Suck It Up! Be A Man!
Why It Is Important To Feel Our Emotions By: Manahil Noman (Clinical Psychologist)
Somewhere between self-distraction, prescription drug use, and spending long hours outside of home, stands running away from our emotions. Do you often see yourself sitting at the chai khana with company or watching YouTube until you start watching “My cat’s reaction to me dying” until you fall asleep for the next day? The circumstances we grow up in and the cues we receive from our culture, often decide how we face our emotions. Males from a young age are told to “man up” and females are told to “suck it up”. The less harsh signs we could possibly receive are “So what’s there to be sad about in this sweetie, be strong!” Your loved ones may be saying this with the right intentions but what you have to remember is that emotions go away by feeling them.
The more we feel our emotions, the lesser effect they have on us. The more we ignore them, the more they come back to us. Take them as roller coaster rides that go up and down. Life is a roller coaster and emotions are just a part of being human. The key to making the ride smoother is to really feel them.
The first step to feeling them is to know the emotional vocabulary and be aware of what is going on inside you. Are you feeling peaceful, hurt, or annoyed?
The next step is to press the pause button and acknowledge what you are feeling. It is okay to feel what you feel. Know the reason behind your hurt and know that it is okay to feel.
The third step is to process your emotions. You can:
1) Draw how you feel.
3) Punch a pillow, squeeze it, hug it!
4) Let yourself be, let yourself cry, let your body be vulnerable and allow yourself to feel.
5) Make a gratitude list.
6) Talk to someone or write it down.
7) Hold your own hand, hug yourself, be there for yourself.
However, I would like to add on that self-distraction is a way of coping and is beneficial unless it is not done in excess or to run away from how you feel. It is helpful to use self-distraction after some acknowledgement of emotions and allowing yourself to be human. Remember, the more you ignore them, the more they will come back to you! So, what seems better, eh?