We’ve dived into emotions, their representations of your thoughts and how they affect your digestive system.

Now let’s look at unresolved emotions and where they go.


Our body is a vessel that carries our consciousness and being through life. Everything is generated inside our body, including our thoughts, emotions, feelings, sensations and ailments. When we view our emotions as representations of thoughts, it’s worth considering that those emotions have energy to them; they’re different strengths and flavours. Some pass on by without us needing to engage with them, but others, especially when they are repetitive, persistent and negative in nature, need an action to be taken towards them otherwise they just sit there, stagnant and unresolved.

Stuffing them down, sweeping them under the carpet, ignoring them and pushing them away all take a great deal of energy to keep them wherever we’ve stored them. But just like a beach ball that we push under water and have to work hard to hold down, those unresolved emotions will explode to the surface the moment you let go. It’s easy to fathom then just how much energy it takes to keep them pushed down.


Emotions aren’t tangible objects you pack into a box and store under the stairs or in the attic. You can’t just sweep them into a dustpan or out the front door. Emotions are energy within you and when you push that energy aside, you’re doing so inside your own body.

That’s not healthy my friends. They don’t belong as a lump in your throat or as tension in your neck. They absolutely shouldn’t live in the pit of your stomach or the depths of your bowel. You can get away with that a couple of times, but if that’s how you’re managing more frequently, you’re at risk of getting sick.


People often put on weight when they’re deeply unhappy and stressed. They’re eating their feelings (with or without cake) rather than attending to them. Hey, there’s no judgment here. There’s some great satisfaction in woofing down a piece of cheesecake to numb the pain. It works! But only short-term.  If you’re now storing those pizzas and chocolates on your waist or thighs, you can bet your bottom dollar that your body is also holding the very emotion you swallowed them with.

We are super clever at tucking away, ignoring and dismissing our feelings. Sometimes they can be too painful to feel; it’s OK to let them settle and revisit later when they’re more manageable. Sometimes they’re complicated and need the help of another to unpack them. And sometimes we just don’t recognise exactly what they are or what they relate to. We might not even know how to name them. We’re an intricately complicated bunch, us humans, and each of us has our very own way we get on in the world that makes sense to us.


We need to make more space in our body, not less. Think about a dense mountain forest that you’re navigating through. Weaving through, under and over obstacles, you make your body smaller to fit and navigate the terrain. When you reach a clearing or the mountaintop, you can spread out, take a deep breath and drink in the spaciousness and expansiveness around you.

The space is around us but we also experience it within us.

Your body responds the same way when you resolve emotions and circumstances that have been stored somewhere within it.  It loves space. It heals with space.


When you look at your newborn, where do you feel it?

Your body

When you fall in love, where do you feel it?

Your body

When a loved one passes away, where do you feel it?

Your body

When you have a fiery argument with your partner, where do you feel it?

Your body

The fact that we are human means we are gifted with a range of emotions from incredible to crap. Unfortunately we are feeling the shitty ones more frequently as we try to keep from drowning in life as it is now. We’re not designed to feel this much stress, anxiety, angst, irritation, sadness, anger and rage, in the intensity and frequency we do.  It comes at a cost to our system physically and emotionally, and if we don’t respond effectively, our bodies have no choice but to give way.

Feelings are powerful. They are a wonderful and accurate feedback system. We want to be friends with our emotions and give them permission to be here. By allowing our emotions to be present, we give up resistance and begin creating more space. If I read the world correctly, I’m pretty certain we all want and needmore space. You can get that happening right now within you.

About the author

Michelle White offers 10 years of clinical support in the psychological and behavioural aspects of gut disorders, chronic stress and anxiety and chronic illness through gut focused therapy and embodied psychotherapy.