By Pat Hagan for MailOnline. Keeping a lid on your emotions has long been thought to be bad for mental and physical health. The latest research shows that those who bottle up their feelings are at least a third more likely to die young than people who regularly express what they are thinking.
All it takes is a fake smile to hide an injured soul and no one will never notice how broken you really are. So often we wear that mask when the feelings wash around inside us desperately hoping that someone will see through our mask and into our pain. Often we push others away, not sure how they will react if they saw the real us showing them anger and hostility, for that is easier than the path of vulnerability and honest feelings.
Did you know that feelings and emotions are two different things? They do often get used in the same way. Simply, feelings are what we physically feel — like energetic, happy or calm.
The healing journey for survivors of sexual assault and childhood sexual abuse can be long and arduous. Depending on the severity of trauma and the stage of healing, survivors can experience periods in their lives that are very emotionally taxing for them and for their loved ones. The experiences of flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety, and recurrent fears make them feel powerless and serve as a reminder of the abuse. Feelings of shame and guilt and the desire to isolate themselves and hide are usual for survivors.
The world has been telling you to bottle up your emotions your entire life. Men, in particular, run the risk of exploding in rages as they finally unleash their pent-up emotions, and suffering long-term physical and psychological damage for failing to manage stress in a healthy way. This slows digestion, resulting in gas, bloating, constipation, vomiting, and, occasionally, ulcers.
Relationships ebb and flow — that's simply a fact of being in a partnership with another person. You'll have your golden honeymoon phase and it will fizzle out. From that point forward, you and your partner will have to put in effort to keep your relationship fresh, fun and sparkly, even when you don't feel like it because you love each other.
Giving attitude here and there is a survival mechanism you use to avoid exploding. Thinking that your feelings are foreign to everyone else. Innocent bystanders and undeserving individuals are at risk when you finally reach your boiling point.
Well, to me, emotional safety is the feeling you give to those around you that makes them feel safe enough to bring down their walls and open up. The day before I tweeted this, I was dealing with some repressed trauma and feeling extremely emotional. Sounds weird, I know, but the book explains why it took so long to see what was really going on, and subsequently, how often it continued to happen with other men in my life. Because the delayed realization hit me suddenly, it was overwhelming to say the least.
What is the best way to express your feelings? Should you merely do whatever comes to mind in sharing an emotion? Is it better to keep certain feelings to yourself?
If your partner has done something to really upset you and you bottle it up-you are much more likely to be aggressive. Even Freud talked about this…. Another study shows that suppressing emotions can take years off your life. When the survey was repeated ten years later it was found that premature death rates are the highest amongst those that bottle up their emotions.