Unexpressed Emotion in Body and Trauma
Unexpressed Emotion Lives in the Body.
Sometimes we don’t have the words to consciously name or connect with emotions we are feeling. These feelings can continue to live within us until we begin to validate their experience and give them a voice.
When we experience trauma in our lives, and we are unable to symbolize our experience, our psyche’s protective parts can emerge to numb our pain and emotions while dissociating them. Disassociation can be a way the mind attempts to survive any incident or series of events that are too painful for us to hold onto. However, the body never lies and never forgets and will always know your story. A great book I recommend reading is The Body Never Lies: The lingering effects of hurtful parenting by Alice Miller.
When we analyze the language we used to discuss our emotions, we might often notice that we experience physical sensations when we are nervous, scared, anxious, happy, or sad. Perhaps you feel a tightness in your throat when you feel nervous…and perhaps in digging deeper and understanding this further, maybe you feel this tightness in your throat because you have felt misunderstood or silenced many times in your life. Some of us feel anxious and feel a rumbling in the tummy, a classic sign of the jitters–triggered by the stress hormone in your body. Gut feelings, feeling heavy, feeling pain when there is no direct explanation for this pain–these visceral reactions are messages from your body that are important to encode..it’s known as the mind-body connection.
Our bodies hang on to our emotions if they’re not acknowledged or symbolized. The physical and emotional impact of unexpressed pain being stored in our bodies persist and the unexpressed emotions linger, having grave affects on our overall well-being– that we might be unaware of/dissociated from, or wrongly attributing it to another cause.
Practicing mindfulness, Yoga, or any daily exercise you might enjoy can all help to begin the process of self-attunement..and when you’re ready, speaking to someone about painful memories you are consciously holding can begin the healing work…this eventually might open up channels to deeper unconscious.