There are many situations in life where we’re taught to ‘suck it up’ and exercise stoicism. It may not always be seen as appropriate to express certain emotions. However, not expressing one’s emotions isn’t always healthy.
In fact, it can often lead to pent up stress. This stress can wear away at our body, affecting everything from our metabolism to our sleep quality. To relieve this stress, many of us end up turning to unhealthy outlets like comfort eating or drinking alcohol – when often the simple and healthy solution is to let out these emotions.
Bottling up emotions may also lead to breakdowns in relationships. Because we’re not expressing how we feel, we often end up acting irrationally. Emotions often end up building up until we can no longer contain them, leading to unwanted outbursts.
This post delves more into some of the reasons why you should stop bottling up emotions – and how you can start expressing them in a healthy way.
Don’t be embarrassed to smile
Smiling is a basic expression of happiness. Studies show that smiling can reduce stress and even reduce pain. It also helps us to form bonds with people by making us appear more friendly and encouraging trust.
Despite this, many of us hold back a smile or try to cover it up, often because we are embarrassed by it. In fact, one study found that almost half of Americans don’t like their smile. This is often due to embarrassment over the appearance of our teeth. In other cases, some of us simply don’t like the way our smile looks.
How can you become less embarrassed by your smile? If you don’t like the state of your teeth, investing in dental treatment could be the solution – having straight teeth or whiter teeth could give you the confidence boost you need to start smiling more. If you’re self-conscious of how your smile looks, why not consider practicing it in a mirror? This guide to smiling in photos could be worth a read if you feel that your smile isn’t photogenic. Alternatively, it could be time to embrace your smile for the way it is – most people would much rather you smiled at them than choosing not to smile at all.
Allow yourself time to cry
In times of grief and despair, crying is very good at releasing stress and reducing pain. Unfortunately, society often sees crying as a form of weakness and so many of us learn to hold back the tears. By stopping ourselves from crying, many of us end up bottling up our pain, causing it to get worse.
It’s not always appropriate to cry in social situations, however there’s no reason why you can’t take five minutes out to cry in private. It’s also good to cry around people you love and trust – sometimes you need to share the pain with someone so that you don’t feel like you’re battling it alone.
Find a healthy outlet for your anger
Letting out anger is often seen as unhealthy, but just like crying there are times when it can be necessary for relieving stress.
Having a healthy outlet can be about having a physical outlet, but it can also be something that allows people in relationships to purge frustrations. If there are tendencies towards co-dependent behaviors, there are many options, such as rehab that allows couples to go through treatment together.
But we have to remember that an outlet helps us to understand what these unhealthy thoughts and feelings are doing to us, and sometimes it’s so easy to hurt the people we love. Rather than taking out your anger on other people, it’s worth finding a healthy outlet. Doing some boxing on a punchbag can be a great way to get out some anger. You could also try booking out a rage room – this is a room in which you get to take out your anger by destroying objects. Screaming can also help for many people. Don’t hold that anger in!