““But feelings can’t be ignored, no matter how unjust or ungrateful they seem.”
― Anne Frank
We all experience varied emotions throughout the day. The moment we start our day, emotions start playing with us. They keep on fiddling. Emotions can be intense or mild. Depending upon the circumstances and the state of mind that we are in make them complex or simple. Some people explicitly come out with their feelings and a few blow them out of proportion, others put them under the wraps. However, emotions keep their existence alive and play an important role in influencing our decisions and choices. Though emotions are short lived but their impact on one’s life is long lasting and at times huge. For e.g. most heated arguments and road rages are the consequence of emotions of Anger. Even our older generation have been emphasising not to make any promises when you are very happy or take decisions when you are in an extreme state of emotions. The impact of it may be lifelong.
The power of Emotions cannot be underestimated. They have a strength to make or ruin a bond. Mismanaged emotions can also affect on the physical well being of an individual. Hypertension, diabetes, migraine, anxiety and other psychosomatic illnesses have become quite common. They all are by-products of decline in emotional health. Even some skin allergies are also the result of subconsciously suppressed emotions.
The point to ponder over here, why expressing or venting of emotions is a challenge for most of us. Why we store or ignore or suppress them. If expressed, why for most of us it pours out in extreme, either overtly or covertly? Is it something that we are missing out? Is there any training or skill that we should undergo to handle them? Endless questions……
Sadly, the truth is that we are conditioned to hide our emotions, rarely encouraged to speak them out. Right from the childhood, a child is scolded or ignored or disciplined in sharing his negative emotions. Like, many mothers tell their son that “boys don’t cry, they are brave”. At that point, the child is discouraged and told that it is not ok to cry or crying is a coward action, the child may probably stop crying momentarily, but it was not the answer to the emotional pain he was suffering during that time. Let us take another example of siblings fight for a toy, most of the times the elder child is asked or taught to compromise and give it away to the younger one citing his responsibility to behave as grownup. Here again, the elder child feels emotionally hurt as he is not given that space to be heard or understood. In both cases, the caretakers not only snubbed or ignored the child but also boxed up the his feelings, leave apart acknowledging them. When it becomes a routine, the child starts learning that, either what he is feeling is not right or nobody understands him. Slowly he starts displacing those feelings with some other emotion. It could be bullying other people or anxiety or addictions or something else. His subconscious has now ingrained with a seed of not being understood and devaluation of his emotions when expressed.
Had the emotion been given the right gateway at the right time and in right situation, the child would have nurtured with high emotional intelligence.
A lot of emphasis is always laid on teaching creative skills, sharpening of academic skills and extracurricular activities. Our societal setup inclusive of our parents, relatives, mentors, and elders all play a major role in dealing with day to day challenges faced by a child. They act like a shield and protect a child from the thick and thin of life, but they fail to acknowledge the validation of feelings that a child needs in his low times. The child is literally tamed for all the things that will make him achieve success in life. No importance is given on understanding and dealing with the most sensitive aspect of life i.e., emotional health. Parents and teachers go an extra mile to help the child climb the ladder of achievements, making a proud moment for them. In the rat race, only the path to reach the highest point in the career and life are set and kids are taught to take decisions only from the brain in totality, missing empathy and compassion for self. The child is equipped in all ways to handle the technical issues but literally unequipped to manage human relations at both personal and professional levels.
So why to wait for a damage to happen. Let us take a preventive approach and start working from the grass root level for improving the emotional health consciously, just as we make an effort for the physical health.
“Every EMOTION we keep prisoner, will revolt”
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