Ever wonder if you’re stuffing your emotions?
Now, I don’t mean stuffing your emotions with turkey dinner (although, yes; we’ve all been there). I mean truly having an emotional up-rising and knowingly burying it. Essentially not feeling it ….to not deal with it.
Your emotions are highly connected to your body. Your body feels the emotion first, and then your pesky intellect intercepts and rips it into bite-sized pieces of logic. In other words, your unconscious mind automatically knows how to feel. Your body then feels the emotion (sometimes without your knowledge) and acts out accordingly. And finally, your conscious mind snaps back and makes reason out of feelings.
Let’s make sense of this.
Hilary Jacobs Hendel has something to say about this topic. She is a certified psychoanalyst and AEDP psychotherapist and author of “It’s Not Always Depression” (which I’m rapidly digesting on Audible at the moment!). She writes on TIME.com:
“Emotions have energy that pushes up for expression, and to tamp them down, our minds and bodies use creative tactics — including muscular constriction and holding our breath.”– Hilary Jacobs Hendel https://bit.ly/2GYhv0E
Ever notice your breath shortening or your shoulders tightening? This could be your subconscious emotions sending your body reactions that you’re not bringing awareness to. It’s also possible that you’ve been sitting with your fists balled up in frustration, having no knowledge of what you’re feeling in that moment. Everyone’s caught themselves here, where you proceed to talk yourself down from whatever bodily twist you’ve got yourself into!
Speak about it, or lose the opportunity to off-load your stress.
Spoken by a true expert, Dr. Allan Schwartz (LCSW, Ph.D.) mentions something fundamental for dumping what is on your mind (and in your body) out into the world:
“Words are symbolic representations for how we feel, what we think and what we are experiencing. Many great psychologists and psychiatrists have written about their observations that verbal communication is a way for people to mitigate the impact of the stresses to which life subjects them.” — Allan Schwartz (LCSW, PH.D.) https://bit.ly/2VgLyVw
We know by now that restoring good mental health can help prevent sickness and disease.
And that the mind and body is far more connected than we originally thought. But what some people may not know is that by talking about your stresses, you actually help relieve symptoms of the stress itself.
Coaches, counsellors and psychologists want you to talk about what’s on your mind. By doing so, you hear yourself verbalize things that were deeply locked away. And a funny thing happens when you do this: you make discoveries about yourself you had no idea about. The best way to accomplish these little nuggets of self-discovery is by talking through it, one step at a time.
So what to do about these pesky emotions and their lack of control in your body?
Letting yourself actually FEEL is a good start. When we stuff our emotional uprisings, we’re doing a disservice to our mind and body. It’s unhealthy to hold back your anger or pretend like your disappointment isn’t there. The same goes for celebration. For example, when we hold back being happy because our friend is having a horrible day, we are completely killing our own joy.
There are many ways to balance feelings within your body, and your feelings in relation to others. Start by talking more and sharing your experiences; you owe it to yourself to take this up as your next skill to master in 2019!
For more information on this topic, check out our 5 Detox Barriers Program to understand how these barriers are preventing you from a kick-ass life.
Originally published at lifetox.ca on February 28, 2019.