The Hidden Price of Suppressing Your Emotions For Too Long
Emotions are not easy to understand or comprehend. When I’m emotionally charged, I find it extremely difficult to speak my mind, share my thoughts, and even let go of my feelings. I have seen this and experienced that when I suppress my emotions for long, I tend to become quiet — the kind of quiet that explodes violently at anyone, without a good reason. The calm before the storm, if you would.
The choice to suppress our emotions can shape our mental and emotional health. While many of us are taught to keep our emotions bottled up (especially the negative, more intense ones), we are not taught the consequences of suppressing our emotions.
When your feelings are left unspoken, they tend to fester and grow beyond your control, casting a dark shadow on every aspect of your life — from relationships and work life to health and well-being. While bottling your emotions seems like a temporary solution, the long-term effects of this act can be detrimental to your life.
Today, we’re taking a look at the negative effects of holding in your emotions. Knowing the long-term effects of suppressing your emotions for long can help you let go of your feelings and talk about them with a trusted person.
What Happens When You Don’t Talk About Your Feelings?
1. Your Stress Level Increases
Suppressing your emotions for too long can lead to a heightened state of stress. Your body and mind are connected, so withholding your feelings can trigger a stress response, releasing stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, which with time, can leave you feeling hyper-vigilant all the time. In the long term, this response can have negative effects on your health.
2. Your Mental Health Declines
Bottling your feelings can also contribute to your declining mental health and cause a rise in anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. The constant withholding of your emotions can create a festering ground for psychological distress, which can, eventually, give rise to mental health issues such as low self-esteem, low self-confidence, etc.
3. Your Relationships Take a Toll
Communication is key in relationships and to make any relationship work, you need to maintain healthy communication. When you’re constantly avoiding talking about your feelings and suppressing your emotions, it can cause a rift in your relationships — romantic, family, friends, and even work relationships. Unexpressed feelings can cause misunderstandings and even resentment in relationships.
4. You Experience Loneliness
Keeping your emotions within and hiding what you’re feeling can cause you to feel isolated and alone. The fear of being open and vulnerable, even the fear of being misunderstood, can result in you withdrawing from social interactions, creating feelings of loneliness, and contributing to social isolation.
5. Your Physical Health Deteriorates
Your body-mind connection is the most powerful one, and neglecting that can take a toll on your mental health as well as your physical health. Suppressing your emotions for long can be linked with physical ailments such as headaches, digestive issues, and even low immunity. So, hiding your feelings is not only bad for your mental health but also for your physical health.
4. You Think Negatively
Withholding your feelings and bottling your emotions can eventually morph into negative thought patterns. When you don’t address your feelings, your thoughts can take a negative turn and cause self-doubt and pessimism. These negative thoughts can influence your mindset and overall outlook on life.
5. You Create a Barrier to Seeking Support
Not talking about your feelings and emotions can make you erect a barrier to seeking support when you need help from a professional. The hesitancy in opening up can hold you back from reaching out for the help and understanding you may need during your challenging and vulnerable times — now and in the future.
6. Your Sleep Takes a Toll
Sleep is an important element when it comes to maintaining good health and well-being. Emotional stress and psychological distress can also affect your sleep quality and patterns. Bottling your emotions can manifest as nightmares, nighttime stress, sleep anxiety, and difficulties in falling asleep or getting restful sleep.
7. You Engage in Unhealthy Coping
With time, bottling your emotions can cause you to engage in unhealthy behaviors and coping techniques. When you don’t talk about your feelings (or can’t talk about them) you prefer to engage in behaviors that make you feel temporary relief.
This could include substance use, emotional eating, self-harm, or self-blame. These unhealthy coping behaviors can cause you to think negatively about yourself, lowering your self-worth and self-esteem, significantly.
Living in a world where stoicism takes priority over being vulnerable, it’s important to understand the impact of not talking about your feelings. The effects of suppressing your emotions for a long time can go beyond your health and affect your relationships, mental health, and life satisfaction.
Learning how to break the silence and talk about your feelings can help you create an open communication channel and make you feel courageous for taking a step towards creating a healthier and balanced life.
Talking about your feelings and opening up about your emotions is not a sign of weakness but one of strength. When you acknowledge your feelings and express your emotions, you pave the path for healthier relationships, better mental health, and a fulfilling life.
So, break free from silence and start a conversation about your feelings today. You are not a burden on anyone for sharing your feelings. Start a conversation and make way for healing and connection.
I hope this article helped you understand what happens when you don’t talk about your feelings. Let me know what you think about the idea of expressing your feelings and talking about your feelings in the comments box below.