Expressing Thoughts and Emotions is Good for Your Health
All too often, people (especially children) are not taught to properly express their thoughts and emotions. "Children should be seen and not heard" is an all too famous (infamous) motto that has been used for a long time. However, if humans are not supposed to express their thoughts, what happens? We learn to stuff our emotions down and repression becomes second nature after a while. The problem is that thoughts and emotions are meant to be expressed, not repressed. A baby cries, and it does not judge why it is crying or does not think that it should not be crying, it just lets it all out and a moment later, it is happy again. If we could just learn at a young age that every emotion is worthy of being properly expressed, (after all, they are emotions within us that we naturally have) then we would all much more likely grow up to be well adjusted adults even in the face of highly stressful events and situations.
What Health Practitioners Have Found
Take this into consideration, many health practitioners are starting to realize that at least 80% of health issues are highly related to stress and other emotional baggage. It is not only unnatural to repress our feelings, but it is also a risk to our health! Obviously, one does not want to go around and rant like a raving lunatic over every thought or feeling which he/she haves, but things must be put into balance in order to live as a well adjusted adult. Instead of bursting with anger over something someone else did or said in which you felt angry about, it is better to have a strong sense of communication about these feelings and assertively tell the other person how you feel instead of bursting out at this person. It may not seem easy at first, but with practice it will become a more natural response. No matter how bad one is with dealing with emotions, he/she can learn how to deal with emotions in a much healthier manner. Sometimes, just allowing yourself to fully feel an emotion can be enough to take the weight of it off you. The only reason why emotions become a problem and cause erratic behavior and health issues is because they are not properly dealt with. They become repressed and can turn into guilt, sadness, even rage. There is nothing shameful about any emotion anyone has. I will say that again...THERE IS NOTHING SHAMEFUL ABOUT ANY EMOTION THAT ANYONE HAS! The only "shameful" part of it is that we may have been programmed to think that we should not even have certain emotions, so they become repressed and turn into problems for mental stability and/or physical health.
Effective Methods to Use
There are a number of ways to deal with thoughts and feelings in a healthy way. First of all, feelings are a result of the thoughts we have. If we think that we should not have certain feelings, that causes us to repress them and feel guilty over them. Like I stated earlier, really allow yourself to feel whatever feeling you are having. If you are feeling sadness, really allow yourself to feel this sadness. If you are feeling angry, really allow yourself to feel angry. It can cause us to feel overwhelmed at first until we really get used to this new way of dealing with our emotions, especially if they have been repressed for so long. So it may appear we are getting even more neurotic, but no worries, this is a natural part of the process that will fade as time goes on. It is by repressing our feelings that sadness can turn into depression, and anger can turn into rage. Allowing yourself to really feel these feelings can allow them to dissipate and release once we get a handle on it. Also, even allow yourself to feel insecure if that feeling arises. It is due to many of our insecurities that make us feel weak for having certain emotions in the first place, which can cause us to "explode" from holding them in for so long. There is nothing "weak" about any emotion. The only "weakness" is from not allowing yourself to have these emotions and trying to stuff them down due to how you were raised, how you perceive others might think if they knew about these thoughts and feelings, etc. One other method you may wish to try is to keep a journal of your feelings. This may sound silly, but it can be a highly effective way in getting more in touch with yourself and why these emotions are coming out. Since no one else has to know about this, it can be your safe haven for expressing yourself. Sometimes seeing it come out on paper can be very therapeutic. It can lead you to see why you were having these emotions in the first place and let go of them. You can also write angry letters or any other type of letter to someone describing exactly how you feel about something in particular, then just shred it up and never mail it. It can be a form of release to get out this tension, and the other person does not have to know about it if you so desire. Meditation can be highly beneficial into getting us more in touch with ourselves and our feelings as well.
Another thing I would like to discuss is sex. For too many of us, sex is an unnecessary stigma that is considered "bad". Sexual feelings are just as natural and normal as any other feeling human beings experience. There is nothing shameful or repulsive about it at all. Thinking that it is shameful is what causes mental distress. How can something so natural and beautiful be so shameful? This topic may make some people feel uncomfortable, but it is time we really delved into this subject. The only "problem" with sex is when it is done as a compulsion or done against someone else's will. But think about this, if one views sex in a healthy perspective and not feel any shame attached to it, then less sexual addictions would result, less rape would happen, etc. This is not about trying to have sex with anyone you feel attracted to, because that would be a compulsion. Rather, it is about fully allowing yourself to be free of any guilt attached to the subject and allowing it to freely flow through you. Addictions are usually the result of feeling shameful about it, then feeling mad for feeling shameful about it, and before you know it, it becomes an addictive behavior. It can also be used as an addiction to escape from other repressed emotions. This is why it is so important to allow yourself to experience any emotions that arise, for this will seriously knock out the need for any addictive behaviors, including sex. When sex is viewed in a healthier manner, as well as any other emotion, you may not even wish to seek it out as much as you once did, but you would enjoy it 10 times more than you ever did. And you will have more respect for it as the beautiful expression that it really is. Even loveless sex is ok as long as it is done with 2 consenting partners. But once sex is put into better balance, you will naturally gravitate to experiencing it fully and with someone you really care about. I know that sounds ironic and doubtful, it appears that if you allow yourself to fully experience sexual feelings then you may become a raving sex maniac. However, that comes from false preconceptions and beliefs. It is the other way around meaning that compulsive sexual behavior is the direct result from either sexual feelings being repressed until they can no longer be repressed, and/or from other repressed emotions in which sex becomes an addiction to escape from other distresses. Once everything is put in balance, even sex, then your true loving nature starts to emerge more and more. For that is our most true nature, that of love. Once we clear out our emotional baggage, we naturally gravitate towards more love for ourselves and others. Take it from me, someone who used to have severe problems with anxiety and depression, and now I am much more at peace with myself and others. I would like to end with this thought....we are not our thoughts and emotions, they simply pass through us. By allowing them to really pass through us instead of repressing them or holding onto them is when we get more in touch with the deeper aspects of ourselves such as true love. Many blessings to all of you!
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Shadow work has been around for eons and has been used by indigenous cultures around the world. It was made more popular in the west by Carl Jung.