Do you think you handle your emotions well? Many people would say yes because they aren’t known for frequent outbursts, sudden watershed moments, and feel a general sense of calm throughout most days. The lack of heightened emotional moments doesn’t mean that someone is handling their emotions well though – they could simply be bottling them up. This is an effective short term strategy in the same vein as kicking a can down the road instead of picking it up. You’re eventually going to reach the problem again and it may be a little more dirty when you do! Bottling up our emotions doesn’t address any of the root causes that made them occur – and they are bound to happen again. Storing these feelings in can feel like a solution in the moment but more often that not it leads to all of these emotions pouring out at the same time. Fortunately, it is fairly easy to tell when you are bottling up and there are ways to improve how you process your emotions. We take a look at a few here.
Anxiety isn’t a fun thing to feel. It holds a cloud of nerves over your head at all times. Everything feels a little off. Bottling up our emotions is a natural builder of anxiety as we are trying to suppress our thoughts and feelings instead of working through them. As much as we deny what we are experiencing, the brain is still going to be working through what happened and what we are feeling as a result even if it’s on a more subconscious level. If you are feeling increased anxiety you may want to reflect and see if you are ignoring any emotions.
Are you always running about from one task to another? Or maybe you are a social butterfly who finds themselves at a new event every evening. While these aren’t sure signs of bottling emotions, people who are always rushing from one thing to another are often found to be avoiding emotional stresses. Staying busy allows us to take our mind off of our troubles in the moment so many people aim to stay busy nearly all the time to keep their stresses away. Take a moment to pause and reflect on if this could apply to your life.
While it would be nice if our emotional concerns remained separate from our physical health, that is not how our bodies work. Stress and anxiety can take a major toll on the body, and the longer that the symptoms aren’t address the worse they will get. Some major signs of untreated stress include weight loss then gaining weight, digestion problems, headaches, and foggy brain/forgetfulness.
As you can see, ignoring your emotions is a sure way to add to your problems in the future. There is always time to change your mentality and handle your stresses in a healthy way, and today is a great day to start!
Cover image from Andrea Piacquadio