I like to call the place where I put my repressed emotions my “emotional box”. For years since I was diagnosed with anxiety I have put all my negative emotions inside of my emotional box. The thing with anxiety is, sometimes those emotions are irrational. For instance, you get super anxious because the dishes are dirty, or you can’t leave the house because your hair doesn’t fall exactly how you want it. But .. there are other negative emotions that are rational.
Negative emotions are not bad.
They are a survival mechanism to warn you when you are doing something that could put you in danger. The thing is, when you suppress all your negative emotions you become vulnerable to doing things that could put your happiness in jeopardy.
The first step to finding happiness and fulfillment is to unlock all the emotions. The rational AND the irrational. This is going to be a shit storm. Trust me.. I KNOW. When you allow yourself to feel all the emotions you have been suppressing for God knows how many years, you are going to feel like the weight of the world has suddenly dropped on your shoulders. But just remember..
It’s all part of the process.
Allowing yourself to feel all the suppressed emotions is going to allow you to shift through what is rational and what is irrational. However, there will be emotions associated with certain actions that you are not sure IF they are rational or irrational. For those I encourage you to seek help from a medical professional such as a psychologist or psychiatrist, especially if the emotions become too overpowering.
You need to take it at your own pace.
One book I highly recommend to walk you through your emotions is “The Judgement Detox” by Gabrielle Bernstein. It goes into detailed steps how to deal with judgements. To me, judgements are just anxieties that we project onto others. By working through your judgements you will be able to pinpoint your anxieties and work through them all.
This can take weeks, months or even years. For me, it took a good five months. But you have to remember that mental health is not a destination, it is a journey. No matter how much time you spend working through your deepest anxieties and troubles they will always continue to crop up throughout your life. But now, hopefully, you will have the tools to deal with them efficiently and effectively without having to suppress your emotions and re-locking your emotional box.