Inspiring you to find peace with food and your body image
Inspiring you to find peace with food and your body image
'It's weak to talk about how I feel'
by Harriet Frew on July 26th, 2019

Many of us have genuine fears about expressing emotions.

Revealing our deepest feelings can make us feel vulnerable.

This might be because growing up, we may not have had the best experience of learning to process emotions in a healthy way.

Think about a small child, expressing upset about something.

Ideally, a care giver will come alongside, maybe ask what’s wrong, validate the upset ‘you feel really sad right now’; allow the child to cry and offer comfort; then, they are likely then to move on and the upset passes.

If the child doesn’t experience validation and acceptance of feelings, eg: ‘you don’t feel like that, don’t be ridiculous’ or ‘just forget about it, it doesn’t matter’ or their emotional upset is ignored, and repeatedly, the child then learns that is not in their best interests to express feelings. Instead, they might  bottle them-up or hide them; or they might start to ‘act out’ their feelings through different behaviours.

Not dealing with feelings might ‘work’ when feelings are less intense and about smaller things. When bigger emotional challenges come along, eg: friendships, family stuff or stresses, or worse, such as trauma or abuse then it becomes impossible to push the feelings aside. When we try to, we can be vulnerable to mental health issues, or dealing with feelings in unhelpful ways eg: self-harm, eating disorders or addictions.

From my recent poll on stories, it seems that some of you feel quite unsafe about expressing emotions. That maybe expressing emotions is a sign of weakness, or feeling that if you did express your feelings, this might be unbearable.

It can be helpful to reflect on your WHY for this.

Were you able to express feelings as a child and feel supported?

If not, what got in the way of this? What reaction did you receive from your care givers?

This is not about blame. People are generally doing the best they can at the time. Life can be stressful.

If we don’t express our emotions, our mental health becomes vulnerable. If emotions are suppressed, they are likely to explode, like a VOLCANO. This then reinforces our belief that we shouldn’t express them, because they have built up and become overwhelming.

This doesn’t mean that constant venting of emotions is the solution. We need to find a balance of listening to our feelings, expressing them and also considering other people. This can be tricky to navigate at first. If we can do this, our relationships become deeper and we feel more connected and understood. Research has shown that embracing vulnerability is actually a great strength, going against the British stiff-upper lip that we have held dear for so long.


Posted in Emotional eating, Emotions, Roots of behaviour, Self-care, Self-compassion, Self-esteem    Tagged with emotions, feelings, expressing emotions, emotional intelligence, vulnerability, roots of problem


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Inspiring you to find peace with food and your body image