A term you might’ve heard a lot nowadays is how you shouldn’t “bottle up” your thoughts, let alone your emotions. This means that you’re deliberately holding back from expressing a thought. Especially if it worries or concerns you because you don’t wish to face the emotions that will follow.
There are many harmful effects caused by you bottling up your thoughts. Just a couple include:
- Feeling anxious. As you’re trying to trick yourself into not confronting what’s on your mind, your anxiety levels will increase.
- Developing harmful coping mechanisms. To avoid the thoughts that are bothering you, you may find yourself eating or drinking and, if you smoke, smoking more than before.
- Following from the previous point, these habits can lead to not just weight gain or loss, and digestive issues as well.
This article will explain how you should not bottle up those thoughts by confronting and accepting that you’ve been having them.
Write Things Down
Although it sounds simple, writing down your thoughts is an effective technique. It’s even proven that it helps create catharsis.
Whether you’re using putting a pen to paper or typing on a computer, there are several ways in which you could do this. It could be a diary or journal entry, or even a letter to a person who might be bothering you. Remember not to send that letter, as it’s only being used for self-therapy.
As you write, your thoughts will properly take shape and become a lot clearer to you. They can become more personal than you expect. But writing will help you understand them more and give you a proper idea as to why you’ve been thinking about them.
At first glance, you might be thinking “if I decide to exercise, won’t I be avoiding confronting my thoughts?”
No matter what method of exercise you engage in or how long you’ll be doing it, you’ll have the space to focus on what’s on your mind. This can be as simple as going for a walk, or going to the gym and lifting weights. Regardless, exercise gives you a chance to reflect on your thoughts and emotions.
After all, the brain is often likened to being a muscle, so you’ll be exercising that as well as you move around.
Consider Why You’re Bottling Up
Sometimes, you are already fully aware of why you’ve been bottling things up.
There are a variety of reasons for doing this. You could be angry or upset (or a combination of the two) over someone or something, which can cause emotional distress. Thinking about and focusing on these thoughts might feel as though you’re reliving the initial experience that led to you having them in the first place. This can lead to you not wanting to go through them again, but ignoring them won’t make them go away.
By choosing to ignore the problem itself, you’re going to cause yourself numerous harmful repercussions. The biggest side effect of not challenging those thoughts is the increase in your anxiety levels, which can eventually make you feel anxious all the time.
Express Yourself Creatively
There are times when you just feel as though you want to express yourself, but you don’t want to downright say what’s on your mind. The thoughts can be negative or positive. But, that won’t stop them from being intrusive and possibly distracting you from whatever you’re doing.
There are many creative ways for you to convey your thoughts and ideas. Some methods include:
- Writing: We’ve already mentioned writing a letter or diary entry, but you could also write a story. It doesn’t matter if it’s too short or too long – go for it!
- Drawing or painting: It can be a pencil on paper or a paintbrush on a canvas; it will reveal how dedicated you can be when creating something.
- Listening or dancing to music: The latter is especially effective, as your moves will help you let out any suppressed emotions you might have.
- Cooking or baking: Whether it’s a treat or a meal you’ve always wanted to make, you’ll be surprised by the enthusiasm you’ll have due to the anticipation of seeing the finished product.
This sounds like the simplest thing to do, doesn’t it? But just saying “I’m sorry” or “I was wrong” is not easy for some people. If you’re an introvert, or you don’t want to confront your thoughts and the connected emotions, then talking won’t be easy for you.
But, this is the most effective way to relieve yourself of stress. It doesn’t matter who you decide to talk to – it could be a friend, a family member, a work colleague, or even a stranger. Just as long as you speak to someone and say what’s on your mind, you’ll feel the burden go away.
Read Now: How to Practice Active Listening
This was just a small number of ways to prevent you from bottling up your thoughts. If you’d like to know more on this topic, or perhaps an entirely different one altogether, please contact us today at Ceed.