Repressing Emotion

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    Can anyone suggest videos, articles, or whatever which provide information on learning how to feel?

    For decades I have been repressing my emotion, to the point – I’m beginning to suspect – that I have never fully experienced any emotion.

    Every emotion. So-called good ones and bad alike. I see people reacting every day to their emotions and it is clear the damn things (I refer here to emotions, but feel the same about people) can’t be trusted.

    Although people can be trusted to be human…… meaning untrustworthy.

    Before suggesting trying to recall childhood experiences with feeling emotion keep in mind the fact it was there that I learned not to feel in the first place.

    “Professional” help, at this time, is out of the question…. the kind of vulnerability required (or, as my mind is currently screaming at me: “ANY VULNERABILITY!!!!!”) is not something I could do; in the same way that no argument by me could convince you to put your arm into a wood-chipper.

    Buddhist Wife

    I’m afraid I can’t suggest any videos or the like as I have never encountered any.

    Isn’t distrust an emotion? You seem to feel that a lot from what you have described here. You also seem to feel a lot of fear, based on the what you describe as not wanting to be vulnerable.

    I say the above not to suggest you don’t have a problem with emotions, just to suggest that you might not be as far removed from experiencing them as you think you are.

    I wonder if you are a low key sort of person who isn’t given to big highs or massive lows? Are you just the mellow sort?

    I know you are against professional help, but here is my two cents on that. I have had two types of therapy and I didn’t feel particularly vulnerable. It was sort of the opposite in fact. Therapists are just strangers that you pay. They form a professional relationship with you which has very clear and defined boundaries. It’s probably the least vulnerable position in which you can open your heart to a person or set of ideas.

    What is it that you think you are missing out on and what do you hope to achieve if you do start experiencing emotions?

    I hope you find a solution Graham.

    Onder Hassan

    Hi Graham,

    I don’t really have any recommendations for managing emotions, but if i could perhaps offer you one piece of advice based on my experience.

    The best way to become more emotional is to simply be willing to let go and allow yourself to feel naturally.

    As humans we’re meant to feel the full range of emotions whether its anger, happiness, sadness and bitterness etc.

    When the emotion comes up for you, say to yourself:

    ‘This is how i’m feeling right now and I accept and invite it with open arms’

    You’ll find over time that the emotions will quickly dissipate more quickly as you’ll no longer be stopping yourself or holding back.

    Being sad, happy or angry isn’t a bad thing. It’s what makes us human 🙂

    Good luck.

    Carlos Coto

    Hi Graham,

    First of all I have to tell you, i´m a psychotherapist. I´m not going to tell you to seek professional help, maybe it´s not the right time. I will tell you that you may find, usable information on Energy Psychology sites. You will learn different methods that deal with emotions, and you may, at your own pace work on your internal emotions. I agree with Buddhist Wife, and with Onder, you need to start accepting the fact that having an emotion is completely natural, and that maybe you are trying to “think” or “rationalize” too much.

    Energy Psychology might help you because it doesn´t take too long, and it helps from the core with emotions.

    You may look at:

    http://www.emofree.com you may learn there: Emotional Freedom Technique.

    http://emotrance.com/ This is a very newby friendly, and a great way to work on any emotion.

    Those are the two that I normally use in therapy.

    On those sites there is a lot of information completely FREE. You don´t need to buy anything there, you just need to look for the free information… they both have primers with their method for people that may need it…

    Good Luck.



    My question was more about releasing what I (finally am beginning to) recognize is in there. I can “feel” it under the surface, 42.5 years (I’m 44) of repression. Couldn’t list them ALL by name, and don’t need to; they’re ALL there.

    But to paraphrase the (better) explanation I saw given by another person on another forum: I can’t get the cry out.

    Or the laughter, joy, gratitude, anger, fear, etc. I can recognize it (the act of repressing) as the cause of the constricted feeling in my chest, the desire to make as few waves as possible in life. like a new-born fawn smelling the cougar and knowing – to the depth of its DNA – that ANY ripple in the grass is too much movement.Too much space given to past trauma. And the solution (I can hear the collective scrambling to regurgitate) is to forgive.

    Let’s take a walk through the (entirely confused) mind of a Very Bad Buddhist, shall we?

