Keeping a bird caged serves no value in life. Tweety Bird from Looney Tunes takes every chance he can get to trick Sylvester into letting him fly free. Being cooped up in a tiny cage when nature gave them the ability to fly across the world can only be detrimental to one’s psyche. In today’s world, the cliche of talking about one’s emotions often carries the stigma that one is weak and can not deal with it themselves. However, keeping one’s emotions bottled up is much like keeping Tweety in his cage. The value of life of being trapped by your own thoughts can be revealed by verbalizing one’s feelings but, talking about feelings is much easier said than done. Many times sad, sour, or angry thoughts are much harder to express than those of happiness and pride. Leaving those depressive and angry thoughts unsaid can can come back to haunt you in the end.
In the brain, there is a tiny structure called the amygdala located in the front portion of the sides of the brain. The amygdala is in charge of handling a person’s emotions, survival instincts, and memory. Each time a person experiences thoughts of anger and sadness, the amygdala lights up. Using this knowledge, researchers at UCLA decided to look further into specifically how emotions work. Within this study, they revealed that when someone spoke about the anger one experiences triggered either by images or their own thoughts, the amygdala experienced a decreased response. Verbalizing feelings actually made those feelings of anger, pain, and sadness less intense making them easier to deal with.
Although research suggests that everyone line up one by one and vent with their nearest mental health care professional, the reality is, those thoughts of anger or sadness are the hardest to express. Personality types are closely related to how well one can express their emotions. Studies show that those high in extroversion are more emotionally responsive than those high in neuroticism. Learning about your own personality can help you too find the strengths and weakness within yourself in order to best help you find a plan of action to see which way of expression best works for you. Click here to find out your personality type.
Going to therapy serves as the best option for emotional expression because there are trained individuals out there that can help you with these suffocating thoughts. The good thing about therapy is that it is run by you. Walking into a practice you are the driver and the therapist is only the passenger that helps keep you on path, pointing out different perspectives or routes to help you reach your ultimate destination.
Therapy helps by:
- Talking about your feelings gives them shape
- Reminding you that you are not alone
- Repressed Emotions will come back to haunt you
Starting out your emotional expressive journey can include:
- Writing in a Journal
- Seeing a therapist
- Starting conversations with loved ones with, “I feel…” rather than “I feel that…”
Expressing your emotions can have long lasting benefits. Labeling one’s feelings does not burden you with the task of trying to make yourself feel better, it simply just allows you to conceptualize the abstract that you call your thoughts. Knowing how to express one’s feelings can be helpful in sustaining close bonds within your life, and even a longer life. Will you choose to live a life flying free or trapped within the cage called your mind?
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