National Family Caregiver Month Day 19

 

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Don’t suppress negative emotions

Express Yourself

We are emotional beings. We often have difficulty expressing ourselves and instead belittle our feelings, calling them unrealistic or silly. This is a set-up for shame and guilt — negative emotions that affect your and others’ lives. The next time you hold back an emotion, notice where you feel it in your body — muscle tension, stomach in knots, holding your breath? Do you find it is easier to keep the peace by not verbalizing what you are feeling? Then write it down, and be graphic when you are writing. Start with: When my mother (father/husband/wife, the one you are caring for) yells at me (after I spent all morning tending to her/his needs) I feel……Fill in the blanks. Name the emotion and own it.

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If you can’t phone a friend, write ’em down and out!

Get the anger/resentment/frustration/sorrow/all-of-the-above down on paper first then later call a friend. Storing repressed emotions in the body can sap energy and doesn’t do good things for your own health, either. It can show up as stiff neck, back pain or headache. Left to fester without release, negative emotions can cause medical problems such as hypertension and digestive disorders. So let it out — either verbally or written or both!

What matters most? Valuing yourself by expressing your feelings honestly and relieving the tensions repressed emotions cause.

Copyright © 2016 by Sue Collins and Nancy Taylor Robson. All rights reserved

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