You’re an adult.
You know how to deal with emotions. But do you?
We all dislike negative emotions like — anger, panic, anxiety, depression, disappointment, jealousy, hatred, and so on.
So you try to run away from such emotions, but they find a way back to you no matter where you hide.
What do you do then? If you’re like most people, you suppress these emotions.
After all, that’s what you’ve been taught since birth.
Stop crying. Shut up. Don’t talk. Go to your room.
So you hold back your tears, sit in the corner, shut your mouth, control your emotions and spend your entire life in a self-made prison.
It’s not that they were wrong to tell you all these things. Although it left a negative side effect on you — you learned to suppress your emotions.
As it turns out, suppressing your emotions is not the best way to manage your emotions. In fact, it may even harm you.
Let me explain.
In a study published in the American Psychology Association, researchers analyzed the recent dreams participants had. They also took an assessment of how much they suppress their thoughts or emotions and measured their sleep quality, depression, anxiety, and stress.
As you may have guessed, those who suppress their negative thoughts and emotions experienced more anger, anxiety, sadness, and fear-based dreams.
And that’s not all.
These people also had difficulty falling asleep, sleep disturbances, and daytime tiredness. They also experienced more emotional pain in the form of depression, anxiety, and stress in real life.
So how do you master your emotions instead of suppressing them?
- Know that it’s not your fault to feel negative emotions. You’re not a bad human being to feel such emotions. Instead, be curious and open up to these emotions.
- Work on improving sleep quality for poor quality sleep leads to poor mood and feelings. You can do that by sleeping in darkness using blackout curtains and a good quality sleeping mask, going to the bed at the same time every day, blocking blue light using software like Iris, and winding down before bed.
- Express yourself with free-form journaling where you write whatever is in your mind without judging yourself for thinking those thoughts. You can include this activity in your winding down ritual before bed.
- Practice meditation and mindfulness to notice your thought patterns. If you’re having repetitive negative thoughts, bring balance to your thoughts.
- Use negative emotions to take positive actions. Sometimes, all you need is a push to take action and a bad mood may help you accomplish more. When positive motivation fails you, use the fuel from negative emotions to get back up.
Be A Human, Not A Robot ?
It’s time you stop suppressing your emotions as you always have.
You are a human and you will feel all range of emotions. Instead of letting emotions use you, do the opposite.
There is a difference between suppressing and managing your emotions. Suppressing emotions leads to poor quality of life. Managing emotions leads to better mental health.
Stop caging yourself in a prison. Break free and allow yourself to feel and express.
And you know the best part?
You will sleep like a baby.