In recent years there has been increased awareness around emotions. Before all of this came about, IQ (Intelligence quotient) was seen as the most important factor in deciding how intelligent someone is and in how there life would play out.
This was until EQ (Emotional Intelligence Quotient) was introduced. Here, ones level of happiness and ability to function for example is largely associated with their level of emotional intelligence.
For so long emotions have been portrayed as the enemies to our wellbeing and as occurrences that need to be controlled, manipulated and removed. And because of this paradigm there has been the tendency for emotions to either be repressed, suppressed or for them to be acted on.
Here one can either feel numb and completely cut off from their emotions or one can feel completely overwhelmed and constantly at the whim of their emotions. Either one of these options makes it extremely difficult for one to have emotional intelligence.
Whether one chooses to suppress or act upon their emotions does not necessarily lead to dysfunctional consequences. Just like how eating something unhealthy once in a while is unlikely to lead to bad health.
What will lead to dysfunctional consequence is when emotions are repeatedly inhibited or are expressed and acted upon without awareness.
How Does This Look?
This can be seen externally in different kinds of addictions and compulsions. Or it can just as easily be directed inwards; with the same emotional patterns constantly appearing.
It is often said that when ones emotions are directed outward one becomes angry and when these emotions are kept inside one becomes depressed. Although that is just one example of emotional expression, what is shows is that is does not matter whether emotions are suppressed or acted out; there is still the potential for problems to occur.
Some of the common ways in which emotions are dealt with is through the consumption of alcohol, drugs and food. What these do is allow ones emotional state to be momentarily and artificial changed.
Here, the painful emotions will be suppressed and this will allow for emotions to appear that will be the complete opposite of what one was originally feeling.
What we can see in the above example is that these external sources are being used to regulate ones emotions. The problem with using these substances is that there effects don’t last and that they will inevitably lead to long term health problems if they are consistently used.
And while these substances or any other thing that changes ones emotional state are being used, all that is happening to ones emotions is that they are being avoided.
Here I am reminded of a garden and what happens to a garden that is not looked after. One of the common problems here is that it is going to become out of control and what is likely to grow here is not flowers or fruit…