Holding my negative emotion!
That was what I was doing for many years. I kept telling myself I am strong so I can take anything without being angry. I learned to cry under the shower because it felt comfortable as the water would wash away my tears and no one including myself would see it. I kept my anger in for the fear of being rejected and hide any visible frustration. I kept quiet when I was sad because I believed that people would judge me and look at me as a negative person.
Let me be honest, this is what we all do so often consciously or unconsciously. We don’t want people to see our anger, anxiety, fear and sadness. But why?
Why do we not like anyone seeing us crying or showing our frustration through our anger and our grief and sadness when we lose someone or something. Why are we hiding these natural feelings?
As a kid, we all show our emotions without feeling shy or guilty. When we are feeling sad or hurt, we easily cry to show our pain and suffering. When we’re angry we scream and throw a tantrum. Do we care if anyone is looking at us?
Of course not! Kids show both their happiness and sadness naturally because emotions are innate. This is a natural way for us to show how we feel. Later on in life, when we reach adulthood, we start to feel uncomfortable with these emotions and try to hide behind a mask called braveness and power. I did not want anyone to see me crying. I wanted to convince the world that I am tough and in control.
To tell the truth, I was thinking by covering my emotions I can show everyone that I am a strong person and doing fine. I remember I always tried to grieve in solitude when no one was around. I believed that by covering my negative emotions I could find a way to inner happiness and bliss. I know you might say that is stupid, but that was my justification for showing my negative emotions. We hide our negative emotions for many reasons, such as:
*No one would listen to me *No one understands me *No one loves me and cares about me
*Feeling unworthy *Feeling humiliated and embarrassed *Being judged as weak and unstable *Being labelled as a loser, failure or too sensitive
Free your negative emotions as hiding them for too long for any reason can have an adverse effect on our physical or emotional wellbeing. This is exactly like when we cover our infected wound with a plaster. Yes surely, no one can see the horrible, infected wound but the fact is the infection is still there and it will slowly get into our blood system and will eventually kill us. Imagine, when you’ve lost someone, of course, you get emotional, sad, devastated and cry. This is natural. So, it’s important to acknowledge our negative emotions, deal with them accordingly and set them free.
As much as freeing your negative emotions is important, holding on to them for too long without being able to deal with them in a healthy way is dangerous. This not only makes you exhausted but also affects the other people around you.
Remember, showing your emotions is normal, but folks do not like to be around a person who is constantly showing their negative feelings. To be honest, with all the difficulties all of us are facing on a daily basis, who likes to be around someone who is always angry, tearful or sad?
There are many ways to deal with your negative emotions. Many books and articles have been published on compacting our negative emotions. However, I’ve created a simple way to deal with my own negative emotions, and that is with the acronym BALANCE.
B= Be free to show your emotions. Freeing your negative emotions allows you to free yourself, let them go and move on. When you share your true feelings with others you start to build a relationship based on trust. This is a way to communicate with your loved ones to show them how your feel verbally or non-verbally.
A= Accept the negative emotions. Negative emotions are our natural feeling. We are born with them. The truth is we feel negative and positive emotions because we exist and we are alive. Positive and negative emotions are both natural reactions to what happens around us. It is the most crucial aid to survive in life.
L= Learn to change your mood. The best way to change your mood is by doing things that make you happy. This can be listening to music, going for a walk, dancing or anything that makes you feel better.
A= Avoid holding on to your negative emotion for too long. Our emotions are changing constantly during the day, we feel them, show them and move on. By showing those emotions freely you feel relief and get ready to move on. When you hold on to those emotions, it will build up inside causing a negative pressure to rise affecting your personality and one day Boom! It will explode causing you to suffer from built-up anger, frustration and sadness. That’s the time you started to feel that life has never been fair to you and stop enjoying your life. There is a very important point you should remember; expressing our negative emotions is different from letting those emotions control our life forever. Ok, let’s make it simple, better to control your emotion rather than let your emotions control you.
N= Name the emotion you are feeling. It is important to acknowledge and put a name for our feeling to be able to deal with them. Emotional awareness assists us to know what we need and how we can deal with it. It allows us to talk freely and clearly about our feelings.
C= Choosing to deal with negative emotions. This is our choice to hide it or express it. This is much healthier to deal with our negative emotions rather than hide them. Accepting and deciding to come to terms with our emotions allow us to express our feelings in a natural way and help us to work out why we are feeling that way.
E= Explore mindfulness techniques. Mindfulness techniques such as breathing exercises, guided imagery especially before sleep, and other relaxation methods such as meditation and yoga help to reduce the stress and anxiety caused by negative emotions.
Remember, holding on to our negative emotions will have a long-term negative impact on our mental and physical states. So you should learn to free your negative emotions with the aim to free yourself from the negative impact of those natural emotions on your body and mind.