The Mask Of Society; Have You Been Influenced To Suppress Your Emotions?

Exhaustion. Emotional stress. Burnout. Breakdown. Is it sad that we are all too familiar with these terms in our current society? That there is a very high likelihood that we have seen someone, know someone or are someone experiencing these issues?

Our modern world has the capacity to make us sick. “Time poverty is now a recognized psychological and social stressor” states Psychotherapist and Ecotherapist Linda Buzzell. “In a speeded-up, highly complex society, there just isn’t enough time for everything”. Cue stress. Cue negative emotions. Cue physical symptoms and illness. But contrary to what many believe, burnouts, breakdowns or mid life crises aren’t isolated occurrences. They are actually our whole life in the making.

We have become conditioned by our surroundings to suppress our emotions. We are expected to be confident, strong, successful and constantly driving forward in all areas of our lives, 24/7.  The expectation that we are to fill every spare second with something productive, fun or exciting has left people feeling like they are failing at life, especially if their instagram and facebook feed isn’t projecting every AMAZING moment of their day.

Society has raised the bar on the ‘normal life’. We are expected to be on top of work, our friendships, our exercise routine, our health and our life admin. We are raising kids, caring for a partner, being a supportive family member and running a household. We are dealing with the thousands of curve balls life throws our way.  And we are expected just to deal with it.

But has anyone ever taught you how to deal with it? We are continually propelled forward in this fast paced life. There is always something taking us away from ourselves. We have lost the ability to feel in the moment, investigate how we are feeling and deal with reality.

Therapist Michael Sky says humans have been conditioned by this world to “suppress emotions as a way to avoid expressing them”. These emotions build up and build up; for weeks, months, years, decades. Then, when there’s no more space, when it all overflows, it explodes into an  ‘unexpected’ meltdown. Not really a surprise now is it?

Sky explains “inhibiting the free flow of emotional energies over the course of a lifetime causes serious damage to our bodies, minds, and spirits”. Psychotherapist Amy Morin agrees and adds, “Most of us are never educated about feelings. Instead, we’re supposed to learn socially acceptable ways to deal with feelings by watching the people around us”.

So how do we fix this? The first step is to surround yourself with people who can educate and guide you. Practices such as yoga, meditation and therapeutic methods teach you how to understand your emotions and provide communities and role models who can support you in discovering your internal connection. Seek their knowledge and detach yourself from the unrealistic views society project.

Knowledge is power. Let go of the world that no longer serves you and re-engage armed with the skills to take care of your health. With greater understanding and confidence you will gain awareness of your emotions.The ability to understand and process these in a healthy way will allow you to unlock the happy life you want.