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What Happens When You Just Keep Shoving it Down?

negative behaviors negative emotions negative thoughts Oct 30, 2021
A heron stands in the water at sunset
You are a fighter. A warrior. A hero. You battle against the odds, you hustle, you survive.
We use this language constantly, language of war, struggle, survival.
What does this give us in our lives?
For me, it was a feeling of just needing to get through the day. That the point of living was just “making it” one more day. Not living, not enjoying my time, not resting or allowing. Do, accomplish, achieve, work, hustle, strive. And, in order to do all that, I stuffed down a lot of feelings. Pain, frustration, disappointment, heartache, hurt.
We do this until it can’t be contained. Until it explodes out of us in an unpredictable fit of rage over a tiny insult. Until we burst into tears suddenly, or frequently. Until our bodies give out on us with unignorable signals: insomnia, palpitations, stomach pain, panic attacks.
And when we try to avoid these negative feelings, we also dull the positive emotions. You can’t be constantly on the verge of a tear-filled breakdown and feel tremendous joy or eager excitement. The body and mind work so hard to suppress the negative, that it suppresses the good too.
Our bodies and minds are not meant to resist our emotions in this way. We aren’t meant to be so contained and constrained all day all the time, and if you keep trying eventually you will fail, simply because human beings are not capable of being so disconnected from our human selves.
So let’s lay down the language of “the fight”. Let’s. Just. Stop.
Start checking in with yourself; what do I feel right now? What do I need right now? How can I take care of myself right now?
Learning to tune into your thoughts and feelings can be ugly at first. It can seem like you are in a soup of negativity. It’s only because your human brain, unchecked, defaults to survival; avoid pain (emotional AND physical), conserve energy, seek pleasure. That’s why you rustle around the cabinets for candy when you are stressed, why you can’t drag yourself out for a walk when you said you would, why you won’t try out for that new job. But once you learn where these survival thoughts are coming from (primitive brain, searching for safety), you CAN learn how to change your thoughts. How to tell your brain, “thanks for the ideas, but I have different goals.” You can be kind to yourself AND practice new ways of thinking that allow your feelings instead of shoving them down.
Stop believing what your safety-seeking primitive brain serves you, and let it know what you DO want. To feel feelings, good and bad. To stop shoving them down, numbing with food, waiting until they explode out of you. Learn to allow them, get curious about them.
You will be surprised at the difference this creates in your life.

Hi There!

I'm Megan. I'm a Physician and a Life Coach and a Mom. I created this blog to help other Physicians and Physician-Moms learn more about why they feel exhausted, burned-out and overwhelmed, and how to start to make changes. I hope that you enjoy what you read, and that it helps you along your journey. And hey, if you want to talk about coaching with me, I'm here for that too! I offer a free 1:1 call to see if we are a good fit. Click the button below to register today.

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