Why it’s Important for Men to Express Their Emotions #WhatMenDontSay
As a man, have you ever found it hard to express your emotions despite having strong social support around you? A loving partner, a caring family & a close group of friends. Don’t worry your problem is not unique. In fact, most men face it.
Why Men Are Bad At Expressing Emotions
Even the most extroverted men often hide their real emotions from their loved ones. They have a hard time asking for help when they are struggling. A major reason: Men are taught from an early age that showing emotions is a sign of weakness. That real men don’t ask for help. And that leads to the bottling up some of their strongest emotions.
Bottling Emotions: A Labyrinthian Maze
Bottling emotions or not acknowledging them, according to many studies, actually makes these emotions stronger in us. And eventually, these pent-up emotions find a release through an explosion or overreaction to any other unrelated situation.
What Are the Effects of Bottling Your Emotions
The effects of suppressed emotions are varied & will manifest differently in every man.
1. Poor sleep patterns, insomnia & chronic physical exhaustion are often experienced & these affect every aspect of life.
2. Self-hating behaviours like binge eating, excessive spending, substance & gaming addictions may develop.
3. Weight gain is common since comfort eating has a direct relationship with bottling emotions
4. High blood pressure may be experienced since respiration & heart rates increase with the mental stress that is a direct consequence of suppressing emotions.
5. A whole host of digestive problems from stomach cramps to ulcers, constipation & acid reflux may be caused.
6.Displaced emotions and impulsive reactions will multiply. For example, a father might displace his anger on the boss on his child by scolding him unnecessarily.
7. We don’t mean to scare you but studies show that over the long term chance of premature death is increased by more than 30% with a risk of being diagnosed with cancer increased by 70% for people bottling up their emotions.
So you need to take charge of your emotions for your own good.
What are Emotions & How to Manage Them
Emotion is like Energy in motion. Organizing and expressing your emotions helps you organize your energy and organized energy is productive energy. If one feels unproductive or unfocused, it’s often because of pent up emotions or disorganized emotions. This often happens when our mind is running in a hundred different directions. These distracting emotions & dispersed mind state need to be effectively dealt with to increase productivity and a general sense of well-being.
Best ways to start expressing emotions:
Taking time out to organise and express your emotions helps maintain good emotional health. Follow the below steps for best results. And don’t cut corners.
1. Make An Emotional Log Book
Labelling emotions every hour is a good exercise, to begin with. Maintaining an emotion Log or journal could be useful in assessing your own internal journey.
2. Be An Emotional Detective for Your Own Self
It is important to recognise how you’re feeling. Becoming an emotional detective to our own self & in this way increase your self-awareness. You just have to acknowledge the emotion internally, verbalising it is not necessary. Ask yourself “why am I acting this way? Why am I feeling this emotional reaction?” Just the act of identifying and describing the feeling can have a beneficial effect.
3.Have a Dialogue
If it is possible, confront the person or situation that’s the trigger for your emotions with the aim of resolving the problem. If not, empower yourself by becoming an observer to the situation. ‘Observing’ means mentally stepping out of the situation & seeing yourself in it from a third-person perspective. Donning such an outside perspective will help you calmly understand the other person’s perspective & why they behave how they behave. Try to practice forgiveness towards the situation & the people involved. If you cannot confront the situation, share it with someone you trust. That will help make the feeling less intense & have a therapeutic effect on the brain.
4.Own Your Responses
Self-reflect on the way you reacted to & dealt with the situation by going over the situation in minute detail. Evaluate your behaviour & how you could have handled the emotions better.
5.Give Yourself Some Self-Care
Take out time to do anything you like that calms & relaxes you – be it running, gardening, cooking, singing, yoga, hiking, reading or anything else. Studies have shown that people regulated their difficult emotions better after moderate exercise.
Clearing Emotional Backlog: A Constant Endeavour
Managing & expressing your emotions is a continuous process & considering our predisposition as men, we need to work doubly hard to stay in control of our emotions & ensure there is no emotional backlog we are piling up within. Internalise the above processes & make them a part of your daily life to become emotionally healthy & reach your full potential in all spheres of life.