Emotions Pt 2 – How We Repress Emotions
When we have an experience that we find painful or difficult, and are either unable to cope with the pain, or just afraid of it, we often dismiss this emotion and either get busy, exercise more, drink or eat a bit more, or just pretend it has not happened. When we do this we do not feel the emotion and this results in what is called repressed, suppressed or buried emotions. These feelings stay in our muscles, ligaments, stomach, midriff, auras. These emotions remain buried within us until we bring that emotion up and feel the emotion, thus releasing it. Emotions that are buried on the long-term are the emotions that normally cause physical illness.
The following are a few examples of the methods people use to avoid feeling their emotions.
Ignoring your feelings
Pretending something hasn’t happened
Eating foods loaded with sugar and fat
Excessive drinking of alcohol
Excessive use of recreational drugs
Using prescription drugs such as tranquillisers or Prozac
Any type of compulsive behaviour
Excessive sex with or without a partner
Always keeping busy so you can’t feel
Constant intellectualising and analysing
Excessive reading or TV
Keeping conversations superficial
Burying angry emotions under the mask of peace and love
Symptoms of Repressed Emotions
It takes a lot of energy to keep emotions repressed and buried. If you keep emotions buried for a long period of time, you lower your overall vibrations, and lower vibrations lead to illness and an accelerated ageing process. Buried emotions create fatigue and depression.
The following are some major symptoms of buried and repressed emotions.
Depression without an apparent cause
Speaking of issues/interests rather than personal matters and feelings
Pretending something doesn’t matter when inside it does matter
Rarely talking about your feelings
Blowing up over minor incidents
Walking around with a knot in your stomach or tightness in your throat
Feeling your anger not at the time something happens but a few days later
In relationships, focusing discussions on children/ money rather than talking about yourselves
Difficulty talking about yourself
Troubled personal relationships with family, friends, acquaintances
A lack of ambition or motivation
Lethargic – who cares – attitude
Difficulty accepting yourself and others
Laughing on the outside while crying on the inside
Effects of Repressed or Buried Emotions
Repressed or buried emotions can cause major difficulties in the physical body and energetic systems. They affect all your relationships, and they especially affect your ability to grow spiritually and shift your level of consciousness.
Emotions repressed for the long-term can caused serious illness including cancer, arthritis, chronic fatigue, and many other major health problems. Since repressed emotions can rest either in your body or auras, they can cause holes in your auras, through which your energy leaks out and creating fatigue, a sense of vulnerability, and low self-confidence.
When you have repressed emotions, your behaviour and reactions to events in the present moment are really reactions to past events as well as the present. This has a negative effect on all relationships in your life. You cannot be fully present with those you love in today until you have released your emotions from the past. You buried emotions because they were too painful and difficult to deal with when they occurred and your reactions to today’s events are affected by this pain and hurt that remains buried in your body.
It takes a lot of energy to bury emotions and to keep them buried. There isn’t much energy left over for other activities when your energy is being used to keep stuffing these emotions back down. By nature, buried emotions want to come up so you can become aware of them, feel them and release them. You work very hard to keep them stuffed down.
Our real purpose in being on Mother Earth is to keep increasing our level of consciousness and living a more spiritual or love-based life. The higher the consciousness someone has, the higher degree of spirituality in his or her life. The higher the spirituality the closer we are to being what we are meant to be, a fully integrated and loving human being. You cannot shift to higher levels of consciousness as long as you have major negative emotions buried within you.
Committing To Emotional Health
People who make a deep commitment to themselves to become emotionally healthy are willing to go to great lengths to learn about their emotional selves and to do what is required to release buried emotions. This is often an uncomfortable and difficult journey when you begin, but I promise you great joy once you’ve gotten over the first few hurdles. Once you make this commitment your journey to identify your issues and release buried emotions will become much easier.
Methods To Identify Your Emotions
Emotions are reliable indicators of what is really going on inside of us. There are many ways to identify emotions and you will have to choose the manner that is most suitable to your personality. Some people need to do this in solitude whereas others need to do this with others. Some will want to write while others will use a much more casual approach. Sometimes it’s best to combine a number of approaches for a deeper identification of emotions.
The following are a few methods you can use to identify what you are really feeling about a person, place, situation or thing. Identifying your emotions is the first step to a rich and healthy emotional life. Use a number or all of these methods. Find the ones that suit you and use them to help you in your journey towards emotional health.
