Anger sometimes builds up within an individual. One way anger can build is through emotional avoidance. Whether the individual is avoiding one’s emotions or whether the individual is ignoring others, avoidance can cause a build up of anger and frustration. When other emotions are not dealt with or recognized in others, it can lead to issues in how one reacts. The vent up emotional energy finds it outlet via anger.
It is hence important to be more open with oneself and others regarding emotion , as well as, recognizing others emotional needs and not hiding from them. Unfortunately avoidance is not always about being selfish but is usually due to a trauma where individuals are uncomfortable facing emotion. Anger is hence a side effect of that neglect of emotional recognition. The article,”How Emotional Avoidance Contributes to Anger” by Bernard Golden, PhD. looks closer at how emotional avoidance can lead to anger. He state regarding emotional avoidance that…
“It is then no surprise that we may be more vulnerable to tension and conflict within ourselves and have related irritability with others and ourselves. It is this irritability that can foster a propensity for anger arousal, anger that serves as a reaction to and distraction from such tension. It directs our attention outward, attributes responsibility to others, or may lead us to displace our anger toward others. In each instance, it moves us further away from true connection with and understanding of ourselves.”
Golden, B. (2023). How Emotional Avoidance Contributes to Anger. Psychology Today.
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Golden further discusses various ways one can become less detached from one’s emotions and how to take a more conscious step towards recognizing them and also validating emotions in others. In dealing with emotional avoidance and preventing anger, there are numerous ways to better become more in touch with oneself through mindfulness, journaling and finding someone within a circle of trust that one can share emotions with.
Understanding Emotional Avoidance
Emotional avoidance refers to the tendency to suppress or ignore our emotions rather than facing them head-on. It is a defense mechanism that many people employ to protect themselves from pain, discomfort, or vulnerability. However, while it may provide temporary relief, emotional avoidance can have serious long-term consequences for our mental health and overall well-being. Long term anger issues can result by burying emotions.
The Impact of Emotional Avoidance on Mental Health
Emotional avoidance can have a detrimental effect on our mental health. When we consistently avoid our emotions, they tend to build up and intensify over time. This can lead to increased feelings of anxiety, depression, and even physical symptoms such as headaches or stomachaches. Additionally, emotional avoidance prevents us from gaining insight into our own thoughts and feelings, hindering personal growth and self-awareness.
Signs and Symptoms of Emotional Avoidance
Recognizing the signs and symptoms of emotional avoidance is crucial in order to address and overcome this harmful pattern. Some common signs of emotional avoidance include excessive busyness or workaholism, substance abuse or addictive behaviors, chronic irritability or anger, and a general sense of emotional numbness or disconnection. If you find yourself constantly avoiding or suppressing your emotions, it is important to take a step back and evaluate the impact this may be having on your overall well-being.
The Dangers of Suppressing Emotions
Suppressing or bottling up our emotions may seem like a convenient way to avoid discomfort. However, the long-term consequences can be severe. When we suppress our emotions, they don’t simply disappear; instead, they linger beneath the surface, affecting our thoughts, behaviors, and relationships. Suppressing emotions can lead to increased stress levels, decreased immune function, and a higher risk of developing mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression. Anger can also over time build up when emotions are not properly handled and addressed. It is essential to recognize the dangers of emotional suppression and take proactive steps to address our emotions in a healthy and constructive manner.
The Benefits of Confronting Emotions
While confronting our emotions may initially seem daunting, it is a necessary step towards personal growth and well-being. When we confront our emotions, we gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and our needs. This self-awareness allows us to make better decisions, form healthier relationships, and cultivate a greater sense of fulfillment and happiness. Additionally, confronting our emotions provides an opportunity for healing and growth, allowing us to process past traumas and move forward with a renewed sense of purpose and resilience.
Techniques for Confronting and Processing Emotions
Confronting and processing emotions can be challenging, but there are various techniques that can help facilitate this important work. One effective technique is journaling, where you can express and explore your emotions in a safe and non-judgmental space. Another technique is mindfulness, which involves being fully present and accepting of your emotions without judgment. This allows you to observe and acknowledge your emotions without becoming overwhelmed by them. Seeking support from trusted friends, family members, or a therapist can also provide valuable guidance and perspective as you navigate your emotional journey.
Overcoming the Fear of Facing Emotions
Many individuals avoid confronting their emotions out of fear. The fear of being overwhelmed, judged, or rejected can be powerful barriers to emotional healing. However, it is important to remember that emotions are a natural part of the human experience, and suppressing them only prolongs our suffering. Overcoming the fear of facing emotions involves challenging negative beliefs and adopting a compassionate and nurturing mindset towards ourselves. It may also be helpful to seek professional help or join support groups where you can connect with others who are going through similar experiences.
Seeking Professional Help for Emotional Avoidance
If emotional avoidance has become deeply ingrained and is significantly impacting your daily life, seeking professional help can be a crucial step towards healing. A therapist or counselor can provide guidance and support as you navigate your emotional journey. They can help you identify underlying patterns and beliefs that contribute to emotional avoidance and provide you with effective strategies for confronting and processing your emotions in a healthy and constructive manner. Remember, seeking help is not a sign of weakness but rather a courageous step towards self-improvement and well-being. Anger Management Consultants can also help with any anger issues relating from emotional avoidance.
Creating a Healthy Emotional Well-being Routine
In addition to seeking professional help, creating a healthy emotional well-being routine can greatly support your journey towards confronting and processing your emotions. This routine may include activities such as regular exercise, practicing mindfulness or meditation, engaging in hobbies or creative outlets, and prioritizing self-care. It is important to find what works best for you and to make these practices a consistent part of your daily life. By nurturing your emotional well-being, you are investing in your overall happiness and long-term mental health.
Conclusion: Embracing Emotions for a Happier and Healthier Life
In conclusion, emotional avoidance may provide temporary relief, but it ultimately hinders our personal growth and well-being. By confronting and processing our emotions, we gain insight, resilience, and a greater capacity for joy and fulfillment. It is essential to recognize the signs of emotional avoidance, understand the dangers of suppressing our emotions, and take proactive steps towards embracing and processing our emotions in a healthy and constructive manner. Remember, seeking professional help and creating a healthy emotional well-being routine are vital components of this journey. By prioritizing our emotional well-being, we can live happier, healthier, and more fulfilling lives.
CTA: If you find yourself struggling with emotional avoidance, reach out to a therapist or counselor who can provide the support and guidance you need on your journey towards emotional well-being. Remember, you deserve to live a life that is not defined by avoidance, but rather by courage and self-discovery.
Anger Management Consultants can also help individuals face anger issues resulting from emotional avoidance. Please review AIHCP’s Anger Management Consultant Program and see if it meets your academic and professional goals. The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Anger Management Consulting.
“Repressed Anger and Emotional Avoidance: 5 Ways to Find the Positive in Negative Emotion”. Riddle, J. (2019). Psycom. Access here
“8 Ways People Avoid Their Emotions”. Boyes, A. (2021) Psychology Today. Access here
“5 Symptoms of Repressed Anger”. Lo, I. (2022). Psychology Today. Access here
“Repressing Emotions: 10 Ways to Reduce Emotional Avoidance”. Attard. A. (2020). PositivePsychology.com. Access here