Don't Let Your Emotions Get Bottled Up

When we were very young, public emotional outbursts were normal; in fact, they were expected. As we’ve grown up, expectations have changed; outbursts are completely unacceptable, even minor expressions of frustration are looked down upon. We are expected to hold it together all the time, no matter the situation. If you don’t have an outlet for your emotions, this can lead to you bottling up your emotions.

I have a lot of personal experience with this. As an introvert, I have had a difficult time being in social environments for long periods of time. This limits my interactions with friends, and since talking to friends is one of the best outlets for emotions, I’m unable to release anything that’s piled up.

As we enter into adulthood, and have more responsibilities, we have more moments of frustration and less time to let it out. However, being adult means that we must have a handle on our emotions nearly all the time, so finding another method of release is critical to your mental health. I recommend something creative.

Journaling is a very popular method. You can journal in a physical notebook or on your computer; personally, I use both. I do hear more recommendations for using a notebook, but I think it’s really a personal preference. I use both methods, because I write differently when I’m physically writing than when I’m typing. When I write, I’m meticulous about my word choice, so much so that I often forget everything I wanted to write. When I type, however, I just write and let my ideas flow, and if I want to edit it, I easily can.

Any other type of writing can work too. You can write poetry, short stories, a novel, a blog, anything really. When you do this for the purpose of emotional release, just let your emotions drive you. If you’re writing a novel, for example, write the happy scenes when something amazing happened in your life and the sad scenes when you’re feeling down; that way you’re not trying to contradict how you feel.

If you’re an artist, or want to be, make some art - draw, paint, sculpt. Your art is a part of you, so allow yourself to put some of you in your art. Some of the most incredible art I have ever seen was driven by anger or misery. You don’t have to use words to express yourself, and that is an incredibly beautiful aspect of being human.

Whatever method you choose to use, make sure to keep using it. Outlets work a lot better if they’re used consistently; don’t use them for only one or two annoying emotions. Letting your emotions get too built up can be dangerous and you could explode. Emotional explosions don’t just hurt you, but everyone around you. As adults, the circles of friends that we have are a lot smaller than when we were kids, and they care a lot more about what goes on. Emotionally exploding has the potential to isolate you, which would only make the situation worse.

Please remember that working through your emotions is not an easy thing, but it is very important for your health.