Have you seen those videos of influencers They tell you that you should “smile at life” from the moment you wake up until you go to bed, but many times you just can’t? Do not be sad. Research from the University of California at Berkeley, United States, studied the link between the acceptance of emotions and psychological health in more than 1,300 adults and found that those who normally accepted their negative emotions experienced fewer of them. This means that the pressure to always feel happy can make you feel worse. These are 7 reasons why you should stop judging your emotions and start accepting them.
1. Emotions build up
When you pretend that something that exists is not there, it will cause problems in the long run. If you feel sad and hide it, you will not only be neglecting a time bomb, but you will be missing the opportunity to receive the help you need. This happens a lot with anger, because most people believe that expressing their disagreement or annoyance with something can make them look “difficult.” But suppressing your emotions will only serve to intensify them. Letting them out on time will give you the necessary tools to handle them.
2. They are natural
Daniel Gilbert, American author and lecturer on happiness and human psychology, explains that emotions are like blood pressure: “They must fluctuate. It’s a system that’s supposed to go back and forth, between happiness and unhappiness, to guide you through the world.” Emotions are something natural and, without them, we would be like robots. They are what allows us to connect with others and with ourselves, and knowing sadness is how we can appreciate joy.
3. They improve our communication
Most interpersonal conflicts are due to a breakdown in communication, or a complete lack thereof. If you hide your true emotions when arguing, communicating effectively will be more difficult because others will not be able to understand you. For example, if every time your mother visits you she criticizes how you decorated your house and you don’t say anything, there will come a time when one of her comments will make you explode. This can make you an angry and resentful person.
4. They make you be you
Your emotions are an important part of who you are, so when you judge or repress them, you are denying your own essence. If you finally achieved something you’ve been wanting for a long time (perfected a recipe, completed a marathon, got promoted at work) and you want to scream with joy, do you do it or do you hold back and keep a straight face so as not to “make a fool of yourself”? If you choose the latter, you are denying yourself the opportunity to shine and show your true nature.
5. They deepen relationships
Many people hide their emotions because they believe they are protecting others, but this may not be the case. If every time your partner asks you if something is wrong you answer “no”, even though it is obvious that something is wrong, you will not only make him frustrated and stop trusting you, but you will be denying yourself the opportunity to receive help or just vent. This will, in the long run, affect the relationship. The same goes for your friends and family. Express yourself and let them in.
6. They allow you to heal
If you have a broken heart, whether due to disappointment in love, a professional setback, or any other life event, how will it heal if you repress everything you are feeling? If you don’t acknowledge and truly experience your emotion, you may never be able to get over whatever you’re going through. And, again, many times we need outside help, something we can’t get if we don’t express what we are feeling. This is even more true when it comes to major events, such as trauma or loss.
7. They can affect your health
A study published in 2013, carried out by specialists from the University of Rochester, Columbia University and the Harvard School of Public Health, followed 729 people for 12 years and found a link between the repression of emotions and the risk of early death. . The research indicates that a possible explanation is that ignoring emotions increases stress, which has negative effects on pathologies such as diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular problems.
How to stop judging our emotions?
If you feel that your emotions are overflowing and you don’t know how to handle them, to the point that they have begun to affect others, or if you have been repressing them for so long that you don’t recognize them or can’t let them out, the best thing you can do is seek Professional Help. Going to therapy can give you the tools to have a better relationship with your emotional side. Additionally, you can follow some of these tips:
- When you feel an emotion, you may think it will last forever. But remember that all emotions are temporary. Furthermore, its intensity can change from one moment to the next. Allow yourself to feel it and remember that it does not define you.
- Imagine that it is someone you appreciate who comes to you talking to you about that emotion. What would you say? Many times we are more empathetic with others than with ourselves. Talk to yourself as you would talk to a loved one.
- Try to think about the consequences of suppressing your emotion. For example, it bothers you when your partner makes sexist jokes. If you don’t say anything, what will happen when you can’t take it anymore and you explode? Do you think you will handle it in the best way?
- Ask yourself what you can learn from that emotion. As mentioned above, emotions are part of our personality and can help us notice other things that are happening.