Healthier Ways to Digest Emotions

4 min Article Meditation & Mindfulness
Become aware of your internal communication system when someone enters your sacred space.
Healthier Ways to Digest Emotions

We have two digestive systems within us.

The first one is our physical digestive system. It works despite us.

The second one is our emotional digestive system. This one we have some control over — but only once we become aware of it.

We know that if our physical digestive system is healthy, then once we eat a meal or a snack, our body absorbs and uses all the nutrients that it needs from that meal. It then breaks everything down and automatically nourishes and feeds our cells. Whatever is not useful or necessary is then eliminated. For the most part, it functions really well and keeps us healthy.

The emotional digestive system, on the other hand, is a little trickier. It, too, works despite us. It absorbs almost every encounter that we have, be it a conversation, an email, an incident, an experience. Just like food travels through our body, our encounters become part of us.

If we have a heathy emotional digestive system, we should be able to take what is not essential, healthy or helpful and follow the lead of our physical digestive system, eliminating all the “junk” by completely flushing it out of our system once and for all.

If we are able to understand and acknowledge that we have an emotional digestive system, then we become conscious of what we are holding onto. We allow ourselves to develop a plan to establish a healthy emotional digestive system. To absorb that which is beneficial to us and release that which is not.

Creating a Healthy Emotional Digestive System

To digest optimally, follow this lifestyle plan:

     • Be conscious of what you are taking in

     • Be conscious of what comes out of your mouth

     • Listen before talking

     • Take a moment to pause and breathe before responding

Do you listen before you speak? Photo: Christina Morillo/Pexels

Become aware of your internal communication system (feelings and thoughts) when someone enters your sacred space. Do you feel safe and calm or defensive and edgy? Is your heart racing? Is there a pounding in your ears? These are all indications that your emotional digestive system is absorbing the moment and reacting, just like you would if your body was having a reaction to food that was not good for you or that you were allergic to.

When you take heed of this, you now have an opportunity to respond and build up a healthy emotional digestive system.

Sometimes, we eat something and it’s tough — we need to chew on it a bit longer before we can swallow. It takes some work. We don’t just swallow; we know that is not safe or healthy. We don’t just spit it out (there could be some yumminess we’d miss out on). We patiently chew on it before we swallow, before we absorb it, before we take it in.

Once we swallow, our body then goes to work absorbing, nourishing or eliminating.

This is the same with our emotional digestive system. Sometimes things come to us that are tough or difficult, but we have to deal with them. You could react, spit it out, throw it away. But the bitterness still leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

If you are enjoying the moment, notice how your body feels good — it takes all that goodness in and stores it as a reminder of good times.

So maybe instead of reacting to an encounter, we can chew on it, break it down, contemplate, reflect and see it for what it is. We are then able to absorb what we need and eliminate what we don’t.

Sometimes we just need to chew a little bit harder.

Take the time. Don't just spit it out because perhaps there is something beneficial there. Swallow and absorb what is beneficial to you and then eliminate what is not.

Chew your experiences with the same enthusiasm a dog chews a stick. Photo: Erik Odiin/Unsplash

Food for Thought

It all starts with simple awareness. With this, you then have the ability to transform, to evolve and to take in what you need — but only after a thorough act of chewing (refection) and swallowing (accepting). We can then embrace what we need and eliminate what we don’t, without attaching, holding and grasping.

When you start developing a healthy emotional digestive system, you not only feel lighter, but you appear brighter to others. You become a beacon of light.

It’s not a case of you are what you eat — it’s more a case of you are what you choose to keep.

Try this class, Drop Negativity on the Spot, by meditation teacher Almeiri Santos, to learn how to access the feeling of love and let it radiate inside of you.

Header photo: AleksandarNakic/E+/Getty Images

About the Teacher

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars

After starting her career as a lawyer in Southern Africa in 1996, Nicolle Kopping-Pavars immigrated to Canada in 2008 with her husband, 1-year-old son and three suitcases. She had to completely rebuild her career in order to become accredited in her new country. She was successful in doing so, but something was missing. “Even though I was doing what I loved and what I believe I was called to do, I started sensing something dark lurking in the depths of my soul and I didn’t like it,” she says. Thus began her personal self-development journey, in which she read a lot, attended mindfulness retreats and workshops, and became a reiki practitioner. Although she was feeling better, she looked around at her colleagues, all of whom were stressed and overwhelmed, and felt she could do something more. From there, Nicolle committed to a yearlong teacher training certification focused on mindfulness in law, and in 2017, she went to Thailand for two weeks to deepen her practice and study with the monks in the northern part of Thailand. She furthered her teacher training by taking an intense teacher training course in the Forest Monk Therevada tradition. Nicolle founded Lotus-Law to introduce meditation, mindfulness and emotional intelligence to the legal profession and to the public at large. In 2020, Nicolle rebranded her practice as the Transformational Lawyer, through which she brings all her disciplines — law, reiki, energy work, crystals and mindfulness — under one umbrella.
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