It’s not uncommon for people to ask me about emotions. Maybe you’re wondering why you’ve been viewed as coldhearted. Maybe you have noticed your reaction to an event differs greatly from the reaction of another person, and it’s made you curious.
As an Atlanta therapist who works with high achievers, I’ve observed that many people bury or dismiss their emotion so they stay focused on their goals. While this can help minimize distractions, it can also come across as emotionally unavailable or insensitive to self and others.
Emotions Are Signals
Think of our emotions as a GPS system. They help direct and inform our beliefs about the world, how we think about the world, and even influence our behavior. When we aren’t open or attuned to them, we miss vital information.
Emotions tell us what our needs are and help us relate better with those around us. For example, feeling guilt about dismissing someone tells us that we need to own it, apologize, and make a different choice next time. This helps build healthier relationships.
Feeling anger and hurt can help us figure out where our boundaries are. Sadness can tell us we need comfort and belonging. Joy helps us see where we can get rejuvenated.
Suppressing Emotion Keeps You Stuck
If you are a high achiever, stuck is the last place you want to be.
At some point, you learned or decided that emotions were distractions, futile, bothersome, or even dangerous. Avoiding them or keeping them out of your conscious awareness was a coping mechanism. If you’re reading this, you’ve noticed that coping mechanism has outlived its usefulness.
Suppressing emotion can keep us in unhealthy relationships, set us up for poor boundaries, and can make us fall asleep to our own needs. Our Atlanta therapists see this stuff too often.
Emotion Will Make Itself Known
You may think you’re living through life undistracted or unbothered by your feelings, but suppressed emotion leaks out in different ways. In fact, suppressed emotion can actually make the emotion stronger!
The effects suppressed emotions can have on the body include:
- Greater physiological impact of stress on the body
- Higher blood pressure
- More muscle tension
- Weakened immune system
Have you ever all of a sudden felt a rush of rage or devastation disproportionate to the event happening in the moment? If so, that could be due to stuffed feelings that have exploded.
If you need help managing your emotions and wonder if therapy is a good fit for you, call or set an appointment today with our Atlanta therapist who works with high achievers.