When it comes to dealing with your feelings, do you tend to ignore them or bottle them up? Or do you express your feelings very effortlessly?
The four primary emotions we authentically feel are Anger, Fear, Joy and Sadness.
As we grow up we learn that some feelings serve us better than others, and this is unique to our family circumstance and culture.
Perhaps time was limited for our mother and it was only when we expressed loud rage that we got the attention we needed. Maybe a family member was suffering from great sadness or depression and our joy was not encouraged in the house, in fact, often we were told to take it outside if we laughed too loudly or had noisy fun.
Sometimes people describe how they ”Never get angry’ with pride or that they can’t remember the last time they cried.
Working out which feelings were given attention or concern to in your family and which were frowned upon or ignored can explain the patterns you have developed. Your go-to, default emotions, and the ones you don’t feel comfortable identifying with.
Where the confusion lies
The problem is we’ve been given all four emotions for good reason. If you avoid a feeling how and where does that experience get processed?
One theory is that it comes out as another feeling that is more comfortable and accepted, for example, little girls discouraged from getting angry may choose to cry and receive support from their mothers through showing sadness, continuing this behavior of bursting into tears when they feel angry in adulthood.
Likewise, a little boy told not to cry may act in anger to get validated, and later on in life when his feelings are hurt he defaults to angrily lashing out.
The danger is that the ‘cover emotion’ doesn’t work effectively enough because it isn’t really what we need to express.
When we keep feeling a feeling over and over without it truly passing it maybe because it’s not the authentic feeling. No point shouting and swearing and everyone staying out of your way if you really need to have a good sob and be held. Equally no amount of crying and being comforted will expel the extra energy that comes with our anger.
Pay close attention to the feelings you’ve deemed ‘ok’ to feel and the ones that don’t seem as welcome. There are healthy ways to express ALL feelings and receive the support, reaction, or validation needed.
You can check out Chanelle Sowden’s (Childhood Therapist) Instagram page here.
Written By Chanelle Sowden
Originally Appeared In Chanelle Sowden
Bottling up your feelings, or trying to deal with them according to what others tell you, is the worst thing you can do for yourself. In order to understand yourself better, and also feel better, you need to face your feelings and deal with them head-on. Then only, will you be able to stop those emotions from controlling you, or having a negative impact on you.
If you want to know more about dealing with feelings, then check this video out below: