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Is it better to suppress emotion? Seriously.


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#1    Cassea

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 06:27 AM

Note

The comments in this thread are in general.  They are not directed towards any member of the board.   All are welcome to participate.


I had an emotional day today.  There were two times where I felt very strong emotions.  One was a sense of seething rage.  I normally would have gotten into it with my brother but I had just called my friend and I shoved it down.  It went away.  It surprised me.  Usually when I feel that upset it is hard to get over it.

Just now my brother came back in to talk to me about it.  He was sarcastic and I turned to go to say something and I just welled up with such hurt that I looked at the ceiling and felt the tears and frog in throat.  Normally I would have tried to speak about it and cried.  Instead I just walked out of the room. I came in my room and laid down. Then that hurtful sad devastation came over me like a wave.  And instead I pushed it away.  The tears dried and the choke in my throat faded.

It made me wonder.   In therapy I am asked to dig deep.  To let out so many emotions.  And I have been told this is in some way a more healthy way to be.

But I wonder.  Is it?  Why are we taught that suppressing emotion is bad.  In the past I would have probably lost control. And when I get like that sometimes people will go for the jugular.  But then I pushed it down.  There are too many emotions.  It has been a very traumatic time.  It got worse on top of it.  And yet I feel like it's not a realistic way to live.  Yet everywhere I turn I am told this is bad.


Ex

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Research has shown that suppressing or avoiding your emotions in fact can make them stronger. For example, if you are sad because a family member passed away but want to avoid feeling the sadness, you may watch happy movies, try to keep your day as normal as possible and may even talk to friends as if nothing happened. However, the sadness is still present in your mind and a small hiccup in the day may cause you to seemingly overreact to the situation. Even if the object of your emotion is different, this is your body’s way of releasing the pent up emotions. Just as emotion suppression is your body’s way of -protecting you during a trauma, emotion release in a non-traumatic situation is your body’s way of protecting itself from further damage.

When people have tried to pull out emotions from me it doesn't get any better.   When I was hospitalized I was on suicide watch.  This seemed to just ebb and flow, one from the other. It made it worse and worse.

But now as I sit here I think.  Suppressing emotions seems healthier.  It makes it go away.  Is it possible to have too much emotion?  Do some of us need to learn to control emotion?  Should we stop believing what the doctor's say?


http://www.mysahana....hysical-health/

Edited by Cassea, 09 December 2012 - 06:27 AM.

Understanding Traumatic Brain Injury communication issues.   http://www.asha.org/.../#comm_problems

#2    Simbi Laveau

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 06:44 AM

No,its very bad for you health wise .

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#3    pallidin

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 07:55 AM

I can only offer my experience.

While I fought with supressing my "bad" emotions(experiences) for some time, it turned into an anxiety disorder, then eventually to panic disorder.


#4    Jinxdom

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 08:16 AM

It's all balance. No emotion is just as harmful as too much emotion the trick (like in everything) is finding the balance and trying to keep it. Time, place, outcome need to go hand in hand. Suppressing the negative is better then suppressing the positive. Every emotion is needed and is valid at certain times but can also been used at the wrong time for the wrong reasons.

Crying over things you cannot change isn't helpful(Don't cry over spilt milk for instance) getting more milk for instance would be a better thing to do resolve that sadness.


#5    libstaK

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 08:49 AM

I can see both sides, when emotions run deep and well up we can't always control them.  However, if we are aware of the process taking place and can put a stop to the pain by changing our thoughts in that moment, I think it is healthier.  Runaway emotions are like a runaway train, we don't know if it's going to derail and cause irreparable damage.  This is particularly true of anger, greed, fear and grief.

The best opportunity to understand my emotions comes to me through meditation.  I can reflect calmly on my day and the ups and downs, attachments, envies, fears, angers etc and see them for what they are and where they were intent on leading me - nowhere good.

A good way to change an emotional state during the day is to take the opposite of what you are feeling.  For instance, if you want to say "I hate you" try saying in your head (not out loud, it could freak someone out unless it's family or close friends) "I love you" - I can't stop it from sounding angry even in my head but it does "kill" the urge to rant or lash out somehow. Or if you want to tell someone to go to hell in your mind you can say "God bless you".

Silence is golden when you know you are not lucid and calm and if you can't find something nice to say or do, then it is a good time to not do anything and observe your emotions rather than reacting to the emotions of others.

Taking a deep breath and pretending you are speaking to yourself when you do say something also helps, it reminds you what it would hurt you to hear and therefore can stop you from saying such things to others.

These are just tips that work for me and not in every instance.  I can often find myself meditating because I need to understand why someone was able to push my buttons, what those buttons/emotional triggers are and why do I have them - are they an emotional defence? a deflection because I know what is there in me but would rather ignore etc.

It has been said that we react most violently to that in others which we hate within ourselves, I've found some truth in that and those mechanisms of mentally saying "I love you" and "God bless you" liberate both of us when I can remember to use them.

But finally, these things are a journey and everyone's is different.  It is at least as important not to paralyse the flow of life by constantly worrying over every thought and feeling as that can lead to guilt and anxiety.  It is best to only deal with such things when we are calm and clinical, unaffected and light hearted aka: via meditation or sporadically rather than compulsively.  I can meditate for weeks and not be in the mood to look at anything and then suddenly feel invigorated and ready to tackle some pervasive emotions head on for the next week or so after that, I don't push in either direction, the right moment for everything seems to arrive all on it's own in my experience.

