Don’t just Repress-Release

ny Patricia Frank….
There are many things that happen to you in life that create certain thoughts and emotions that you cannot express. This usually happens when you don’t feel safe to express them or when the consequences of expressing them are too dangerous or difficult.

The only alternative seems to be to repress them.

When you repress something you hold it in, you suppress it, you keep it under control and restrain yourself from expressing it. You exclude it from your thoughts. You eliminate it from your conscious awareness. You repress out of necessity. It is a survival technique and a coping skill when you feel threatened. The most common emotions that are repressed are anger, fear, hate and guilt.

When you repress something you store it in your body and spirit. Over time this will harm you physically, mentally and emotionally. It creates an imbalance and eventually a disease. Repression uses up your psychic energy because you have to keep adding more and more layers to keep it down and to keep it covered up. It becomes a burden which becomes heavier and heavier to carry around and to live with. It will remain stored forever unless you learn to release it.

First, become aware of it. Explore it. Label it. Then diffuse and discharge it.

Begin by realizing that you no longer need to repress it. You can release it. If it is anger, for instance, you can hit things while holding the anger in your consciousness. You can hit a pillow, a tennis ball, a golf ball, or a punching bag. You can scream silently, at home, in the car, or underwater. You can write it and burn it safely and flush the ashes or release them into the ocean. You can run or swim. Always keep the intention to release the repressed emotion uppermost in your mind as you perform the ritual. Create rituals for each repressed feeling. Learn appropriate ways to express and release your emotions.

Patricia Frank is a Licensed Psychotherapist. She can be reached at 305-788-4864, 212-308-0309.

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