over time. The quicker you can recognize and catch the tightness in your chest (…) as it arises, the easier it is to let it go, and the less it will control you.
You got this!