anger, emotions, fear, grief, journaling, light running, meditation, movies & tv shows, processing, shifts

Letting go of emotions using TV and movies

Holy cats, the energies are high right now! Everyone has SO much coming to the surface and it can be incredibly uncomfortable…

But what is really going on?

You may or may not realize this, but when we have emotions come up and we can deal with those emotions in a few different ways. We can choose to be stoic and stuff all of the craziness. We can puke them up all over everyone while blaming others for how we feel. Or we can work toward gracefully feeling our emotions so that they can move out.

When we choose to stuff or blame, our emotions don’t go away – even if you can’t tell they are around anymore. They just stay in your body waiting to sneak out at the most inopportune time.

  • For example, you’re trying to get your kids to listen to you. You’re normally kind and caring. And then you snap. You find yourself yelling at them for what seems like no reason.
  • Maybe it’s feeling terrified in a situation that makes no sense. You’d never be scared normally in this situation!
  • Or maybe you are normally very even keep emotionally, but you watch a commercial that brings you to tears – that just don’t stop.

All of these are examples of us having stuffed our emotions. And then the right situation comes up and BOOM! It’s time to start facing up to them NOW!

No worries, though. Once you start to dig into some of those emotions and let them surface and process them out, you can start to feel more balanced, less whacky.

Some of these ways to process emotions require you to dig a little deeper, really expose yourself. This is a wonderful way to get to them! You can meditate, journal, have some energy work done, do yoga, run, acupuncture, and about a million other ways….

But as incredibly and helpful as these other options are, and you’re looking for ways that are a bit “easier”. Ways that you may not have to focus and dig as deep – but ways that still go very deep.

One of these ways is to watch TV!

No, wait. Don’t laugh. Okay, you can laugh, but don’t discount this powerful option…

I’m sure you’ve either reached for a comedy to help you feel “better” – or had that as a suggestion. But my suggestions are a little different.

While that can be really helpful when we’re wallowing in our grief, a more powerful way to move those old emotions is to match the movie or TV show with what we’re processing through. And by doing this, we can allow those emotions to surface and start to move through them in a safer, easier way than having them come up during your business meetings or with your family.

But before I list some of my favorite shows and movies, let’s look at choosing. It’s going to be tempting, if you’ve just gotten your heart broken, to reach for a tearjerker of someone else who got their heart broken. But it’s not so much about having the storyline match, but rather just the emotions themselves. When we watch someone else on the screen, it could be helpful to cry with them as we see them get their hearts broken, but it could also be too painful or we may tend to wallow.

So choosing the movie or TV show based on your emotion and not your storyline can be just as helpful. After all, grief is still grief – regardless of how it’s being brought up.

And again, before I make a nice little list for you, let’s talk about emotions. You may be feeling overwhelmed, distraught and have about 10,000 emotions up and unable to choose a movie or show because of that. Instead, boil it down to three emotions:

  • Anger
  • Fear
  • Grief

Think of them like the 3 primary colors that you can mix together to see how you’re feeling.

  • Envy = fear + grief + anger
  • Hesitance  = diluted fear
  • Terror = very strong fear
  • Rage = very strong anger
  • Not good emotion = fear + grief

We could argue over my mixtures, but that’s not necessary. Those are how I feel those emotions. You may experience them in a different way… and that’s totally fine. But hopefully that’ll get you started.

Finally, as you read through the list, you’ll notice that I don’t share with you any of MY reactions to those shows. Primarily because you may get furious while watching something that brings up tremendous grief for me. (Yeah, that’s my go-to emotion.) And rather than copy all the descriptions over to here, I’ll let you swing over to Netflix, Amazon, your local DVD store or wherever and see the previews and read the descriptions and hopefully you’ll find the perfect show or movie to help you move past your emotional buildup!

  • Marcella (Netflix)
  • Top of the Lake (Netflix)
  • Happy Valley (Netflix)
  • Broadchurch (Netflix)
  • Cutthroat Kitchen (Netflix) (this is a lighter, more fun show, although I get irritated at the choices so I can let go of some mild anger)
  • The Accused (Acorn on Roku) (contains many different shows all with different actors)
  • Suspects (Acorn)
  • A Place to Call Home (Acorn)
  • Legends (Amazon)
  • Colony (Amazon, Hulu)
  • The Expanse (Amazon, Hulu)
  • The Detectorists (Amazon, Acorn) (sweet comedy that’s pretty short and good for lightening the mood while still being able to process)
  • Impossible (?) (Great movie for fear, feeling overwhelmed – yeah, I know I wasn’t going to describe, but that felt appropriate!)

That should get you started! I’ll post more as I remember them…

In a future post, I’ll share with you a movie and HOW I dug deeper to really look at my triggers and release my emotions. That may be helpful for you to see how to do this a bit more mindfully!

But in the meantime, see if this way of processing emotions is helpful for you.

And remember, if you would like to share shows and movies that you enjoy and that you feel help you release emotions, I’d love to have you list them below! My list has a lot of dark, stormy stuff and it may not appeal as much to you… So let me know what you like!


What are you thoughts? I would love you to share them over on Facebook with me!

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