Why suppressing emotions is never the answer

5 ways to better cope

We’ve all done it, we’ve all opted to suppress feelings to avoid feeling pain; or at least I believe most of us have. It’s a means to survival, a way to push through when you are under the impression you don’t have the time or energy to deal with the pain you’re feeling inside. 

 

Unfortunately, I have come to know from experience, it is most certainly never the answer and will come back to bite you in the bum. Growing up in the Middle East, I was introduced to avoidance and ‘shoving things under the rug’ as tools to cope with life’s events, or even tools to maintain a certain ‘image’ if you will, whatever that means. I learnt from those around me, even from members of my own family, the art of perfecting both avoidance and suppression. And it’s nobody’s fault, we just didn’t know any better; until now.

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While It may seem to help in the moment, or in the short run, suppressing your emotions most definitely is not the solution for a life of both strong physical and mental health.

 

The suppression of our emotions can be done in various ways and can take many shapes and forms; It can even be unconscious. 

From shoving down unhealthy amounts of food down our throats, to suffocate the feelings from coming up, to drown them in food, to over-exercising, to drinking too much, to drugs or any other forms of addictions. 

 

These can be used as means to avoid one’s feelings and can have detrimental effects on your health and wellbeing. It can cause depression, anxiety, eating disorders, digestive disorders, and more.

 

So now, I’d like to share with you a few ways in which you can deal with your emotions in a healthy and more sustainable manner. It may be challenging, but it is absolutely worth it to build awareness around the subject; especially if we are looking to promote strong, honest health. 


Here goes:

 

(1)   Letting it out helps:crying is healthy, letting it out is healthy. I know it isn’t always pretty, especially when you are gasping for air and are covered in snot, but it helps you heal. Cry and breathe through the moment. It is better out than in. I understand there are moments in which you may want to refrain from bursting into tears, but if you can, excuse yourself, head on over to a nearby bathroom or private corner, grab a tissue and just cry. Holding it in too many times only causes you harm, and if the people around you have empathy, they’ll be able to see that you are hurting, and want to support you, not judge you for looking like a hot mess. Again, I understand you may not want to cry at certain occasions and attract negative attention, of course I do. I’m just saying If you can find a place to have a private moment, for yourself, do it. 

Another way to help letting it out is journaling, taking a moment, sitting down with a pen and paper and writing what you’re feeling to externalise it and prevent it from ruminating in your head.

(2)   Judgment free zone: Please do not judge yourself for feeling sad, or pain. It does not matter how big or small the circumstances are. Practice kindness towards yourself, have compassion, and see yourself through this pain with empathy and a kind heart. Speak to yourself as you would to a friend who is going through a tough time. Would you judge them or be harsh? No. So practice the same compassion towards yourself. 

(3)   Don’t compare:don’t compare your feelings to how someone else would react to a similar situation. No two experiences are the same, It isn’t about them, it is about YOU and what you’re feeling. It’s your heart, it’s your soul. Your life. You are unique, and your experiences are too. 

(4)   Be patient:This is one of the toughest ones I know. Sometimes we get so frustrated with the process’ length, just wanting to move on, that we resort to suppressing and tucking away our hurt into a box that we store in the attic of our minds, far far way; also known as our subconscious. Tempting as that may be, eventually, the clutter in the attic will pile up, and it will come crashing down. It will manifest discretely or violently in your life at some point. So please be patient with yourself and patient with YOUR process. Again, it is yours, and no one else’s, so do not compare how long it takes for you to get over something versus someone else. 

(5)   Experience the beauty of true & honest healing:when the clouds begin to clear, and tears begin to dry, you will be grateful for having overcome the pain, you will be grateful for having gone through the process of healing with integrity, with strength, and with endurance. 

 

Again, I know it is easier said than done, and I know it hurts like hell. Be It because of the loss of someone you love, a breakup, death, rejection, anything; but it is worth it and you’ll come out the other end stronger than before. 

 

Just do the things right for you, to be your best self, and take care of yourself. Don’t ever neglect yourself, be kind to yourself always and practice compassion. You are worth it and you deserve it. 

 

Also, be sure to ask for support, surround yourself with your incredible friends and family who want good for you. It is important to learn to self soothe, and I am a strong advocate of that, as at the end of day, we are within ourselves, alone in our own minds. But, I do recognize the importance of surrounding yourself with the right uplifting human beings that love you in your life, and that really do help give you a positive nudge in your healing process too. 

 

And to all of my beautiful friends and family that have supported me throughout the years with my life’s ups and downs, thank you. I am so grateful to you and I love you; You know who you are. And I will be there to do the same for you, when life happens; as it most certainly will. 

 

I wanted to share my beliefs with you based on my personal experiences, I am not a certified psychologist. I understand some of you may not agree, and that’s ok, you have a right to your own opinion. I just wanted to share my story with you, for those of you that it may ring true with, and for those of you it may help to remind you, you are not alone.  

 

Thank you for reading. Thank you for taking the time. 

 

Take care of yourself, and do not hesitate to write to me. I am here. 

 

All my love x 

Sarah