So, what is the best way to deal with emotions? Should you repress or express them? Actually, neither. Repression is bad, but expression is even worse. You will never fully get rid of negative emotions just by expressing them.
If you keep doing it, it will become a habit, and anytime something happens that triggers your emotion, you will just unconsciously react. You will remain a slave to your emotions. You will get swept away by them, and you will feel guilty afterwards. Not to mention the other person who you may hurt, and possibly destroy the relationship.
Maybe you manage to repress the emotional energy for a while because you are not allowed to express anger towards your boss. But then you will be angry with those who are weaker than you, for example, your wife. Now the energy has moved towards your wife, but she also cannot keep it inside her. She finds someone weaker than her and gives the anger to the children. You have become unburdened, she has become unburdened, but at a very high price.
Energy cannot be easily suppressed, but when you express it, it spreads like a virus. Anger creates a chain reaction, and magically it always travels in a circle. Ultimately, you will get this anger back in one form or another, because you always receive what you give. You probably also received it from somebody else, because you also give what you receive.
Sometimes however you choose to repress the emotion totally for one reason or another. But as you already know, energy cannot be destroyed, so it starts working inside you. Instead of going out, it is now going in. Anger spreads like a virus the same way as before, but now in your body. Suppressed anger is the main emotional cause of cancer, and one of the most important unknown negative side-effects of civilized behavior.
Repressing anger means that you keep this poison close to your being instead of throwing it out of your system. Instead of being angry temporarily, you become angry permanently. Anger is now part of your being, your personality, and your everyday life. When you are speaking, when you are eating, even when you are making love, this anger will be there. Society is teaching you to control anger because letting it out is dangerous to others. However, keeping it in is even more dangerous to you.
Stuck emotion is like a deep wound unhealed but covered. First, it was just a scar, you could have healed it easily when it happened. But instead of dealing with it at its time, you pushed it deep into your subconscious, and it caused an inflammation. Now it affects your whole system, and the more time it spends there, the more damage it will cause. It is time to uncover your wounds even if they hurt, and heal them in the light of your consciousness.
Anger in expression is aggression against others. Anger in repression is aggression against yourself. The third way is understanding and thus transforming anger. Awareness transforms aggression to compassion towards yourself and others. From now on, you won’t have to choose between expression and repression. Through understanding, awareness, and consciousness, negative emotions won’t even appear in the first place.
From which feeling does anger arise from? Frustration. Whenever you feel angry, you are also frustrated with the situation or with the behavior of somebody. You hope that by expressing anger, you will somehow change the circumstances to your advantage. You hope that the other person will change his behavior because he will feel threatened by you. Fighting frustration creates anger.
But what creates frustration in the first place? Expectations. Whenever you are frustrated, you always have expectations towards a situation or a person. Most often than not, these expectations are way too extreme, rigid, absolutist, illogical, fictional and dysfunctional. These irrational beliefs, the musts and the shoulds, were conditioned into your thinking pattern when you were a child.
You need to go back to these core beliefs and question them. For example, you may be angry at yourself, because you finished only second at a competition. You are frustrated, because you believe you must, under every circumstance, and in any case, always finish first. If not, you are not a valuable person, and others won’t love you.
When defining the first expectation clearly, it can be immediately seen to be unrealistic and extreme. The second statement, which attaches your self-worth to being a winner, also looks irrational at first glimpse. In spite of this, your mind is full of these stupid statements that you don’t even know about. Instead of taking them as facts, start to uncover each of them.
These kinds of core unconscious beliefs are the keys to creating a healthy emotional life. Going back to the previous example, whenever you feel angry, ask yourself why? Why am I frustrated, what are my expectations? Define them clearly, say them out loud, you can even write them down. Afterwards, ask yourself: Is this true? Does this sound logical? How can I know that it is true? Can I actually know this is true? Is there any evidence? Does this statement help me? Is this really true?
More often than not, you will find that the underlying statement is false, and your expectation is wrong. After you gained insight into your irrational and dysfunctional belief, you can change it to a better one. One that truly helps you and makes you feel good. By letting go of your expectations, frustration and anger will dissolve on their own.
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