10 counter-intuitive ways in which we deal with our unexpressed emotions

10 counter-intuitive ways in which we deal with our unexpressed emotions

Ah, emotional repression. The tactic we’re all taught growing up, but loathe to admit we’re engaging in.

In a world that teaches us to be strong and unwavering at all costs, it can be embarrassing to admit that we’re actually feeling something. So, we do the next-best thing – and push that feeling down into the depths of our psyche!

But of course, all repressed feelings resurface eventually. Here are 10 counter-intuitive ways in which we deal with our unexpressed emotions.

1. Taking care of everyone else.

Let’s be serious – it’s a lot easier to deal with someone else’s emotions than it is to deal with your own. So you spend a lot of time sorting out your loved ones’ emotional crises. It makes you feel like you’ve got this whole ‘feelings’ thing down pat – when in reality you’re just avoiding confronting your own.

2. Disappearing from their lives for long periods of time.

Every once in a while, someone rudely evokes emotions in you that you don’t feel capable of handling. So, you just, disappear, for a couple of months until you can be reasonably certain that the emotion in question has been buried deeply enough to not resurface for a while.

3. Constantly. Staying. Busy.

If you’re constantly sprinting from one commitment to another, your emotions can’t possibly catch up! Becoming a low-key workaholic is an excellent alternative to actually feeling your feelings. And a profitable one at that!

4. Continuously claiming that you’re fine.

You like… are fine? You think. You feel fine. If the way ‘fine’ feels is kind of bleak and dead inside, with an undercurrent of inexplicable anxiety.

5. Developing irrational anxieties.

When you don’t acknowledge your feelings, they still come out – they just come out in irrational ways. You know that person who thinks they have a brand-new type of cancer every second week? Probably not the most emotionally in-touch of your friends.

6. Putting a positive spin on everything.

Your worst fear is seeing a friend tilt their head to the side sympathetically and ask you how you’re dealing with a recent negative event. So, you beat them to the punch, by immediately telling them all the awesome realizations you’ve had as a result of said negative experience. If you can put a positive spin on a negative situation, you never have to confront how you’re really feeling!

7. Wanting to plan everything ahead of time.

You like to be in control of absolutely everything that happens to you, because you’re only comfortable in situations where you can predict how you’re going to feel. Doing something genuinely spontaneous and leaving the door open for surprise feelings to jump through? NO THANK YOU.

8. Dating people who are wrong for you.

If you never date someone who’s right for you, you never have to risk becoming emotionally intimate with them. And if you can avoid emotional intimacy with others, you can avoid it within yourself. Double win!

9. Turning EVERYTHING into a joke.

You’re not falling apart at the seams! You can prove it, by turning your pain into everyone else’s amusement.

10. Presenting a tough-as-nails exterior.

There is no such thing as an unemotional person. Even psychopaths experience emotion (just not in the form of interpersonal empathy). Which means that tough-as-hell exteriors are often key indicators that the person behind them is RIFE with repressed emotions.

Try being more honest with yourself and feel your feelings, and if you can’t get in touch with that, consider going to a talking therapist.

Linda Bishopp June 2019

Inner Silence for Reducing Pain – Free Meditation

Inner Silence for Reducing Pain – Free Meditation

It is possible to help yourself reduce physical pain. Do this meditation daily, the effect is cumulative!

Sit or lay down comfortably and let your body soften.  Become aware of your breathing.  Feel your belly gently rising and falling and allow the outbreath to carry any tension away from you.  Remain aware of this breath for a few moments, each outbreath going deeper and longer until your body is quiet and calm and relaxed…

 

 

Guided Visualisation, Walk on the Beach

Guided Visualisation, Walk on the Beach

 

 

Evocative of a seaside walk, with an opportunity in the quiet part in the middle to commune with our own inner wisdom or someone we wish to speak with.

This visualisation helps with relaxation and quiet reflection.

This is a good way to set the atmosphere for a peaceful the start to the day, or to relax after a stressful day.

Guided Visualisation, Learning the Meditative Breath.

Guided Visualisation, Learning the Meditative Breath.

 

 

If you’ve never meditated before this is an excellent starting point.

It talks you through how to breathe to aid meditation and relaxation.

You can use this technique when listening to any other visualisation.

This visualisation helps with relaxation and quiet reflection.

This is a good way to set the atmosphere for a peaceful the start to the day, or to relax after a stressful day.

If you suffer with anxiety, try the four-paws exercise to help relieve it.

If you suffer with anxiety, try the four-paws exercise to help relieve it.

This exercise is really good if you are out and about as you can do this unobtrusively by just sitting at a table or leaning against a wall or tree.

Ground your Energy Using the Four Paws Exercise –

o Have both feet flat on the floor and deepen your breathing
o Feel your breathing slow down and become aware of how your breathing moves your body
o Feel your body calming…………….let your breathing calm your body further
o Have both hands, palm down, on a solid surface (perhaps a table, desk, or wall) and press your palms down onto the surface
o As you breathe out imagine that your breath is travelling down your legs and your arms, through your feet and hands and into the surface they are in contact with
o Imagine roots like those of an oak tree growing from the soles of your feet and the palms of your hands and see them growing down and down into the earth until you are deeply rooted and connected to the earth
o Keep up the slow breathing down into the earth until your body systems have slowed right down

Talk to Your Body
If you have become triggered, i.e. something has reminded you of a past traumatic event, or even if you have become anxious without a known reason, and your heart rate and breathing is rapid it is likely that your body is flooding with adrenalin and you are in ‘fight or flight’ mode. This is a physiological response, not within conscious control, and happens very quickly. This means that you have become afraid, not necessarily knowing what of, though somehow you fear a threat of some kind.

Take a moment to deepen your breathing and talk to your body in a loving way. Thank it for warning you that there is danger around and explain to it that as much as you are grateful for the warning there is actually nothing in the present time that is dangerous. It (your body) can calm down and resume normal operating and you don’t need to run or fight or freeze. Keep up the deep breathing and gradually your body should become calmer.

You can download an extended version of this to print off and keep for FREE here:

Four Paws Exercise

Helping you deal with Trauma Symptoms

Helping you deal with Trauma Symptoms

Here are some downloadable resources to help you deal with trauma symptoms:

A brief description of Post Traumatic Stress

Dealing with Flashbacks pdf

Grounding for PTSD & Trauma Symptoms PDF

Physical sensations related to emotions PDF

 

For more information on how I help with trauma click here

Or get in touch with me for help.

This is an article by Bessel van der Kolk about how to start working with someone with trauma. It helps you begin to understand that you can take charge of yourself and come out of victim mode when events have traumatised you. (It is referenced, and comes from the www.nicabm.com website.)

Four Concrete Steps for Working with Trauma