Sunday, 26 October 2014

Right, raise your hands, who's bottling something up right now?

No matter if you're an extrovert or an introvert, emotions can be tricky. While they are a natural part of being human and give us the ability to feel empathy or follow a set of morals, they can also cause us problems.

They can cause us to have strong reactions at inappropriate times or make us want to behave in a way that could mean problems later on. They can cause us to want to lose our temper or have us cry when we need to keep a level head.

Emotions, if we let them take hold of us, can get in the way.

So, what do we do when we feel one build up inside of us and we can't release it? We store it for later.

Whether it's the red hot fire of anger or the twitchiness of anxiety, we smother it down and make a note to deal with it when it's more appropriate.

But what happens when we don't deal with that feeling? What if we leave it on constant pause so that it simmers below the surface?

What happens if you keep blowing into a balloon without releasing any air? It bursts.

Image from Google
I have to admit here, that this is something that I used to have a lot of problems with. I used to get really annoyed, refuse to confront the issue in fear that it would trigger an argument I wasn't willing to face, figuratively explode and lose my temper with those closest to me and then start the process all over again.

I was once compared to a full copper kettle on the stove. The temperature was getting hotter and hotter yet no liquid was being released from the container and so the pressure would end up causing a massive reaction.

It wasn't until fairly recently that I realised how much stress this was causing and that I needed to deal with it or else the cycle would just keep on repeating itself.

The thing is, when you don't deal with what you're feeling- when you just stuff it deep down into your gut and refuse it to face it again- it will bite you on the arse.

It's not going to go away. Emotions need an outlet and, sooner or later, they're going to find a way to get out of you whether you like it or not, the choice is how you release it.

Whatever you do, don't internalise your feelings.

While some of us are more private than others, it is still majorly important that we find a safe, positive outlet for our build up feelings so that they don't fester and poison our relationships with the people around us. The last thing anyone wants is to find themselves getting really frustrated (say with their job) and taking out that pent up frustration on their family. It's not fair on the family and it makes the person who lost their temper feel even worse as they've upset the people that they love.

It isn't always easy when we're trying to juggle how we're feeling with what's going on in our lives but there are a few ways we can give ourselves an outlet so that we can think more clearly.

1) Beat the hell out of your bed/ pillow.

I'm not kidding. Throw yourself at it and pummel it like crazy. Scream into a pillow until your voice cuts off and them scream some more. Not only will this help to get rid of any frustration but it will help to tire yourself out enough for your mind to quieten. Just a piece of advice, though: make sure that the door is shut before you do. It can be difficult to explain to people what the hell you're doing!

2) Wrap your comforter around your shoulders and pull it tight so it gives you a 'hug'.

I'm telling you, when you feel down yet you don't really want to share what's on your mind with those close to you or you just want some time to gather your thoughts, giving yourself a hug with the duvet is great. Once again, you may want to shut the door...

3) Write it down.

Whether it's in a journal, diary or maybe just on a scrap piece of paper or a word document on your computer. Get down everything you're feeling- no matter how childish or silly it may seem. Release it all onto that paper- trust me, you'll feel a lot better for it afterwards.

4) Have a long soak in the bath.

This is a great way to get rid of some stress as well as give you some time to clear your head and think things over, after all, no one should really be trying to talk to you when you're in the bathroom.

5) Walk it/ shake it/ run it off

Exercise is good for you anyway but when it also produces those lovely endorphins it can help you to blow off some steam and begin to process your emotions. It clears your head and helps you to rationalise why you were feeling that way in the first place so that you can work out whether it was justified, how to go about solving the situation/ problem that made you feel that way and how you can avoid feeling that way again.

Emotions, while they can hinder us, are ultimately there to help us. They allow us to process things as well as to enjoy fantastic moments in our lives and find real joy in being around the people we love or getting a sense of excitement when we experience something new. They help us to enjoy life to the fullest.

So, next time you feel like your head might explode, let it out and then get back to savouring the good things in life- don't waste it by letting negativity brew inside- feeling the need to store up all that chaos really isn't worth your health or your happiness.

Have you been bottling anything up lately? How did you deal with it? Let me know!

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