I remember when I was a kid I heard the term “bottle it up” often when it came to dealing with life’s problems. It’s been a while since I’ve heard it (thanks to friends and family for not taking this approach too often) but it has stuck with me over the years. One of the most important things I’ve learned on my mental health journey is that it’s extremely important to let my emotions out as often as possible. Additionally, it is important that I let out these emotions in a healthy way that can help me build long-term wellbeing. That’s how it came about.
When I first experienced depression and anxiety, I had difficulty regulating my emotions. I’ve had my ups and downs (common in people with depression and anxiety), but what made it harder was that I didn’t have healthy ways to deal with or regulate these emotions. When I was deaf, I was deaf to everything. If I went through a crying fit, I would have tears in my eyes all day because I didn’t want my depression to get in the way of what I wanted to do.
I felt like I couldn’t win. Either I held my emotions until I burst, or I felt every little thing and couldn’t function the way I normally would. Even though I knew I was going through something that a lot of people were going through, at some point I realized that it wasn’t sustainable.
If I wanted to deal with my depression and anxiety so that I could live my life, I had to figure out how to deal with my emotions as well. It was quite a shock to me to learn that most of dealing with my emotions is making sure they come out – even if sometimes it’s not pretty.
People who live with mental illness carry a lot of emotional baggage throughout the day. As I wrote earlier, mental health can be stressful – and that’s fine. At some point I’ll break down. I cannot go on without the sadness, the pain, or whatever my mental illness manifests itself during this time.
Now that I know this, I make sure I am in a safe space to let go of those emotions and let out what I need to let out. Thoughts can go dark when living with mental illness, and I want to make sure that everything I think and feel is doing in the healthiest way possible (notice the emphasis not on doing the best, doing the best I can possibly). Sometimes that means someone is with me, but it also means someone knows when I want to be alone.
Sometimes I wonder if there is a better way to deal with mental illness, but I also know that letting those emotions out is important to me. It’s the healthiest and most sustainable way to live with depression and anxiety for me, and that will always be the most important factor when it comes to my mental health.
Is it important for your mental well-being to let out your emotions? What Are Other Healthy Ways To Live With Mental Illness? Let me know in the comments!