• Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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BusinessDay

How painful emotions buried alive never die

Emotional intelligence and your health

The Harvard School of Public Health study showed people who bottled up their emotions increased their chance of premature death from all causes by more than 30%, with their risk of being diagnosed with cancer increasing by 70%. Unexpressed and unacknowledged emotions are the cause of 85% of diseases. When your buried emotions are not expressed or recognized, they will always find a way to show up and show out. Your emotional energy is always trying to be heard and expressed in some way. If you do not recognize your emotions for what they are and find healthy ways to express them, they “will” find a way to express themselves anyway.

Too often, uncomfortable emotions are denied, repressed, or glossed over with a smile. To feel your emotions, you need to know how to handle them as they move throughout your mind and body. You bury your emotions in many ways, i.e., blaming others.

 

“True emotional healing does not happen without feeling. You must journey through it.” Jessica Moore

A study from the University of Texas found that by not acknowledging your emotions you make them stronger. For example, your boss made a sexual advance, you did not say anything and told no one. You are now uncomfortable being in his presence, yet you feel you must go to work. You made excuses for the behavior and buried your feelings of anger or so you thought. You are at home a few weeks later and your spouse says or does something minor resulting in an overreaction. Your outburst was your body’s way of temporarily releasing the pent-up emotion from your boss’s behavior with no resolution for the pain. Your family is bewildered at your outburst and now burdened to sort through their own emotions from that experience. Will they bury theirs in silence?

Throughout your life you are conditioned not to feel or express feelings. It requires patience and tenacity to dig up the emotions buried and pull up the root of your fixed and self-limiting beliefs. These beliefs distort your perception of reality about what is possible. Not revealing your hurt or being vulnerable risking discomfort, you erode your self-confidence, peace, and overall well-being. A heavy price is paid when you deny, rationalize, and bury your emotional pain. I paid that price burying my emotions of sadness dealing with what is called the “good ole boys” which was a closed circle of middle-aged white men while in corporate who mostly took care of those who looked like them. Initially, I buried my emotions while bursting at the seams but realized I was harming myself. I decided to speak openly, honestly, factually, and without anger to my boss. I sat with myself to understand the wave of emotions felt and to ensure any actions came from my place of joy and forgiveness versus anger. I was then able to see and seize upon the opportunities that came from that traumatic situation. Take time to understand the root cause because it is not always obvious. My root cause was a feeling of unworthiness and never being enough. It was not the good ole boys! I had to decide that I am worthy, enough, and deserved better.

You must communicate your feelings to begin healing. It can be intimidating and overwhelming. Constructive communication requires clarity of thought to understand what upset you and why. When ready, choose your time and place to ensure no distractions and remain calm. Focus on the issue not placing blame, referring to past events, or behavior. Listen to their response keeping an open mind. Most people do not want to intentionally hurt your feelings. If they refuse to take you seriously or become aggressive, walk away. Healthy relationships come with a sense of commitment and mutual respect. If that is lacking, assess whether you should exit.

“New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.” Lao Tzu

Avoid burying your emotions by:

§ Acknowledging and understanding the root cause of your pain.
§ Confronting what triggered the emotion.
§ Talking to someone you trust.
§ Being intentional and committed to resolve the problem.
§ Taking ownership to determine what got you to this point and how to be better.
§ Making time for self-care.
§ Practicing forgiveness and gratitude.

If you were hurt by someone, you are responsible for making them aware. Everyone benefits when you are willing to teach yourself and others to be better. My boss said no one had ever shared with him my perspective. I had no problems with him after. The process of acknowledging your feelings and working through them will leave you feeling more confident and freer than you can possibly imagine. Always know the difference between what you are getting and what you deserve.