I feel like people are very emotionally repressed these days. We’re regularly encouraged – mostly by big media outlets like TV, film, and radio – to hide our emotions, bury them, deny them, and express them in unhealthy ways. I want to shine a light on what some of those ways are – as they aren’t always easy to spot if you’re not looking for them – as well as discuss some healthy alternatives to the examples we so often are presented with. (:
One of the most obvious examples is anger. Reality TV teaches people to be catty, aggressive, and even violent, and most other media outlets seem to promote violence as an appropriate reaction to anger as well. You won’t find many examples of people just talking out their problems like the grown adults that they should be, because apparently it doesn’t make for “good TV”, but I have learned from experience that most disagreements are a result of some kind of miscommunication and can be solved with calm, well thought-out, proper communication.
Sadness is often portrayed as something for the “weak,” especially if you’re male, but also if you’re female – there was a song that came out just a few years ago by Fergie entitled “Big Girls Don’t Cry.” If sadness is being portrayed as an okay emotion to feel, it is often done so in this whiney, poor-me, the-world-is-ending, I’m-so-depressed kind of way. I think sadness is one of those emotions that you should definitely feel to the fullest without trying to repress it, but then after feeling it fully you’ve got to move through it and past it – it shouldn’t be something that consumes you.
Jealousy is a really scary one, as it is often accepted as warranting controlling and even abusive behavior (so many mega-hit pop songs today are about basically abusive relationships – Maroon 5’s One More Night has 200 million views on Youtube, Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance has 525 million, and Eminem and Rihanna’s Love the Way You Lie? 581 million.) In my opinion, we are far too accepting of jealousy – and as a result, controlling behaviors like screening texts – especially in romantic, but honestly all relationships today. But that’s because that’s all the media ever lets us see. Jealousy actually represents insecurities, and the healthy way to deal with it is to identify said insecurities and work through them – not use it as an excuse to dictate somebody else’s behavior.
When it comes to what we think of as some of the “better” emotions – feeling love, as one example – we’re often taught not to “let it show” and even just avoid love altogether because it can be “risky.” While I do agree that anytime you choose to trust someone you are taking an emotional risk, the biggest risks are usually attached to the greatest rewards, and the only way to have truly fulfilling relationships is to put yourself out there knowing full well that you could be rejected. As for something like happiness – especially if it is resulting from any accomplishments – you’ll usually see it as something to rub in people’s faces while “fxcking the haterz,” but I wholeheartedly believe that joy is something that we should be sharing and not keeping to ourselves.
Last, but not least – and this really shouldn’t take much explaining: our naturally sexual nature has been twisted and made into something dirty and shameful when it is actually beautiful and (in my opinion) sacred. I don’t have the typical conservative view that sexuality should be kept behind closed doors and nudity should only be acceptable between two people in a relationship together, but I do think that we should view the human body, as well as sex, in a respectful way and not in the hyper-sexual, shallow way it is often presented in.
So that’s my opinion on many common emotions and feelings and how they’re often misrepresented. It’s a proven fact that emotional repression, as well as any unhealthy expressing of emotion, only leads to further unhealthiness and unhappiness. We do all know how bad mental stress and anxiety is for your body, right? Good. (: If not, go look it up! Anyway, I think we need to learn how to deal with intense emotions in much more healthy and appropriate ways. I hope I was able to give you an idea of what that looks like with this post.
As always – much love to you all,