Express. Don’t Suppress

Words: Dr Rajgopal NIDAMBOOR

It is not unusual for most of us to suppress our negative emotions for whatever reason. Suppressed emotions are like ‘bottled-up’ feelings, or a superfluous steam in the pressure valve, waiting to rupture. Suppressed painful emotions are, likewise, similar to a time-bomb ticking — or, waiting to explode. It is only when you release them with a ‘mindful’ objective do they lose their ability to harm you.

Not all of us think of and ‘detoxify’ our suppressed emotions, so long as they don’t upset the applecart of our feelings. Or, so long as they do not connect to certain feelings — the likely ‘cause’ of our suppressed emotions. The moment we ‘scan’ or ‘dig’ into them, it brings pallor on our face. Just like an apple cut into two. All said and done, it is not as difficult to deal with suppressed emotions as you’d, perhaps, think. All you’d need to do is look at them as frozen veggies in the refrigerator. Deal with them piecemeal — like you peel onions. Don’t allow them to fill up your mindscape. Rather, try to eliminate the burden of suppressed emotions from your psyche, or mind. You will now begin to move into a state of optimal emotional health. In other words, you will be in sync with yourself, because you have emptied your ‘toxic’ emotional overload.

Suppressed emotions are like repetitive ‘flashbacks’ indispensable to a heart-rending melodrama in the movies. The big question is — why can’t we deal with suppressed emotions, or angst, promptly, before they envelop our mind? Remember, it is not easy to delineate ourselves from our emotions. Purging our suppressed emotions is not as simple as switching off your mobile phone when you go to sleep. Besides, it is not easy to absorb, or experience, feelings the moment they are generated. It takes a few minutes, or more, for us to fathom, accept, savour, or reject them. What’s more, we are ‘conditioned’ to ‘connect’ such feelings with our past experience.

The saving grace is our mind is intelligent enough to recognise whether we can deal with, or fail to, handle our emotions. We are all endowed with a ‘mindful’ sensor that tells us whether we are geared, or not geared, to deal with certain emotions. This holds the key to protect us from danger, or keep us out of harm’s way. The moment we come to grips with ourselves, our mind allows us to feel that we are ‘equipped’ to manage things. While it is agreed that our mind has its own schedule, it is also its own ‘master’ of the moment, no less. It can ‘grasp’ the event before it seizes, or benumbs, us. This can extend to our dreams too. The reason being dreams are replete with high emotional content. It is, therefore, not uncommon for us to wake up from our dreams, smiling, or sobbing — subject to the type of events that emerged in our ‘sleepy’ imaginings. This is why therapists suggest that natural urges — hunger, thirst, or yawning — should not be unnaturally suppressed.

The best way to accept, or overcome, suppressed, negative, or unwanted emotions is to ‘feel again.’ In other words, think of yourself as being liberated from disturbing emotions. This is, of course, not as straightforward as it sounds. It requires yielding and accepting that you are hurt and that you want to rid yourself of that hurt. Or, it is all right to feel the twinge, but “I must sail through it and allow it to ebb.” This has a transforming effect. It ‘powers’ you to recognise and surmount your suppressed emotions — in other words, re-establish harmony and uphold synchronised balance.

Dr RAJGOPAL NIDAMBOOR, PhD, is a wellness physician-writer-editor, independent researcher, critic, columnist, author and publisher. His published work includes hundreds of newspaper, magazine, web articles, essays, meditations, columns, and critiques on a host of subjects, eight books on natural health, two coffee table tomes and an encyclopaedic treatise on Indian philosophy. He is Chief Wellness Officer, Docco360 — a mobile health application/platform connecting patients with Ayurveda, homeopathic and Unani physicians, and nutrition therapists, among others, from the comfort of their home — and, Editor-in-Chief, ThinkWellness360.

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