This zapchen exercise can help you express some of the more difficult emotions without tensing up nearly as much as you normally would.
Here's how "talking funny" works: Gently press the end of your tongue up against the back of your bottom teeth. Leave your tongue there, keeping it soft. And talk.
Or try to.
It will sound really absurd. Do it anyway. You can talk about how absurd you feel, or what you've been doing today. You could also try talking about something that is upsetting you. You will probably end up laughing--I think that's part of the idea. So laugh. Then talk funny some more.
This exercise also helps relax the tongue, flexes the palate, opens up just a bit more circulation at the base of the brain, and generally helps reduce tension as you acknowledge what is bothering you.
But as zapchen creator Julie Henderson notes: "Talking funny is not the same thing as loss of compassion--not at all a way of making fun of suffering." While laughing at someone else's suffering is almost never kind or helpful, in my experience a compassionate and tender sense of humor towards one's own foibles and struggles can go a long way towards easing the pain of life.
You can always do this by yourself. But I also suggest trying a two-way "talking funny" conversation with someone you know and love. I guarantee a lot of smiles, if not some outright belly laughs. It might even help you make it around the corner of some uncomfortable topic you need to discuss.
In any case, I hope you enjoy yourself.
This tool is from the sixth Toolkit. Here's a link to the Index of all toolkits. And The Mini-Toolkit: For Those with Little or No Time.
Until next time,
Laughing girl, Eye for Ebony, unSplash