How to Deal with Repressed Emotions?
“Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways.”
It’s not possible to heal if you keep pretending that you are not hurt.
Repression is not intentional in nature like hiding. Your subconscious avoidance of emotions is known as repression. These are distinct from emotions you consciously suppress when they overpower you. It’s the body’s response in order to protect the person from such stimuli when things start getting out of hand. Repression of emotions may be a survival strategy at one point but it also becomes a source of physical illness later on. Health issues might develop over time as a result of suppressed emotions.
Why does Repression Happen?
Repression is typically used to describe the propensity to suppress unpleasant emotions. It happens when the emotions get too overwhelming for a person to handle. Unconsciously, you try to block off these unpleasant emotions, ideas, or memories. As a result of this, you tend to forget them. You can be doing this out of concern about hurting your good self-image. These feelings are undigested ones. But they still have an impact on what you do.
Very often repression of emotions is also linked with childhood experiences. As a child, if one has seen their primary caregivers being open about their feelings, sharing a transparent bond, creating a non-judgmental space, and normalizing the experience of both positive and negative emotions, then as children grow up, they learn such healthy ways of expressing emotions. On the contrary, if the caregivers are more likely to repress emotions, reprimand for expressing negative emotions, or reject the feeling experienced by the child, then grow up to learn and adapt the same pattern.
Unresolved anger can also have repercussions, especially with health. Not being able to express anger in healthy ways will lead to a greater risk of high blood pressure, cardiovascular issues, and problems in the digestive system.
Our online therapist helps you to better understand of repressed emotions and also guides you.
How to Recognize Repressed Emotions?
The range of emotions that may be repressed can go from Anger to disappointment. Your frustration, sadness, fear and so on can be repressed too. All in all, most often, repression takes place for negative emotions.
Another area of care should be taken for dealing with emotional repression in males. Due to the societal constructs and stereotypical definition of males acting in a certain way, the burden of living up to these expectations plays a huge role in men not being able to express feelings in psychologically healthy ways.
To identify repressed emotions, there’s no set specific test that you can take. It is a complex process where a few signs exhibit that there may be repressed anger, repressed sadness, or other repressed feelings. You might:
- Experience numbness or sadness very often
- Become forgetful
- Have digestive problems
- Have cardiac conditions
- Experience discomfort and have a hard time being empathetic towards other people
- Find it difficult to talk about your own feelings as a result of which you might engage in substances or keep yourself extremely busy
- Find it difficult to be assertive and stand up for yourself
- Have faced difficulty in getting intimate and connecting with other people
- Might encounter conflicting situations more often
Effects of Emotional Repression
In families that don’t talk about the problems faced by the members, the nature of interaction and expression becomes dysfunctional. As a result of this, children, as well as adults, might engage in emotional repression which might cause adverse effects as those mentioned below:
- Denial of feelings
- Challenges with addressing emotions
- Difficulty trusting others and self
- Experience of high blood pressure and low energy levels
- Engagement in self-doubt and self-criticism
- Experience of muscle tension and pain
- Feeling fatigued
- Development of Stress, Anxiety, and Depression
- Changes in Appetite and problems with Sleep
How to deal with Repressed Emotions?
If an individual is struggling with such aforementioned emotions, then the first step would be to consult a mental health professional. Online counseling can provide a safe, non-judgmental space for a person to open up.
Furthermore, releasing repressed emotions can be aided through therapy. In this space, emotions such as repressed anger, anxiety, fear, love, rage, sadness, and displeasure, to name a few, can be addressed, understood, and dealt with. An expert counselor can help the person to learn ways to manage conflict and effective communication techniques.
Individuals, especially males should be encouraged by people around them to express what they feel. Care can be taken by family, friends, and those around the person to help them open up to let out their feelings.
Other strategies such as practicing assertiveness, taking charge of your own emotions, connecting with a few close people, and practicing mindfulness can also help the person to deal with Repressed emotions.
“In order to heal, you must release. It’s like trying to pull in a parking spot when another car is parked already. There has to be a vacancy for you to fill it. The pain must be released too, to feel joy. The process won’t be easy, but it won’t be impossible too.”
Our wellness experts from GaneshaSpeaks.com are happy to talk with you and they can professionally deal with your repressed emotions.
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