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The mornings in my house are typically quiet. My kids and I are glued to our computers between school and work and the dogs often lay by our sides or curl up next to a heating vent and snooze away the morning.
But the other morning Millie (my girl dog) was howling. A lot! Sometimes this happens if she sees someone or something outside. But on this day, she was laying on a bean bag chair underneath our ping pong table just howling away.
Every time I went to check on her, nothing appeared wrong and she would quiet after I gave her a little affection. But a few minutes later the howling would start up again.
I never discovered the true cause of Millie’s discomfort, but I decided to use it as a reminder of needing an extreme or excessive outlet sometimes. Much like a volcano brewing for years before it erupts, our emotions will eventually boil over as well if we don’t provide an alternative outlet.
Be it yelling, screaming, punching, kicking, or singing loudly, we sometimes need some form of extreme release. We need some way to physically help emotions leave our bodies. A favorite choice of mine is driving fast on the highway with a favorite song turned up as loudly as possible and singing at the top of my lungs. I actually do this sometimes even when I have nowhere to go.
I can also get a good release on the treadmill by sprinting until my body can’t go any faster. If I really push myself physically, it’s not uncommon for me to end up in tears. It’s a natural response and a release of emotions for me.
I taught aerobic kickboxing for a few years and learned to love the punching and kicking. I have a “Dammit Doll” a friend gave me that is intended to give you something to hit things with or throw that won’t damage anything. I’ve also screamed into a pillow on occasion.
All of these things are variations of an adult volcano room. A volcano room is sometimes used with children experiencing grief or trauma. It’s a room padded for protection and filled with balls, styrofoam pool noodles, and anything to hit, punch, throw, or somehow get out anger. Sometimes there are old phone books to rip out the pages and anything else you can think of that could provide some sort of physical release for emotions.
With children, they often can’t articulate or verbally express what they are feeling. A volcano room provides an opportunity for them to express feelings in another way. Even as adults, finding the right words can be hard sometimes. So finding a form of physical release can help cleanse us of whatever we might have been holding tightly inside.
We have to release our energy and emotions. If we hold them in for too long they will fester and invade our thoughts, hearts, and minds. Sometimes we can do this through talking or writing, but other times it might require some form of physical release. Much like a volcano, if we don’t release our emotions and thoughts in some way, they will eventually erupt.
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Stevie Cromer is the Cultural and Enrichment Manager for LUNA Language Services. Stevie regularly provides engaging content to LUNA’s team to encourage a culture of care within our own LUNA family. For more suggestions and resources about how you might build a culture of care throughout your organization, please reach out to Stevie at stevie@LUNA360.com.