Our lives are not complete without ups and downs. We also know that we are not everyone’s cup of tea. Sometimes people might hurt us with words or actions, either intentionally or unintentionally. Most of us address these situations by saying what we feel, but some do not. Some people do not acknowledge their hurt feelings, generally known as ‘bottling up’ emotions.
Bottling up Emotions
Bottling up emotions can become bad news for yourself and to others around you. Here are some reasons why you need to acknowledge your hurt feelings even if it is hard:
- You’ll Feel Lonely
One of the repercussions of bottling up your emotions is loneliness. Most people who do not address their hurt feelings don’t want to be surrounded by people.
They usually disconnect from other people or situations that trigger their emotions, making them alone and sad. Fear will seep into your mind and hinder you from experiencing new things and grow as a human being.
- Anxiety Will Overpower
People that keep their emotions to themselves tend to create a calm facade. They’ll overthink that other people will see through the false image they put up, making them anxious. Your mind will be overrun with anxiety when you’re always keeping your emotions to yourself.
- Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms
People tend to pick up harmful coping mechanisms when they’re hiding negative emotions. One of the most common coping mechanisms is eating, either too much or too little. According to Dingemans, Martijn, Jansen, and van Furth, excessive eating may serve as a stopgap to compensate for negative emotions.
- It Will Affect Your Body Physically
According to Patel and Patel, “emotional status has a direct and profound influence on physical… health.” Here are some examples of how keeping your emotions to yourself damage your body:
- Head – repressed emotions can induce severe headaches or migraines in some people.
- Stomach – stress from masking your feelings can result in an upset stomach, according to Harvard Health Publishing.
- Heart – Srini Pillay said that having extreme negative emotions can lead to heart complications and “doubles the risk of dying from” them.
Addressing Hurt Feelings
Keeping your hurt feelings to yourself can negatively affect your health and your interactions with other people. This situation can lead to isolation and severing ties with people. Here are some of the ways that you can overcome the fear of talking about your emotions:
- Think About It
The first thing you need to do with your repressed emotions is to think about them. Reflect on why you’re feeling this kind of negative emotion. Ask yourself who or what caused the feelings and where and when did it happen.
Getting the tiniest details can help you understand your emotions. You don’t have to talk to anybody, but acknowledging your feelings can significantly help you.
- Talk About It
Keeping your emotions under control can be a tiring task. As emotions and feelings are severely powerful, it can drain much of your daily energy. Why not exert that energy by talking to other people about your feelings.
There are two options for this tip. One, if it’s a person who made you feel the negative emotion, you can confront them calmly. However, going straight to the root cause may sometimes be disastrous. Two, you can talk to your close friend, preferably some you can trust and who is not biased towards you.
- Write About It
Bottled-up emotions will always search for ways to emerge from the depths of your inner mind. If you’re still not ready to talk to anyone, writing is your best choice. Re-reading the things you wrote can enlighten you about your situation and, if ever, your lapses.
According to Baikie and Wilhelm, expressive writing can have “improvements in both physical and psychological health.” Write what you feel each day and see if the repressed emotions fade away.
Having all sorts of feelings and emotions and communicating them is a standard and human experience. It is also an essential part of making our mental health healthy and secure. However, some individuals can find emotions and feelings hard to convey to others. Although it is hard, we need to consider our feelings and trust ourselves to become more vulnerable.
Dingemans, A. E., Martijn, C., Jansen, A. T., & van Furth, E. F. (2009). The effect of suppressing negative emotions on eating behavior in binge eating disorder. Appetite, 52(1), 51–57. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2008.08.004
Patel, J., & Patel, P. (2019). Consequences of Repression of Emotion: Physical Health, Mental Health and General Well Being. International Journal of Psychotherapy Practice and Research, 1(3), 16-21. doi:10.14302/issn.2574-612X.ijpr-18-2564
National Headache Foundation. (2018, August 03). Stress. Retrieved from https://headaches.org/2007/10/25/stress/
Harvard Health Publishing. (n.d.). The gut-brain connection. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/the-gut-brain-connection
Pillay, S. (2020, June 24). Managing your emotions can save your heart. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/managing-emotions-can-save-heart-201605099541
Baikie, K., & Wilhelm, K. (2005). Emotional and physical benefits of expressive writing. Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, 11(5), 338-346. doi:10.1192/apt.11.5.338
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