When emotions are ignored, dismissed, avoided, or buried, they can make you sick. Disrupted sleep patterns, stomach or chest pain, teeth grinding, elevated blood pressure, and even increased risk to shingles or heart attack are some of the possible symptoms.
We often minimize it by saying, “I’m just stressed out.” In reality, it’s serious stuff when it’s the pattern for months and years.
I’ve had more than a few people say, “I don’t do emotions.” What? Emotions aren’t optional. It’s like saying, “I don’t do breathing.” It doesn’t work that way.
Emotions come with the package of being human. People-pleasing, temper outbursts, tears, over-working, indifference, and isolation are common emotional response behaviors.
For most, it eventually becomes more uncomfortable to avoid emotions than to deal with them. When that happens, it’s time to be intentional to give those emotions a voice.
There are several methods, but one I have found most helpful is writing. Many people just groaned. Relax. You don’t have to let anyone read it. The process, and it’s a process, is more effective when you know it’s just for you.
The goal is to create a direct connection between your hand and your thoughts. Whatever you think, you write. Unedited. Unscripted. Profanity allowed. Whatever is going through your head comes out of the hand onto paper.
I don’t recommend electronic writing simply because it’s too easy to copy, paste, and send. Yikes!
Accept thoughts and feelings for what they are. They exist. They’re present. Let them out of your head or out of the knot in your stomach or heaviness in your chest.
Most things aren’t nearly as scary when you can see them. Get used to acknowledging their existence.
Deal with your emotions so they don’t deal with you.