    Carlos Coto

    Hi Graham,

    What you may need is a process. It starts with recognizing it… then getting whatever you are recognizing to the surface of your skin… and then getting the cry out.
    The difficult part is actually getting the cry out.. and that usually happens after a process. You might try meditating, it helps for a lot of people, but it uses introspection. You might wanna try what is called an Active Meditation or also called (Osho Dynamic Meditation).. it helps to get the cry out. You may google it, and there is a lot of examples and information, or some Bioenergetic exercises… but all of them take and form a process.

    Good Luck.


    Buddhist Wife

    Sometimes I find it useful to write down what I’m feeling, perhaps you could do that?

    I don’t mean here, unless you want to of course, but for yourself to help you process it?


    I can’t believe feeling the joys are worth feeling the pains because there are far more of the latter than the former.

    There is far more pain because I can’t let go of the past.

    I can’t let go of the past because I KNOW who and what I am (sure, I’m neglecting the “at this moment” part) is not my “fault.”

    I – apparently – did my best with what I had. We’ll skip the absolute contempt I hold for myself given what my “best” has produced.

    Which means, by extension, I can’t look to either myself or “them” as blame-worthy. Apparently.

    If there isn’t someone or something to blame, then there has to be a “why”. A penultimate reason to exist.

    Life happens for you, not to you?

    Why? There’s nothing to gain (or lose) if what we come from is already perfect and divine. What could we possibly learn that would alter perfection?

    Sensation for sensations sake? If something, or my “soul” chose my childhood for me…… willingly……

    I could be good with that, if I could understand why. To help others because I’ve already been through…… yada, yada, yada? Neither they nor I needed to go through what we did.

    For my own good? That brings us right back to the two oft’ heard claims: We come from pure love, and, we are perfect and complete already.

    There is – apparently – nothing to change.

    I’ve been to hell and back several times – the first few entirely against my will – and let me assure you the entire trip, regardless of route taken, is paved with good intentions.

    My brain always stalls out on “why.” And so I sit, stuck spinning my wheels.

    In hell, comfortable and all as my decadent, poverty-line economic level, western privileges “accident of birth” circumstances might look to a Saharan nomad.

    It is with a certain arrogant spite I’ve REFUSE to surrender this need to understand. I’m precious? I’m loved? I’m important and fulfill a necessary purpose?

    If there is something God/Universe/Whatever wants or needs me to be doing I’m not going to even look at what it might be. Not much in the way of leverage to get what I want, but it’s all I got.

    And I can’t figure out how to let go of that pathological need to know, even though I can see how stuck it keeps me.

    I’ll cry – i insist even though I’ve long given up the desire to persist – when i know why.

    “Why should i cry?”
    “Because your feelings were hurt.”
    “Why were they hurt?”
    “Well, Dad hurt me because people hurt him, because they were hurt….”
    “So what is the original cause of suffering?”
    “God. Fate. A big bang. Whatever. The start of it all was the originating cause of it all – good and bad, painful or joyful.”
    “So why start it in the first place?”

    It’s not living I’m tired of, it’s life. There’s no reason for it.


    Hi Graham,

    I’ve read your posts here and I feel I can help you. I’m not making any promises, but I think I can help make you make a big shift in your life. I tried to personal message you, but there doesn’t seem to be an option. Can you pm me if you find the option? Or we can exchange emails?



    Hi Graham,

    As others have mentioned, I think it’s of the utmost importance to just accept what you feel, at least in your body (like you said you could feel a lot of emotion in your chest). I think on a deeper subconscious level, doing so helps to remove some of the blocks. It’s something you can do in private and in public. Allow it to come up and silently acknowledge it.

    I’ve been practicing accepting my emotions/feelings like Onder recommends. It gets easier with time. At first it was impossible (due to years of repression), but it really is getting more comfortable for me to allow myself to feel without judging. Changing the mental workings of emotions is important and takes time.

    So just trust that your desire to feel, then your practice of allowing whatever it is you feel (in your body) will eventually lead to a place where you might feel at ease with being vulnerable. Baby steps. And know that you have a community of people on this forum to share with who you can be vulnerable with!


    1. I do accept that I feel shitty. Kinda hard to miss.
    2. I’ve been practicing too…. feeling shitty feels shitty.
    3. I do not trust that I want to feel. I want to stop feeling.
    4. At ease with being vulnerable:


    I might “have to be” vulnerable, though that is still up for debate; there’s always the final solution. I will never be at ease with it.

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