5 potential dangers associated with bottling up emotions
Each time you avoid venting about something, you risk building up unprocessed emotions over and over. You may do this out of fear of appearing weak or of getting judged. Whatever the reason, your physical and mental health are greatly affected when you repress your emotions. Here are five ways it can manifest.
You overreact to everything
Ever shaken up a bottle of a carbonated drink and unbottled it immediately? Yes, the soda gushes out with force. Similarly, the emotions you have suppressed for a long time can explode into anger or drown in overwhelming sadness whenever they finally get the opportunity to surface. Even the slightest amount of conflict or provocation can trigger an exaggerated emotional response.
You may experience digestive issues
Bottling up emotions for a long time has been shown to create problems with digestion. Stress and unresolved emotions may manifest as stomach cramps, diarrhea, bloating, or constipation. This further affects your metabolism. It can also negatively impact your eating patterns. As a result, you may experience sudden weight gain or loss. This may translate to developing body image issues later on.
You feel worried and anxious all the time
When you ignore your feelings and let them pile up, they can start to creep out of nowhere. As a result, you feel anxious all the time. For example, if you are experiencing some adjustment issues with your roommates and don't discuss this with them, then no matter how hard you try to hold up, the feelings will creep up as anxiety.
You resort to unhealthy coping mechanisms
When you suppress too many emotions inside yourself, you may tend to adopt unhealthy coping mechanisms. For example, you may drink all night to find an escape from having to deal with your painful emotions. You may also tend to lash out at your loved ones. These are self-destructive behaviors that will harm you and the people around you.
You experience unexplained weight fluctuations
Our body secretes stress hormones called cortisol whenever we experience stress. This happens as a counteraction to the release of adrenalin. It suppresses appetite in most people, and you might lose weight initially. However, once the cortisol takes over and your appetite returns, it leads to weight gain. These unexplained weight fluctuations can impact your physical and mental health.