Emotional Expression vs Emotional Repression
The emotional expression occurs when you feel comfortable in a location, with someone, even if that someone is oneself, and we must learn to create that safe space for ourselves.
Have you ever tried your hand at Jenga? Carefully constructing a balanced structure out of its own components till it collapses. We are sad when the snow finally falls, even though we know it will. What is the reason behind this? Imagine the tower is you, and that it is standing firm at the start because of all the blocks that have been closed and put together to form feelings. You can see how delicate but powerful this link between emotions is, and how it can make or break us if we are not cautious enough with how we manage them. When we suppress our feelings, this is what occurs. It has the power to shatter us in such a manner that even understanding the reason becomes impossible.
When we strive to insulate ourselves from a traumatic incident and the feelings associated with it, or even a disturbing recollection, we engage in emotional suppression. But how can we tell whether we’re suppressing our feelings? If you frequently feel ‘indifferent’ or ‘numb,’ are uncomfortable when people talk about their feelings or ask you to share yours, are stressed and restless for no apparent reason, and also if you are upbeat most of the time and don’t allow yourself to focus on distressing emotions, it’s possible that you have been subconsciously repressing your emotions for years, and now emotional expression is making you uncomfortable.
How can you control your emotions and prior experiences now that you are not consciously aware of them? Play Jenga with your eyes closed and see how far you can go. Dealing with emotions without being able to recognize and express them is like living with one half of your head closed. That edifice will come crashing down sooner or later, and we will have no idea why. The first step in more deliberately constructing this tower is to become aware of its components: your own emotions, how they operate, how you control them, what role each emotion plays in your life, and so on. That seems like a lot, doesn’t it? How am I supposed to accomplish that?
Let’s have a look at some fundamentals to get you started —
Give each block a name, and try to be as detailed as possible about the feeling. When we identify our emotions explicitly, we have a better understanding of how we are experiencing and what could be causing it. Which phrase provides you more clarity: ‘I am sad’ or ‘I am lonely and disappointed’?
Recognize and acknowledge that these feelings exist, even if they are unpleasant. These blocks are somewhere in that tower, and denying their presence will not make them disappear. What you do with it is something you’ll have to figure out later.
Share how you feel. Asking someone who has been repressed their emotions for a long time to disclose their feelings seems to be a bit of a stretch. But what if you did it in the privacy of your own home? Make a safe place for you to discover and acknowledge your own emotional experiences by writing about how you feel.
Seek out the assistance of a mental health specialist. While the ultimate objective is to learn to control your emotions on your own, working on it alone might be tough at times, necessitating expert assistance. When we work together, we gain the strength to overcome the resistance to uncovering and confronting these unpleasant memories and feelings, and there’s no harm in getting support to do so for your own long-term benefit.
Going to therapy is like having someone sit on the other side of the Jenga tower, assisting you in gaining perspective on how the other side appears and then making a deliberate yet effective move. The emotional expression occurs when you feel comfortable in a location, with someone, even if that someone is oneself, and we must learn to create that safe space for ourselves.