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Cassea

Is it better to suppress emotion? Seriously.

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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

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
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No,its very bad for you health wise .

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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.

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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.

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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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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.

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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
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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.

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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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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?

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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..

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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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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.

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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.

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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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Repressing emotion is not healthy, but that doesn't mean in order to not repress it, it must be expressed. People who have tantrums or who are emotionally abusive, are people who are controlled by their emotions and often do repress ironically, which then manifests as manipulative or passive aggressive behaviour. The emotive build up is always there but they subconsciously use others to trigger a release for the emotion and then justify it as being because of someone else making them angry or doing something wrong. That is what is abusive about it. Empaths will call this an emotional dump, and energetically, it is also recognised on various levels as a psychic attack. It's akin to someone walking up to you in the street and dumping their waste all over you.

The healthiest way to deal with emotion, and this is coming from an empathetic/energy point of view, is to simply acknowledge the emotion and the feeling that is there, and then boom stop it, don't give it any more attention or energy. Let it pass right through you and go to the thought level and cut off the seed/source. Don't be a sponge and soak everything up - what happens to sponges that soak up lots of water ? They become so heavy that what started out originally as something that could have just passed through gently, becomes 10 times heavier, 10 times magnified, and all consuming - yes it gets stuck and holds/congests the sponge up. That is what emotion does to your body and energy. And depending on 'whos' emotion it is (it may not even be your emotion) can influence everything, influence your thought process and perceptions.

This is known as processing emotion and thought. Everything begins on the thought level first, thoughts which are allowed to fester can become a feeling and a feeling can become an emotion. The best way to process emotions is to practice self awareness. That means you are catching everything on the thought level and rejecting what isn't yours, while acknowledging without soaking up like sponge, before it festers and becomes something bigger.

Edited by bLu3 de 3n3rgy
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What do you mean by Empaths will call it an emotional dump? Curious about that. I suffer from PTSD and while recovering from that. I had another trauma. So it started compounding upon each other. That caused me to have to seek out major therapy. I have been without therapy since a week prior to Thanksgiving and feel much calmer.

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When the bad thoughts or feeling show up I know that's not me feeling this I'm just receiving it. I take a picture of the thought/feeling and I scrub it till its like glass all color and negativity scrubbed away. Then I smash it into sparkly crystals and I tell it " I have transformed you into positive energy and I want you to go and find others who are feeling the same way and you will be light and hope for them and always be there for them. You will be their light when darkness surrounds them and they will never feel alone. It always makes me feel better when I do this. :)

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...I suffer from PTSD and while recovering from that. I had another trauma. So it started compounding upon each other. That caused me to have to seek out major therapy. I have been without therapy since a week prior to Thanksgiving and feel much calmer.

And that's a good thing. You're on a road to recovery. Please though, don't close the door on therapy/counselling. If you're not happy with your therapist, get another or another until you find one that 'suits you' and you can confide in.

I think that it was Jinxdom that said something along the lines of happiness isn't always happy, and sadness isn't always sad (let alone all those other complex emotions). If you've suffered trauma it will take time to sort through those feelings.

Rage is one of those feelings that must be repressed and resolved at a later date, that later date might be seconds away. Like you said, "It seemed yesterday that I just calmed myself down and in minutes it was gone."

That's a sign that you're healing, just not 'healed yet'. Yes? :)

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Maybe, I want to be healed.

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Repressing emotion is not healthy, but that doesn't mean in order to not repress it, it must be expressed. People who have tantrums or who are emotionally abusive, are people who are controlled by their emotions and often do repress ironically, which then manifests as manipulative or passive aggressive behaviour. The emotive build up is always there but they subconsciously use others to trigger a release for the emotion and then justify it as being because of someone else making them angry or doing something wrong. That is what is abusive about it. Empaths will call this an emotional dump, and energetically, it is also recognised on various levels as a psychic attack. It's akin to someone walking up to you in the street and dumping their waste all over you.

btw, brilliant post by blu3.. perfection!!

so the ex i live with (no choice at the mo), has always done massive emotional toxic dumps on me.. its putrid.. and its always worst when he has been around people where he has had to suppress his emotions, and they have built up to boiling point.. great example was this weekend just gone, he went away to the country for a friends 50th, so the whole weekend he has to be super nice (which he isnt all the time) and not show any of his negative emotions, just bottled it all up inside, and the minute he is back, it gets dumped straight onto me.. the minute he walked in the door it was "dump".. all day today "dump".. and its all emotions.. if i didn't clear him energetically it would be dark stuff too, as any healer knows what a binge in drink and drugs does to person.. eek!!..

people talk about energy vampires, but the energy dumpers are just as sadistic, and they don't really know what they are doing, most of the time..

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Maybe, I want to be healed.

Of course you do, and it sounds like you're on your way. All I'm saying is that maybe you shouldn't shut some of the doors behind you on your way to recovery.

It also sounds like you're getting a handle on your emotions. Getting rid of anger or rage isn't always pushing it down inside you so that it will boil up again later (repression). The healthiest thing to do sometimes is to just to breathe deep, and 'let it go'. :)

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i feel like diffrent things work for diffrent people.

I also think there is a big diffrence between repressing an emotion and just letting it go. It is always better to let go, repression is bad.

Edited by spartan max2
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Everybody wants to be fixed(healed) but it's a rarity to ask yourself the question, "Am I really broken(hurt)?", in the first place.

You have to ask yourself the question nobody not one person can answer that for you.

Sometimes people get to the idea that somethings cannot change(A past trauma) and that is all they need to acknowledge to move on from it. Forcing people to bring up emotions when you get to that point can lead down a messy path.

I'm like this if it's something I cannot change murder of a friend for instance, I don't linger on it because I can't change it, but the therapist kept pushing it which led to medication land(Hence the whole it's complex thing). When I acknowledged the fact that it wasn't my fault and I couldn't change it the horrible nightmares went away.(Which was too soon for the therapist to believe less then a month). Then again I didn't ask the question am I really broken/do I really need this(to be fair I was young).

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Suppressing emotions causes all kinds of physiological issues, like cancer!

It must be acknowledged and expressed to heal. You can't just ignore something that creates bad feelings in you. You have to acknowledge it's existence, eg. I feel depressed because I feel unloved. I can ignore the feelings that Come up or acknowledge I feel sad then do something about it like reach out to someone I trust or do some self talk to bring myself out of it.

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