When Emotions Get Stuck

When Emotions Get Stuck

Sometimes when we’re processing big emotions, especially if we’re no longer numbing them with the use of alcohol, those emotions can get a little “stuck.” They linger a little longer, are a little harder to move through, and require a little extra attention. This is a very normal part of life and living alcohol-free. Though sometimes these stuck emotions simply take time, there are also many tools we can utilize to help them along.


One of the most helpful tools to move "stuck" emotions is movement. Movement allows for a physical shifting of energy, provides our brains with dopamine, and is positive for our overall physical health. This can be as simple as taking a walk, standing up and stretching if you’ve been sitting for a long time, or getting down on the floor to play with your kids. Movement can also be more intense, like running, weight lifting, or a spin class. If you choose movement to help clear stagnant emotions, take a quick inventory of how your body feels and choose something that honors your energy. Gentle movement can still be incredibly effective for shifting energy and emotions.

Identify and eliminate numbing tools

Another helpful practice when emotions get stuck is to identify and eliminate anything you might be numbing with in the place of alcohol. Because we have grown accustomed to blunting feelings and emotions with booze, sometimes we replace that with other things like food, social media, television, or sugar. These replacements can leave us feeling just as stuck as we did with alcohol, and once we are able to identify them, we can then replace them with healthy tools that improve our mood.