Letting my emotions out

I bottle everything up until I have a full-on breakdown. 

Don’t judge yourself, says our elder. Keep clearing the decks and stop your emotions piling up.


Dear EWC

Hey, I’m a 16-year-old girl and I’m having problems with letting out my emotions, I tend to bottle up my emotions through certain events big and small and not react, but when one small thing happens all the emotions come rushing in at once and I have a full-on breakdown that wasn’t necessary for the situation, I want to know how can I let out my emotions and not bottle it up. I have tried to let out my emotions before (by crying) but I can’t even cry, which I didn’t think was possible. I’ve been through a lot but even the little things that build up really affect me when I have my breakdown, so I was wondering how do I not let it pile up? Thanks so much.


Grandpa-Matt replies

Emotions are nothing more than energy-in-motion. Everything you are feeling is just an unconscious response to a thought about what is happening to you in the moment. In fact, an emotion is nothing more than a messenger as to what is going on beneath our level of awareness. We mistakenly think in terms of good emotions or bad emotions. 

We often judge our emotions as negatives, and desire to judge, deny or bottle up those emotions that we judge as inappropriate or bad ones. Anger, jealousy, hostility, and hate are some of the “bad” ones that we think we shouldn’t entertain, while we are OK with peace, love, happiness and trust are some of those acceptable ones.

While I don’t know you, nor am I a therapist, it is clear to me that a little judge sits inside your head and orders you to behave in a certain way whenever those negative feelings show up. It probably criticizes and condemns you for having those emotions.

What to do about it? First, realize that you are entitled to feel what you are feeling in each moment! Secondly, please know that there are no bad feelings. Third, expressing your emotions as they happen is a healthy way of being honest, open and authentic. Fourth, and most important, never take on the role of victim and blame anyone else for your feelings. Emotions are like bad breath, in that nobody can give it to you. You have to have it yourself.

Your emotions are all your responsibility to handle. If someone says to you, “Cheer up,” sometimes you do, and sometimes not. Whose choice is it? It is always your choice. The same thing applies to all of your emotional responses.

The only true way of handling the emotions is to deal with it in the moment, and taking responsibility for its effects upon you. For example you might say, “I get upset when you don’t call me when you promised, and it makes me feel unappreciated. I know it is not your intention to cause me upset, and that you might have forgotten or got busy. I want you to know that it bothers me, even though it is my issue to deal with”. 

Just don’t let time pass between your emotional upset and communicating what goes on inside you. Keep clearing the decks. Metaphorically, it is like clearing away the dinner dishes when it is over. Don’t save the mess until the next morning. 

I hope this assists you in avoiding a pile up of negative feelings.

Article #: 457167

Category: Self-Improvement

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