Awareness is the first step of change!
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Listen To Your Thoughts and Daydreams – We become so accustomed to thinking in certain patterns that we are no longer aware or conscious about our thoughts and daydreams. Catch those daydreams, hold the thoughts, bring them up into your conscious mind. This will tell you a great deal about yourself, what you love and hate, and about your relationships. If you possibly can, keep a written diary of these for a month or two. Writing down your thoughts and daydreams will help you to organize, experience, and understand your thought patterns and bring them into a higher level of awareness within you. If you keep a written record for a period of time you will begin to see important patterns in your feeling and thinking.
Identify Your “Little and Unimportant Hurts” – More people walk around saying it’s not important or it doesn’t matter when it is very important and a big piece of hurting emotion is buried within them. They will describe this hurt and being small and unimportant. Men tend to do this rather frequently. Write down a detailed description of all the “little and unimportant hurts” that somehow don’t go away. Every little hurt that you keep remembering, that won’t go away, regardless of when it happened, must go on this list. Many people have many of these little hurts from childhood. These emotions are buried within creating difficulties with their health. Identifying these hurts will tell you a great deal about your buried and unexpressed emotions.
Record What Makes You Feel Strongly For Two Months: Keep an ongoing record of strong emotions for 8 weeks. Regardless of the cause, if it’s the weather, the traffic, your husband, wife, children, politicians, the stock market, your fellow church members, whatever and whoever, add it to your list. Try to identify what really made you angry. Sadness is a mask for anger, and anger is a mask for fear. If you can identify you real fears, what you are afraid of losing or not having, you are well on your way to emotional health. Again, writing this down will help you see things much more clearly, increase your awareness, and help you to know your emotional self at a much deeper level.
Memories That Won’t Go Away: If you keep remembering situations, hurts that happened some time ago, you are guaranteed to have repressed emotions around this person or situation. You will need to pull this situation out and re-feel the hurt around it. Try to document these carefully since these are more than likely causing you much physical distress. Forgiveness is something that occurs as a result of owning and releasing your emotions. We often reach for forgiveness without doing the work required to release emotions of hurt and anger. Forgiveness is a result of an emotional process. There are no short cuts.
Keep a Journal of the Emotions in Your Dreams: Keep paper and pencil by your bedside and jot down your dreams as soon as you begin to waken. Write down the emotions you are experiencing in your dreams. The activity in a dream can be secondary, the emotions being experienced there are essential. The emotions in your dreams are the very emotions that you are repressing and burying within. Dreams can give you a deep insight into your emotional self.
Be Specific About The Emotions You Are Experiencing: Confusion occurs when people are trying to get to know their emotions because they speak in general terms rather that than specific emotions. A good example of this is depression. You may be experiencing loneliness for people, loneliness for God (spiritual loneliness), boredom, and a lack of creativity in your life. You may be feeling abandoned because of a death or divorce. If you just say you are depressed you will have great difficulty releasing the emotion or finding a solution to the situation causing the emotion.
A good example of this is the difference between jealousy and envy. Jealousy relates to being resentful of a person’s advantages be they in social standing, education, profession, or it can relate to resentment of a rival in love or affection. Envy is a discontentment or resentment aroused by another’s good fortune or success.
Are You Using Sex To Release Your Emotions? Sex is a normal and healthy part of life. However today many people engage in sexual acts, with others, alone, or using pornography on the Internet, to release emotions buried within them that they have been unable to feel and release. These individuals tend to have a very high sex drive since this is their primary way of releasing emotions that are pent up within. These are people who enjoy sex more than once a day. They tend to be very cerebral or intellectual, highly emotional, but very much out of touch with their emotions. If you identify with this description, keep a record of the thoughts/ experiences/ fears that you are having prior to engaging in this types of sex. Sex can be used to stuff down feelings so you won’t feel them and identifying these feelings and releasing them will help you move into a much healthier and enjoyable sexual life.
Eating, Drinking, Exercising, or Any Type of Compulsive or Excessive Behavior: We often go for weeks, even years acting in a manner that is normal for us – and what is normal for you may not be normal for another person. Then we will find ourselves overeating, working excessively, drinking daily, engaging in compulsive sex, working long hours, and many other types of compulsive behaviour. We stuff down our feelings through excessive behaviour, ensuring we do not feel them at that moment. We do this because the feelings are too painful or we are just too afraid of these feelings and where they might lead us in our thinking and actions.
