How holding your feelings down can make you sick #1
The next few posts I`ll write a bit about how holding your feelings down can make you sick. It`s not directly related to hiking and camping, but since staying healthy is necessary in order keep up your outdoor life, I think it`s relevant.
And before you cancel all your trips to the doctor: When I`m saying symptoms I`m talking about medically unexplained symptoms, that means symptoms without a medical cause. If you`re experiencing physical symptoms, you should always have them checked out by a doctor first.
Now back to the topic: before I talk about holding feelings down, I`ll talk a bit about what feelings really are. Feelings are physical reactions in your body. Every feeling has a distinct activation pattern in your body (sadness makes you want to cry, anger gives you energy and so on). The purpose of a feeling is to tell you, in a very clear way, what meaning the things that happen in your life has. It basically works like a compass pointing you in the right direction, away from harm towards what`s good.
The problem comes when we`re consciously or unconsciously try to keep our feelings down, trying to avoid feeling or dealing with them. This can cause a lot of problems. One problem is that your compass in life is broken making it more difficult for you to know what`s good for you. Another thing is that the way the body supresses feelings is by activating the anxiety system. So, when feelings are getting held down this basically creates a constant anxiety reaction in your body. This covering up process can, when it creates an anxiety reaction over a long period of time, give you a lot of physical symptoms like nausea, muscle tension and many other things. Next post I`ll get more into how this process works and how to deal with it.
Keep in mind that what I`m posting is how the research on this area looks right now. Different fields have different explanations to this phenomenon and “the truth” develops all the time. This is meant as a help for the people who feels at home in this explanation, if you don`t feel like this is you then just leave it.