The danger of internalizing emotions

April 18, 2017

When you are emotional there are only two options. You either explode or you implode.

In other words; you express your emotions or you keep them inside you. Often showing our true feelings is not (deemed) a possibility, so we focus our emotions inward—we internalize them.

Let me explain.

You’re in a situation where somehow something triggers sadness—and you want to cry. But you decide you can’t.

So you want to cry but you don’t.

Now there is only one way left for your sadness: it has to go inward. And that means your beautiful body—where every part is assigned a vital function—is now suddenly forced to make room for your sadness. Because your body has no separate storage room for ‘unexpressed emotions’!

We’re often not aware of this mechanism and our body is so accommodating that it finds space in some cells to store your sadness.

Okay, problem solved—or so it seems.

These cells now function at less than full capacity. If this happens only once in your life you’ll be fine. But chances are you do it regularly.

We all do it. It’s often automatic—we don’t take the time to process our emotions and we direct them inward.

This is not only unhealthy from an emotional perspective, it’s actually endangering your physical health!

Multiple clusters of cells now function at less than their best, so diseases may develop.

If you have any health challenge you may want to pay more attention to how you handle your emotions. Because using your body for storage means it can’t function at full capacity.

And to be clear, this goes for positive emotions as well!

So when you’re very happy—take the time to celebrate your success or joy. There’s no need to play cool. Do a happy dance, have lots of tea and chocolate or whatever your version of celebration is.

Now there is good news too!

You can release the emotions so your cells no longer need to be used for storage.

The easiest way to release is to have a good cry. I bawled my eyes out last weekend. Sometimes it happens spontaneously and I’m not even sure what I’m crying about. But it usually feels like some deep-rooted emotions come up, and I feel lighter afterwards.

Other times I simply feel like I need a good cry and then I often use this song as a trigger.

So next time you are happy or sad, express what you feel instead of holding your emotions hostage! Ideally let it out right then and there 🙂

Or at least make time for it later. Your body will thank you for it!

iris cheery
© 2018 Bright Eyes