Try to identify the times when your excessive behaviour was triggered and, as soon as you can, identify the emotion that is causing this behaviour. It can be stress or fear related to a new job, the death of a friend or partner, difficulties with lovers or children. Document these emotions as best as you can. We never do anything without getting something from it. There is a reason why you are engaged in excessive or compulsive behaviour.
When What You Say and Do Is Not In Sync With What You Feel: Men and women go through many situations telling themselves that “it doesn’t really matter” or “it’s not important enough to argue about”, basically buying peace by agreeing to something that deep down they do not agree with. They find themselves feeling unhappy, disgruntled, and angry with the individual involved. This type of situation creates tensions and unhappiness in relationships. Buying peace at any price creates negative feelings within you.
Identify those situations where you have created depressing feelings within yourself by agreeing to something that makes you don’t really agree with. Write them down. This will be difficult for people who have difficulty saying no, or who are too anxious to please others. But the feelings generated by these situations are very important when dealing with your emotional life. Many times we need to excuse things and just overlook them. That’s normal in life. But we apply this to situations that affect us deeply. It’s these situations we need to identify.
Positive Emotions: It is crucial that you identify your positive emotions during these exercises. You are probably very loving, caring, compassionate, trusting, forgiving, generous, many times in each day. Be certain to include the wonderful and good things about yourself as you identify your emotional self. This provides a realistic picture. If your record only negative emotions, your picture of yourself will be quite distorted and lacking in reality. Each one of us is born with all emotions and each emotion needs to be seen in its full and loving energy.
The Gentle Whispers of Your Soul: Find a quiet place and time and listen to that inner voice of intuition within you. Each person has it. And listen with your heart rather than your head. Your heart will hear different things from your head.
There is a very special time just as you are waking up in the morning but before you are fully awake. This is the time zone when you can often hear your sub-conscious speaking to you. Listen to your thoughts at this time carefully and you will pick up important messages, messages that can help you to identify your emotions, even your core issues.
Using Your Guides/ Angels/ The Divine Universal Energy: Ask your guides, angels, or whoever you call on from the Divine Universal Energy, to help you to see not just your emotions, but to see the core issues that you have come to deal with in this lifetime. Our Guides and Angels need to be asked, they are so respectful. They do not intervene unless asked. You will be amazed to see the Divine assistance come into your healing journey once you seek their assistance. Pray, meditate, ask them to help you see, understand and release your buried emotions. Believe in their help, it’s guaranteed to come.
Crying About Your Experience: Crying is a normal releasing function for each human being. We are born with this ability because through crying we release pain, hurt, and associated stress. Please begin to cry about whatever hurts you.
Crying or writing and crying about what has happened to you can help you sort out your experience and understand it. And understanding is crucial for many people. If you have had a very painful experience, write one sentence and sit with this sentence and cry. Then write another sentence and sit and cry. In time this process will relieve some of the sensitive pain around your experience and eventually make it endurable. With time, the pain around the situation will lesson, as long as you allow yourself to feel it.
Writing About Your Emotions: We can play all sorts of games with our minds, denying reality is something we all do. However, it’s much harder to do that when we write things down. You don’t have to show your list to anyone, but for complete emotional health you have to fully accept your emotions. This acceptance will be accelerated if you write your list and share this list of emotions with one other human being. But be very careful and choose someone who will guarantee you confidentiality. I highly recommend a counsellor, minister, priest, and psychiatrist, someone trained in this type of work and who guarantees confidentiality. A professional can often help you put a healthy perspective on these emotions. Writing this list is important.
Friends/ Counsellor/ Minister/ Therapist: You might want to consider seeking the assistance of a counsellor, therapist, or minister. They can help you to see things in a more balanced fashion, and help you understand more fully what you are observing in yourself. It can be difficult at times to be objective about yourself.
We need friends who love us and care about us, especially when we are hurting. And usually this is not the time when you could say we are at our best. Tell your friends about what hurts you. Feel their comfort and love. Make sure they understand you may not want advice on how to resolve your issues. What we all need is a loving ear to listen to us with their heart. We need loving friends in our lives. Many people pay for a therapist to listen to them because they cannot tell their friends about their experiences. Take the risk and share these happenings and your feelings with close friends whom you can trust.
This article is part 2 of a 3 part series on emotions
Authors Details: Mary Kurus Web Site