• FriendlyTherapist

6 Signs you’re bottling up your emotions

Are you bottling your emotions?

Do you box them away so you don’t have to deal with how you really feel?

It might feel like the best thing to do sometimes but it’s no good for you in the end, as those feelings stay buried and could turn into resentment, anger, sheer frustration or worse.

It can be difficult to realise it’s what you are doing when it’s been happening for years, so here are six signs to help you recognise if you are:

1. You hardly ever shout but you can snap over the smallest of things.

Studies have shown that people are more likely to get angry, quickly when they don’t express how they are feeling.

2. You distract yourself whenever you start to feel uncomfortable.

Do you play around on your phone a lot or have a drink most nights? Then there is a good chance that you’re doing this to avoid thinking about your feelings.

It’s much easier to do something mindless like computer games, binging on TV or even sleeping loads than it is facing your inner demons.

3. You act differently around others than when you are by yourself.

How do you feel when you are on your own and how does that compare to when you are with friends or family? If there’s a difference then you may well be bottling your emotions.

Some people hide their stresses from others as they don’t want to ‘burden’ them but deep inside they are struggling. Alternatively, you might feel like you are wearing a mask.

4. You have strong reactions to highly emotional people who express anger or sadness.

How do these two photos make you feel?

Do you feel like crying is bad or a sign of weakness?

Does anger scare you?

Then you may find you struggle with how to react or how to give comfort, especially if these emotions hold painful or traumatic memories for you.

5. You feel distanced from others.

For example, you’re at the pub with your friends, and everyone is having a laugh but you feel as if you’re watching them rather than being a part of it. You may also find it hard to get close to people and keep them at arm’s length.

By bottling up your emotions, you can distance yourself from how you really feel, which makes it hard to express emotions to others.

6. You hate confrontation so you don’t talk about what makes you angry.

Some people get upset when they get angry so avoid it, or they don’t like to upset others.

Even if you bury your emotions, you can still feel angry and sad. Instead of understanding the reason why, you numb yourself to the pain.

Feelings should not be so fear inducing. They’re often a sign that something is wrong and they are trying to tell you. So the more aware you are of your feelings, the more at peace you can become.

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