Have you been holding things in lately?
Sometimes we stay quiet because it feels like the right thing to do.
It might also be better, now and then, not to rock the boat.
And occasionally, because life is just easier that way, you might decide to keep shtum.
I totally get it.
There’s even some science behind this; what’s sometimes called our Range of Acceptable Behaviour (and the Low-Power Double Bind. You can find out more about this, in this video). Essentially, if we don’t speak up, our needs may go unnoticed, and if we do speak up we fear we’ll be punished. So we find ourselves stuck thinking what’s for the best. ). If we don’t speak up, our needs may go unnoticed, and if we do speak up we fear we’ll be punished. So we get stuck knowing what to do.
It’s not always easy to speak your truth. But whether we give someone a piece of our mind or not, it can have an impact on how we feel. You might feel guilt for saying something or anger for saying nothing at all, and it all matters.
Feelings that aren’t recognised or acknowledged can bubble underneath until eventually they burst out of your mouth like a New Year’s Eve firework. It can seem to come out of nowhere, especially if someone else lights the blue touch paper. Whether you’re feeling guilt for saying something or anger for saying nothing at all, it all matters.
We also know that not talking about how we feel can take its toll on our physical health. So it’s important to talk about the impact our emotions are having, whether or not we talk about why.
This week, set the intention to Let It Out. Whether it’s having a good cry, punching a pillow or arranging to meet a friend for a cuppa to put the world to rights, let your emotions have some air by getting them out in the open. If things really are taking their toll, see if your doctor can suggest some local offers of support. You could also try “sitting with the difficult”. This is a mindfulness term for acknowledging challenging emotions, without getting caught in the storyline of why. Simply acknowledge the emotion (because it’s there anyway) label it as it is, and then take a few deep breaths. As this article says, name it, and tame it.
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Copyright Delphi Ellis 2019