It is in our innate nature to escape pain. Regardless of what form of pain it may be, we prefer to run away from it. With our emotions, we do the same thing, we try to escape all our negative and painful feelings by suppressing it and bottling it up. By trying to ignore it. By trying to keep ourselves busy in our day to day lives so that we don’t have to think about it, and so we don’t give ourselves the chance to feel these emotions.
By doing this however, we are inviting ourselves to a whole range of even more negative ‘side effects’ of suppressing emotions. We become depressed, we suffer from anxiety, we become short tempered and agitated, we feel restless and always stressed. Life seems exhausting and everything starts to take it’s toll on us both physically and mentally.
For both our health and the quality of our life, it is incumbent to learn how to release these negative emotions so that they do not consume us.
Below are steps to productively release your pent up feelings:
First step we should always take when faced with emotional turmoil, is to do the opposite of what our mind wants to do. It wants to escape, ignore and suppress. So we do the very opposite. Allow yourself to accept what your feelings. All of it. Let your mind recognise each emotion that is taking place within you. Whether it be anger, sadness, guilt, sorrow. Let yourself feel it fully. Then let the physical manifestation of that emotion follow. If you feel sadness and you want to cry, then allow yourself to cry. By acceptiong your emotions and allowing your heart to express them, and your mind to figure them out, you’re no longer hiding. You’re no longer letting it pile up. You’re actually becoming stronger as you are forcing yourself to face your negative emotions and not hide them.
Keeping a journal!
Creating a journal where you make it a habit to write down your thoughts and feelings everyday is another effective way of letting your feelings out. Although it sounds simple, writing is an effective and therapeutic way of getting it all out of you. Doing this everyday is also beneficial as you can track your thought patterns. The fact that it’s a personal journal is also comforting knowing it is confidential.
Talking to someone you can trust
Sounds like a no brainer, but it’s usually something we don’t do often enough. We might feel embaressed to share our feelings with someone else, especially if suppressing our emotions is something we started doing from childhood as our coping method. It might feel awkward and difficult to share it with someone else, even if it’s someone we know we can trust. We might also feel like we’ll get them worried unnecessarily. But really, verbalising our emotions and sharing it with someone, and in return hearing their viewpoints on it, with any solutions they may share, is in itself both a way of releasing our feelings, and finding a source of comfort. Especially if that person understands us and has experienced these emotions themselves.
It is a proven fact that exercise does many positve wonders for our whole being. Everyone is aware of the physical benefits of exercise, but it is also a powerful way of altering our emotional wellbeing too. Our brains release serotonin, dopamine and endorphins. These three chemicals both improves our mood and protects our mind from mental health disorders. Exercise is also great for releasing physical tension which is caused by stress. Such as tensed up and aching muscles. Strenous exercise such as resistance training or weight lifting fir example, is also a effective way of releasing stress and anger. Whereas yoga is perfect for calming the mind. Even a quick jog can feel mentally exhilarating. It’s like a mind-body-soul detox!
These are proactive and powerful ways to break the destructive habit of suppressing your emotions. Follow these steps and make these your coping methods with everything negative that you feel. The quality of your life will improve and so will your emotional health.