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  • Writer's pictureMona Cooley

Stuffing Emotions

How many of you stuff your emotions? I did stuff my emotions for 30% of my life. Eventually I would explode. The littlest comment or situation not always related to the present situation would set me off. I was not proud of these moments but when reality hit I had to change. It was affecting my relationships especially with my family.

" Suppressing strong feelings like fear, anger, and resentment isn't the answer - in fact, doing so can lead to a host of physical problems, from a weakened immune system to heart disease" stated in The Mindfullness-Based Emotional Balanace Workbook by Margaret Cullen and Gonzalo Brito Pons.

Emotions are real and alive. Having a discussion about what people experience will let you know you are not alone and sharing strategies will enlighten you.

First let's talk about how we react to those emotions - stuff them, mask them, not say anything, work through them and/or reach out to talk to someone you feel comfortable talking about them. Stuff my emotions for years formed a coping habit of not expressing what I was really feeling or thinking until I could not stuff what was happening inside of me. What happened? I would cry to myself, yell, play the piano, go for long walks and blame others. I felt I was different and didn't belong anywhere.

What do you do with all these emotions that go up with excitment and bottom out into despair?

A few quick points:

  1. Being aware of your emotions and what is happening is the first good step.

  2. Knowing this is a good step towards starting to figure out what is needed to deal with emotions when they kick in

  3. Now aware, next is understanding the emotions - be curious

  4. Learning to be curious means you are not stuffing them, you are taking a look at your emotions to figure out what is triggering them.

  5. Easier said then done, it is being honest with yourself

  6. One way that worked for me was journal these emotions and then ask myself a question - what is the reason this emotion is triggering me?

  7. There were times, when we started our journey, I was in an emotional situation with my daughter. Feeling triggered I told her I had to leave and told her I love you. This was preventing me from reacting and giving myself space and time to process it to understand the emotion and what was happening. Journaling helped me to understand me and have me know who I was.

Glennon Doyle Melton - her book Love Warrior " how do we do the work necessary to engage in the parts of life that are "brutiful" the term uses for the simultaneous brutality and beauty of our darkest times - with honesty, authenticity, courage and integrity."

Tell me what helps you to work through your emotions. The gift of learning from lived experiences of others, sharing of what has made a positive impact helps everyone to know what to do different rather than stuffing emotions.

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