Let that sh*t go and release those bottled up emotions.
Posted: November 22, 2021
Bottling it up? Not the best idea! Whether it’s treatment or recovery, we go through a lot of ongoing sh*t when it comes to our feelings.
Talk about an emotional rollercoaster! We get it. It’s a ride everyone wants to get off of, but bottling up your feelings? That’s a bad plan, bud. It’s not always easy, but your healing process will be a lot smoother if you skip the suppression.
What are suppressed emotions?
Suppression occurs when a person consciously tries to force negative feelings out of their awareness. When you purposely try to forget or not think about painful or unwanted thoughts, you’re suppressing your feelings.
Often, this is achieved by “hiding” out with distractions- a temporary fix! Toxic positivity, recreational drug use, vegging out, and simply refusing to acknowledge the issue keep you from processing your problems.
While suppressing bad feels may seem comforting in the moment, it ultimately hinders your ability to connect with and heal your emotional wounds. (And gosh, does cancer come with a f*ck ton of free emotional wounds to face.) Have you ever heard the phrase, “You’ve got to feel it to heal it?”
“Unhealed wounds also mute our experience of positive emotions like joy, wonder, curiosity, enthusiasm, and love. Repressed emotions, left unchecked and unexamined, can destroy our relationships, make us miserable, and cause physical diseases.” – Scott Jeffrey
This applies to a vast range of uncomfortable emotions: anger + rage, grief + sadness, shame + guilt, hatred, fear, desire, and even envy.
According to Dr. Kelly A. Turner in Radical Hope, we should not try to hold on to any particular emotion for too long, whether positive or negative. Emotions should flow through the body like waves on a beach – in and then out, so that nothing from the past is carried over into the present. Each moment can be an opportunity for a new emotional experience. Don’t bury your feelings. When they finally resurface, they’ll no doubt have a negative impact on your physical body, especially your immune system. (Who needs that in treatment or recovery? Ugh.)
Here are our favorite approaches to processing bad days in healthy ways:
Keep a journal and try to identify your underlying thoughts, emotions, and triggers.
For a few weeks daily, write down all of the emotional events – both positive and negative – from your day. Include what thoughts you had while (and/or right before) you were feeling that emotion, too. Not only will the insight assist you in processing gross feels in the moment, but this exercise will help you name them in the future.