Ways to Release Your Bottled-Up Emotions
Why Do People Bottle Up Their Emotions?
- They are unable to fight back in an argument situation (e.g., the "opponent" is more dominant or it is someone of authority that it may impact their employment).
- They think that if they show their emotions it is a sign of weakness.
- They believe it is not normal to be feeling a certain way, so try to conceal their emotions from others.
- They are afraid of what other people might think.
- They feel that they have to deal with their emotions or problems on their own because "no one else will understand."
- A situation may have occurred that has placed someone in shock and they just don't know how to deal with it or they just block it out because don't fully understand it makes them feel (or don't feel) a certain way.
- They feel they have to be "the rock" for others.
- They don't want to be hurt so they swallow their emotions back down.
What Happens When You Bottle Up Your Emotions
- You can become crabby to be around and start snapping at other people for now reason.
- You get to a stage where you have bottled up your emotions to the point you "explode." Often the victims are loved ones, friends, and co-workers.
- You turn to escapism (alcohol, cigarettes, drugs) for short term solutions, to avoid confronting your emotions.
- You become depressed and numb, and you don't know how to get out of the situation.
- Often the pent-up emotions will manifest themselves physically in the form of diseases and can make you very ill.
- Some people commit suicide because they see no other way out.
Ways To Release Those Bottled-Up Emotions
Write. Putting your feelings down on paper not only enables you to begin unloading your emotional baggage, it also allows you to process the situation so that perhaps you may a) gain objectivity, b) understand the other person's point of view, and more importantly c) be free to move on with the more important and pleasant things in life. Plus, if you do this regularly in the form of a journal or diary it makes a fascinating read many years later.
Music. If you play an instrument, write a song about what is bothering you. Not only is it a release, it is a way to take that negative energy and be creative with it positively. The song may be dark in subject or it may have some explicit lyrics but you will have fun putting it together and feel empowered every time you perform it or listen to the recording. Sometimes it may be a song that no one else will hear, but that's fine. It would have served its purpose. If you're not musically inclined, listen to someone else's song about a similar subject. Music has the power to move you deeply and by the same token has the power to heal.
Confide in someone. If you feel you can't talk to the people in your immediate circle, look outside it. If you know someone you haven't been in touch with for years, give them a call and see if you can catch up. They do not know the details of your life as they have been out of contact so may be able to provide an objective point of view or "outside advice". Similarly, you can go to the park and find a stranger to talk to. You never know. I realize some people do not like the idea of going to see a psychologist. It scares them and it also costs money, but I've always been impressed with the kindness of strangers. Bear in mind, if the advice given is not what you wanted to hear, do not be angry and defensive toward someone who is trying to help. Be honest with yourself.
Pray. Even if you're not religious, even if you don't believe in God, just give it a shot. You have nothing to lose by asking for help. Don't be surprised if you bump into someone the next day that will make you smile, or you see an ad on tv or a show that makes an impact on your life for the better. There is always a solution, no matter how bad the problem is. (And no, the solution is NOT suicide).
Talk to pets or nature. If you're uncomfortable talking to people, try nature. Animals are not dumb. In fact, they often sense the emotions of their owners or other humans. You've heard stories of dogs howling when their owners have passed away in the other room, or stories about plants growing more quickly to a bigger size when exposed to music.
Everybody bottles up their emotions at some point. The trick is to realize that doing so is not healthy. When you learn to let go of the hurt or anger or frustration within and are no longer carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders, you will feel much happier with life. Your smile will generate opportunities and with the bad experiences behind you, you can also begin to help other people.