We all react and express emotions differently, but we are all born with the same need to express emotions freely and openly. Somewhere along the way, many of us learn to repress emotions, especially those we deem as "negative." We adapt this new behavior in order to fit in, earn love, and be acceptable.
How many of us grew up in a home where the motto was, "Children are to been seen and not heard?" This environment left very little room for acceptance of expression. Anger was met with anger, fear went unacknowledged, and there was plenty of shame to go around.
These children now adults
very little validation and probably never
help in processing their emotions in a healthy way.
They learned to bury their pain deep deep inside, feeling invisible, ashamed, angry, alone, and unable to ask for what they need. Trying to hide the pain, from others and themselves, they build up wall, put on a mask, and soldier on. For better or for worse.
We all have an experience in which we have hidden from expressing an emotion - probably more than one
We pretend, avoided, and denied an uncomfortable emotion to protect
from being hurt- its a normal defense mechanism. What many people don't realize is this unresolved emotional pain can become physical chronic pain such as back pain, headaches, and anxiety, just to name a few.
Difficult emotions such as shame, fear, or anger can become trapped within our bodies where they build up and fester. Draining us of our energy, leading to burnout, emotional imbalances, and eventually disease.
The opposite of repression is expression. In order to process our emotional distress and move it out of our bodies, we need to break this behavior and learn to express our emotions in a healthy way. Start by acknowledging, recognizing, and accepting your feelings as they come and go. But most of all don't fear away from the painful process of what you may being to unearth.