It is unhealthy to keep emotions bottled inside us without a means of release. Same goes for thoughts. A study done by Daniel Wegner, Ph.D., shows just how unhealthy suppressing these feelings is. In his study, he asked a group of people to push away thoughts about a white bear, and another to think of any thoughts, even those including a white bear. Those asked to not think about the white bear actually had more thoughts about the white bear than those who were allowed to think of anything.
Not releasing emotions and dealing with them can lead to negative effects. Some people suppress negative thoughts and emotions by turning to alcohol and drugs as a means to cope. Others bottle it inside until they explode in extreme manners like angry outbursts. I myself have dealt with suppressing my negative emotions. I hating feeling these feelings of sadness, angry, guilt, etc, so instead I blocked these thoughts and feelings instead of embracing them at their given moments and releasing these emotions in a healthy manner. The problem was, I was also blocking out feelings of happiness and joy. It sort of corresponds with my last post about balance. You can’t have good without the bad, and visa versa, so when I was blocking out the bad, I was in return blocking out the good. And this lead me to a very unhappy time in my life where I felt numb and resorted to unhealthy habits just to feel anything.
Releasing emotions isn’t all about negative emotions. If you think about it, when we are positive, we tend to release as well. We laugh and smile. I follow the principle of energy. When negative energy is inside us, being a thought or feeling, it should be expressed, not repressed. Otherwise this negativity will stay inside of us and be absorbed. When we have positive energy within us, we should do this as well, though most of us tend to do this easier than expressing the negative emotions.
Here are some healthy ways to express your emotions and thoughts:
1. Talking about them: It’s a great way to get advice or have some positive feedback from someone. It also can help strengthen a deeper connection within your relationships.
2. Creative expression: drawing, painting, singing, poetry, dance, and making music are all healthy ways to channel your emotions creatively. The plus is that you can create something beautiful from that hurt and pain.
3. Writing in a Journal: Maybe talking to someone about your feelings is too much. Writing about it is another way to get those feelings out of you. This also empowers you to reflect on your feelings and overcome your own obstacles.
4. Working out: Angry? Hit a punching bag. Sad? Go for a run. Exercise is a wonderful tool to not only keep your mind healthy, but your body as well.
As always, have a happy day. Peace and love.