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#6    Likely Guy

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 08:53 AM

Yes, like Jinx said. Suppress the negative and promote the positive. You will find a balance that way. There is a certain joy in melancholy.


#7    pallidin

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 09:14 AM

View PostLikely Guy, on 09 December 2012 - 08:53 AM, said:

Yes, like Jinx said. Suppress the negative and promote the positive. You will find a balance that way. There is a certain joy in melancholy.

However, if the negative emotions are from real-life experiences, a VERY large part of recovery from that, and eventually to the "positive" must come from emotional release of the "bad", not suppression.
This can be somewhat easy, or very difficult, depending on the event(s) and personal psyche.

Edited by pallidin, 09 December 2012 - 09:15 AM.


#8    theSOURCE

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 09:45 AM

Cassea, suppressing emotions doesn't make them go away, you're just burying them deeper inside. Eventually there will come a point when they've become so intense, that when you do allow them to surface you may not be able to deal with them properly and may end up doing something that you might regret.

On the other hand, it's also not healthy to allow yourself to become a slave to your emotions. For example, just because you get angry doesn't mean that you should lash out at someone or some thing.

It's when you learn to face your emotions that you'll finally be able to control them. Just remember that you will always have both good and bad emotions, but when the bad ones come around, just accept them as simply being a part of you and move on to the more positive and productive things in your life.

Just my 2 cents.


#9    Ever Learning

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 09:53 AM

I think tempoarily supressing emotions is okay sometimes, id say you havent completely suppressed them as you took the time to compose your self, think things through and then put your thoughts down on paper (or UM Post). i dont think supressing emotions down for ever are okay, but im not its possible to either. coming to terms with your feelings and even sleeping on them can give you a better perspective. much love Armchair educated

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#10    Jinxdom

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 09:54 AM

No such thing as negative emotion. Objects cannot be negatives or positives. Sadness isn't good or bad, Anger isn't good or bad. Happiness isn't good or bad. It's what we do to express it which makes it positive or negative.

When I was a kid, I was thought to be depressed. I was born poor and had a lot of hardships. The sadness I had from my life was my motivator to change it. Since it was hard to do, it took a long time to accomplish. My mother sent me to a shrink and got me some medical help(because the shrink was a moron). What the drug did was suppressed my sadness. Now I had no reason to change my life for the better, now I didn't care about anything. Sure I wasn't sad anymore but there was a downside. I didn't care to change things anymore. I turned in to a robot.(I still thank my friends for helping me through this) That was the wrong time and place to suppress my emotion of sadness.

It's a more complex scenario since I was happy when I wasn't at school or home but since they didn't see that, they didn't know about it and since I was a kid, they didn't believe me when I said it hence unneeded medication.

That help clear up what I was saying a little bit?


#11    with bells on

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 11:54 AM

like Simbi said, no, its not healthy.. its really bad on an energetic level.. it will make you sick on multiple levels..

we are all emotional creatures.. thats the point of being in this body.. maybe you need to direct your energy into things that centre you, like a strict yoga practice, qigong or tai chi, or regular meditation.. i know when  i am centred and balanced my emotions arent all over the place and you dont have to suppress anything..

do doctors know everything?? no, i dont think so, but no one here knows your mental health history enough to comment on that, and why their methods were used when you were in your state you mentioned in the OP..


#12    Lilly

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 03:24 PM

You don't suppress your emotions, you simply control your responses to your emotions. Like the SOURCE said, "just because you get angry doesn't mean that you should lash out at someone or some thing". Being able to control our actions, in spite of how we may be feeling, is a big part of maturity.

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#13    Cassea

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 04:50 PM

I'm glad to see two sides of the discussion.   I am starting to believe that all this therapy trying to get me to get my emotions out,  has created a "runaway train" as was stated.   It seemed yesterday that I just calmed myself down and in minutes it was gone.  I took it as "burying it deep inside" but then I thought.  "it's just a feeling, it isn't real"  So sometimes I feel like therapy is creating a monster of nothing.

Understanding Traumatic Brain Injury communication issues.   http://www.asha.org/.../#comm_problems

#14    Beany

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 05:45 PM

There is a very crucial difference between expressing one's emotions and acting out one's emotions. The first can be cathartic, the latter can lead to some serious jail time, unless one can find a healthy, legal method of acting out. I know a woman who collected broken dishes, etc. and expressed her rage by throwing boxes of it at her garage wall. I used to use a nerf bat when I needed a physical expression of my anger. I would go around yelling and whapping almost everything in the house, and after the anger was used up, it somehow magically turned into play. Emotions are a form of energy that I believe deserve a means of expression, because they often arise out of a need to honor ourselves.


#15    JGirl

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 05:52 PM

i wouldn't advise anyone to suppress an emotion, but at the same time i think it's important that we don't automatically 'act' on the emotions we feel. all emotions are created inside of ourselves. no one makes anyone feel any particular way. we always have the choice, that microsecond between feeling and responding.
when i find myself with negative emotion i examine it. where did it come from, why did i react the way i did, how did that reaction serve me etc
one of the tools i learned in therapy is to feel with my heart and think with my head. this isn't always easy, but it's the most effective way to avoid the trap of being a slave to one's emotions.





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