Usually, it is any negative emotion we tend to suppress. And whatever the negative emotion is, we can categorize it in one of those three sentiments:
If we suppress an emotion, we might feel some relief in the first moment. But then, later, if we think of the anger driven situation again, it all comes back at us.
Often with greater strength than the original emotion. The unexpressed emotion is sitting in our subconscious mind, eating away on us, waiting for the next bad excuse explode again.
Can you already see what I am trying to tell you? Unexpressed emotions are an unmerry-go-round. They slumber under the surface but will remind you that they are still there. That they are still waiting for you to give them a voice. And basically, that is all your negative emotions want. Like physical pain is telling you that there is something wrong with your body, negative emotions are the messengers of your mind, of your soul, of your emotional wellbeing. There is something not right. We need to talk to you. We need you to take action; take another approach.
Don’t shoot the messenger and don’t wait until your bodily pains become the voice of your unexpressed emotions.
It does not matter how deep you bury those emotions you do not want to feel. As soon as a similar situation arises, they will be right back. Asking you the same thing over and over again – To be mindful and see what is happening in your life.
Unexpressed emotions can even follow you in your sleep. You might encounter them as sleep disturbances, restless, unrefreshing sleep and not even your dreams are safe from unexpressed emotions.
If at this stage, if you still do not pay any attention to your emotions, they will “metastasize”. By the time your unexpressed feelings have settled in the physical realm, you start to show symptoms. We speak of psychosomatic illnesses. – That is when your doctor cannot find anything wrong with your body, but you feel the pain nonetheless. Those pains are in courtesy of your unfelt emotions. By now, your entire being is so affected that you cannot overlook the pain any longer. You know you must do something.
Every feeling you have decided not to feel, not to express, will be stored in your body until it finds a way to the surface. Don’t wait until you are too ill to do something about it!
What to do, if your suppressed feelings have already made you sick.
In most instances, before your body presents you with an illness like cancer or any of the autoimmune diseases, you will experience a whole range of other unpleasant symptoms.
For example, tension caused by anger or anxiety might manifest itself in increased muscle tone. It is noteworthy to say that muscles play an essential role in the fight-or-flight response. If we suppress this response, it is turned inwardly. We might experience those unfelt feelings through chronic tension, headaches, neck and back pain, cramps, stomach and intestinal disorders and even liver ailments.
Other people might engage in addictions. This could be anything from alcohol over drugs to overeating, gambling, watching TV, reading and of course any kind of social media engagement.
Maybe you even develop a self-loathing habit, telling yourself non stop, nobody else’s life is just as unlivable as yours.
Please note, depression is a serious mental illness and should be treated by a professional.
Internalized emotions will always seek for a solution. That is the very nature of emotions. They are here to be felt.
My point is, you do not have to wait until you have stage four cancer to realize it is time to do something about the unfelt pain you are carrying with you your entire life. If your physical and/or mental symptoms are not spiralling out of control, you can start to take care yourself of the issues you have avoided all your life.
Find a quiet place and some time for you only. For this little exercise, you don’t even need to be familiar with meditation. Quietly go within yourself. Become your own Sherlock Holmes. Do some cool detective work. Get a piece of paper and write down the feelings you encounter. What are they telling you? Why are they here? Where are they hurting? If you really don’t know what those unfelt feelings are trying to say, just guess. Chances are you will be right!
If truly nothing will come to your mind and you travelled already so far into denial that you are telling yourself, unfelt feelings? Me? Then pay attention to your thoughts when you wake up at 3 am, when there is no one to talk to and nothing to do!
Something to think about: Never having time for yourself or always having to take care of somebody else could be another symptom, that you are covering up unpleasant feelings.
Whatever you do, do it with moderation. Do it like mother nature would do. Always seeking an equilibrium. – And yes, you are part of nature, even if you spend your entire life watching TV!
Again, there is no bad emotion but the unexpressed one. This is the emotion, which, over time, will make you sick. It is the emotion, which will lead you down a path you would not consciously choose for yourself. It is the emotion, which makes you lash out at your loved ones and drive away everyone you hold dear.
The reality is, it is much more hard work to suppress what you don’t want in your life, than to give your feelings a voice. Once you have acknowledged your emotions, you can find a safe way to express them. After that, they will not bother you again. Even if you have to revisit the one or other emotion over time, their stronghold over you will lessen every time you do so.
Disclaimer: Please be aware that this piece of writing is not intended to replace a doctor or other health professional.