2 Little-Known Negative Side-Effects Of Suppressing Emotions
Many people try to avoid or suppress their emotions …and think doing so is a “good” thing that can help them.
I see this a lot with people who come to me trying to get over a breakup. They usually try to get over the breakup with things such as:
- Keeping themselves busy
- Engaging in heavy drinking
- Or joining a dating site to look for someone new etc
They do these things in order to help blow off some steam and forget about what was bothering them. Far from helping, these behaviors can actually be the source of many problems.
All these things do is …suppress their emotions. And this is not good.
When emotions are suppressed they eventually build up and come out in another form in that persons life.
Let’s take an example…
Simon has a stressful day at work. His boss gives out to him and his work colleagues annoy him. But he doesn’t say anything to either of them. He then heads home with those emotions bottled up. And what does he do? He ends up snapping at his children and wife.
So what happened?
By holding in his stress and negative emotions he only delayed the time and place where they would eventually come out. In this case his suppressed anger lingered and he projected it onto somebody else, his family.
This happens a lot with bullies. Bullies bully others as a means of venting suppressed emotions. These suppressed emotions are usually the result of problems they are having in other areas of their life or from past experiences (ie where they were bullied themselves and weren’t able to do anything about it at the time).
Suppressed Emotions Re-Surface In The Strangest of Places
Suppressed emotions are like volcanoes. They lie dormant for long periods of time before inevitably coming to the surface in the persons life. One little-known (but common) way suppressed emotions surface in a persons life is through their dreams …in the form of nightmares and upsetting dreams.
If an emotional problem continues to go unaddressed you may find yourself having a recurring dream or nightmare. The good news of course is that if you address the underlying emotional issues the dreams will pass.
In fact, the dreams should be considered a message from our subconscious mind to get our emotional house in order. This is important because suppressed emotions can cause all kinds of problems in a persons life …even depression.
How Suppressing Emotions Can Lead To Depression
If emotional issues are not given space to be expressed and vented …they can fester and lead to increased negativity in the persons mind.
Overtime, this negativity can lean to depression.
When you are upset emotionally it is important to find a way to vent and deal with your emotions rather than suppressing and avoiding them. Studies have found that when people actively try to suppress a specific thought …the thought actually tends to come back even stronger.
When you allow this to happen over an extended period of time …you can become susceptible to depression. To eliminate a thought, the correct course of action is not to avoid it (or push it away) but to confront it and find a productive and appropriate way to work through it.