Bottled up emotions can affect your life in unexpected ways. For this reason, it’s important to recognize if you repressing your emotions too much.
We all have moments where it is better to repress our emotions rather than articulate every single feeling we experience. Our society dictates that we should be strong and unemotional. But if you are constantly repressing what you feel, these bottled up emotions could be affecting your mental and physical health.
Here are 10 signs that indicate you might have bottled up emotions:
1. You have a tough exterior
You might have been described as being ‘tough as old boots’ or that you are tough on the outside. There appears to be no situation that will make you crack or break down.
To everyone around you, it is as though you simply don’t care, but only psychopaths are incapable of feeling emotion, and even they care about themselves. If you are always seen as tough, then you might also appear to be unapproachable.
2. You have frequent tantrums
Your emotions have to be released at some point, and having a tantrum or getting stroppy about the little things is a sure sign you are bottling up much more important emotions.
Tantrums are childish and immature and are just a way of coping so that you don’t have to go through the bigger stuff. You’ll put people off you if you keep on having little tantrums.
3. You’re a good listener
Despite not being able to deal with your own emotions you are pretty good at doling out advice for other people. You are known as being a good listener and people value your sound advice.
The point to remember is that while you are helping others you are putting your own problems on the back burner.
4. You often feel lonely
You might be a good listener for your friends and colleagues, but inside you feel lonely. In a world where people love to talk about themselves and their emotions, you feel like a true outsider.
5. You feel anxious all the time
It stands to reason that if you have bottled up emotions, they will have to come out somewhere and somehow. By not dealing with what you are feeling, you are not fooling your body. It senses that something is wrong and tries to release the problem in other ways, i.e. anxious feelings.
6. You’re always rushing about
One of the most common symptoms of bottled up emotions is if you are constantly rushing about, you are always busy and do not have time to stop. This is a coping mechanism so that you simply don’t have the time to go through your emotional problems or feelings.
7. You have an addictive personality
Hitting the bottle, smoking, taking drugs, over or under eating, excessive exercise are all symptoms that you are avoiding dealing with the real problem. These are symptomatic of a person who is masking the underlying issues and pushing aside the actual problems.
8. You gain/lose weight
If you are constantly bottling up your true feelings, your body is under a great deal of stress and produces the ‘stress hormone’ cortisol. This is to counteract the release of adrenalin but a side effect is that it suppresses your appetite.
This leads to weight loss at the start but as soon as adrenalin disappears, the cortisol takes over and your appetite returns with a vengeance, leading to weight gain.
9. You have digestive issues
The brain and your digestive tract are closely linked and stress experienced in the brain will often affect the gut. You could be experiencing stomach cramps, constipation, bloating, diarrhoea or a sudden allergic reaction to certain foods. Gut problems affect your metabolism and will slow you down.
10. You have regular headaches
Tension or cluster headaches are a true indication that you are struggling to keep your emotions under control. If you find that you are also forgetful and get easily distracted, this is another sign of bottled up emotions.
Keeping your emotions under wraps is not beneficial in a physical or mental capacity. You can decide to carry on ignoring your emotions or you can confront them and lead a healthier life. The emotions will come out sooner or later and in a way that you probably won’t be able to control.
It is better that you are in charge of how they are released. So the next time you feel like shutting them down, take a deep breath and remember that we all feel emotional and there is nothing wrong with expressing how you feel.