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Why Stuffing Your Feelings is Unhealthy

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Why Stuffing Your Feelings is Unhealthy

Are you someone who cleverly “stuffs your feelings?” It’s more common than you might think. We get media messages every day that tell us that we’re supposed to always be happy, even perky and if you aren’t then there must be something wrong with you. Not only is this not true, but it drives me crazy! Our feelings are the very thing that separate us from all other species, but we’re told not to feel them, let alone experience them. When we ignore our feelings–particularly people who are in stressful situations–eventually our bodies scream at us.

Many of us have been taught to stuff our feelingsto ignore them, to just “buck up.” When you do this, you are in trouble. We need to embrace our negative feelings and I encourage you to do the same. They show up for a reason. They are yelling at you because you’ve ignored them. Honor your negative feelings just like you honor moments of joy. Sadness, anger, resentment, frustration, and even depression are all part and parcel of life.

Creative ways to let go of the negative emotions

These might sound ridiculous, but you will feel better afterward.

  • Sit in your car and scream at the top of your lungs with windows closed. Just scream.
  • Go for a run or take a kickboxing class. This helps release the tension.
  • Go to the beach and kick sand or pound the water.
  • Strike a pillow with a foam bat.

You get where I’m going here, right? There is a physical activity involved with letting go of negativity. You don’t want to yell at someone. You don’t want to take this out on your loved one. You don’t want to take it out when you’re driving. And you certainly don’t want your negative feelings to eat away at you. Find a way (that works for you) to manage your frustration, anger, resentment, and even sadness. When you begin paying attention to what you’re feeling, you’ll also begin to see what triggers you. Just experiment and go with it, because once you start doing this, the negative feelings will begin to fade and your life will become more balanced. If you ignore them, they will continue to surface and wreak havoc with your well-being.

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Related

Gratitude Gives You Wings
Trusting Your Instincts
Relaxing: Why It’s Hard and How Caregivers Can Learn to Unwind

Stuffing Your Feelings: An Unhealthy Caregiver Coping Mechanism originally appeared on AgingCare.com.


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Read more: Health, Mental Wellness, Peace, Self-Help, Spirit, Stress, Thanksgiving, , , , , , ,

By Cindy Laverty, AgingCare.com Contributor

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AgingCare.com connects family caregivers and provides support, resources, expert advice and senior housing options for people caring for their elderly parents. AgingCare.com is a trusted resource that visitors rely on every day to find inspiration, make informed decisions, and ease the stress of caregiving.

70 comments

+ add your own
9:21AM PDT on Apr 4, 2013

Sharing... Writing helps me a lot.

1:37AM PST on Dec 7, 2012

I gave a heap of whangs into the fence today b/c the paling had fallen off. Then I went to the front paling fence and whanged two more pickets in again.
Gee I really got into it and felt better...heheh didnt know that was part of therapy for me

2:48PM PST on Nov 29, 2012

writing in a journal helps too

7:34PM PST on Nov 25, 2012

always practiced this " if you don't mind ..then it doesn't matter" it was just another form of stuffing my feelings in the "doesn't matter drawer".. but over the years i realised .. this only good for physical training of body .. this was extreme bad for mind ..for mind works on newton's 3rd law ..." every action has equal and opposite reaction " and if we stuff the opposite reaction part ...then it creates big problem later..so i think we must give give appropriate output for every input ..sometimes being vocal .with simple talk...sometimes through demand .. sometimes through diplomatic ways..and sometimes through leadership..sometimes with respect or disrespect...but we should never use hate.( i think what most important here .how positively and harmoniously and wisely we remove the stuffed feelings .. and not let it accumulate ..)

1:42PM PST on Nov 25, 2012

I surpressed my feelings for years, trying to avoid being a burden for others. When I now have started to share feelings and life-incidents with others, I only get positive feedback on it. Everyone actually appreciate that I share, because then they feel trusted and have the chanse to help me out or support me, being a true friend ;). It is great finally learning that sharing only makes you stronger

3:05PM PST on Nov 24, 2012

The key here is having a physical outlet for anger and stress. Running, yelling, hammering nails, even video games, help vent the pressure. Meditation can help keep the stress lower and make it easier to cope but it, too, can be a form of "stuffing your feelings".

8:31AM PST on Nov 24, 2012

ty

7:03AM PST on Nov 24, 2012

thanks

5:36AM PST on Nov 24, 2012

thanks

4:29AM PST on Nov 24, 2012

I crochet or engage in some form of crafting to ease depression, being in the garden helps and just being outside and breathing the air and enjoying watching the clouds roll by is a great way to gain perspective on things and feel refreshed

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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