We all know that keeping negative thoughts and feelings bottled up for too long eventually leads to an emotional volcano of sorts – however what you may not know is that it can also take years off your life.
Emotional roadblock or rollercoaster?
In a study done at the Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Rochester, a 35 percent increase in premature death was shown in those that failed to express their feelings. More specifically, researchers found a statistically significant increase in the percentage of heart disease and cancer. Clearly, not dealing with your emotions in a healthy way can be more damaging than was previously thought.
But what is causing all of these premature deaths? In a chicken or egg scenario, many people find themselves turning to self-destructive behaviours like cigarettes, alcohol, and unhealthy food to calm or soothe themselves. By the same token, whether the skeletons are in the closet or under the rug, it greatly contributes to a poorer state of mental health. When we choose to bottle up our emotions, we are much more likely to have explosive reactions to unrelated stressors. This unpredictable behaviour is not only detrimental to our relationships but also to our overall sense of well-being. It can often feel like we are riding a rollercoaster of highs and lows instead of having a more balanced state.
Untying your tongue and embracing emotion
So what can you do to combat your negative emotions and stress? While it may feel good to express your emotions in a cathartic way (after all, better out than in), it’s just as important to relay them in a healthy and productive manner. Practice makes perfect and that certainly applies to how we express our emotions. Learning techniques from a professional can make the world of difference – particularly in communicating in situations where you feel silenced. In time, you will learn to have a voice. More so, it will add years to your life.
To book a complimentary consultation with a professional, call 416.921.(CARE) 2273 or email us today.