Are You Burying Your Emotions?

How are you feeling? For most of us, the answer is “I’m fine.” But here’s the deal—a lot of the time, “I’m fine,” is code for, “Something’s wrong but I don’t want to think about it right now.”

Most of the time, the emotions we are avoiding are classic “negative” emotions—like anger, grief, and frustration. You know, the ones that we’re taught are bad or should be avoided.

How do you know if you’re burying your emotions?

All emotions are valuable, important and worthy of experiencing. They give us precious insight into ourselves, our desires and our needs. Avoiding the experience of negative emotions by burying them only makes them worse.

Try to tune into your gut—your intuition. Has it been screaming at you, but you’ve shoved a sock in its mouth? Were you frustrated about something a few days ago but suppressed the feeling and have long since forgotten about the incident?

Those emotions are still in there, growing and gnawing at you without your conscious knowledge. Eventually, they’ll resurface, even uglier than before. You may even misdirect them at a loved one without fully understanding why.

Burying your emotions doesn’t serve you or anyone in your life. It causes stress, harms your health and can even hurt others. Instead, it’s important to confront all of your emotions. To help, here are a few tactics to release those emotions you’ve instinctively buried.

How to Release Buried Emotions

Man at the porthole window of a vessel in a rough sea

Practice daily journaling.

Waking up every single morning and letting all the junk in your head flow onto a page is such a valuable practice, yet we are so quick to discount its benefits.

Maybe you feel too busy for a journal. Or maybe you feel like you have nothing to say. That’s just not true! You have the time and a lot to say—it just might take a significant bit of journaling and self-examination for the subconscious emotional stuff to float to the top.

Write three pages daily, and do it every day. You’ll unbury a lot of emotions—both positive ones and challenging ones—that you didn’t even know you had. Once they see the light of day, it becomes a lot easier to process them. You’ll feel so much lighter.

Seek out a friend or a therapist.

We all need someone who we feel we can say anything to, who we don’t have to censor our emotions from. If you have a good friend who is that person for you, wonderful. But for many of us, that person is a trusted therapist.

Just don’t make it a pity party—that doesn’t serve anyone. Find a coach or therapist who you can speak constructively and openly with. If you are burying your emotions, the effects on your outlook and the rest of your life will be massive.

Who's going to break the tension?

Have a fire ceremony.

Making your buried emotion tangible and burning it can be incredibly therapeutic and symbolic. It may sound silly, but it can be a profoundly healing experience. This is also a great activity to do with close friends.

Spend some time writing and journaling until you get to the root of what’s nagging you. When you’ve identified your emotion and its cause, write it on a small piece of paper. Then, crumple that paper up and throw it into a flame (obviously, use common sense fire safety).

You deserve to embrace all of your emotions, not just the “positive” ones. Exploring the full emotional spectrum is one of the richest parts of being human. The truth is, you really can’t bury emotions. One way or another, they’ll resurface, but they’ll have festered and grown. It’s best to keep on top of your feelings and allow yourself to be honest. Keep your head out of the sand.

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Images via Getty

71 comments

Richard B
Richard B8 days ago

thanks for sharing

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Richard B
Richard B8 days ago

thanks for sharing

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Peggy B
Peggy Babout a month ago

TYFS

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Maria P
Martha Pabout a month ago

thank you

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Coo R
Coo Rabout a month ago

bit too woo-woo for me personally but good advice for many.

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Ingrid A
Past Member about a month ago

Thank you for sharing

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Leo C
Leo Custer1 months ago

Thank you for sharing!

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Greta L
Alice L1 months ago

Thank you

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Kevin B
Kevin B1 months ago

thank you for posting

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Olga Nycz-Shirely
Olga Nycz-Shirley1 months ago

ty

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