We all have often wished for moments where we could stop feeling or somehow get rid of the troubling emotions. If we take out emotions from our bodies, we will be nothing but robots or zombies. Feelings are natural, and these feelings make us realize if we are happy, sad, angry, or annoyed. Our thoughts and the events happening in our lives play a vital role in our emotional responses. When we succeed or achieve our goals, we feel happy and full of joy. Upon losing a loved one or going through a rough patch in a relationship, we feel sad or gloomy. These feelings or emotions determine our cognitive or behavioral responses towards an event.
Our thoughts, behavior, and emotions are not separate but interconnected with each other. A slight change in our thoughts affects our behavior and emotions simultaneously. Like every picture has two sides, our thoughts and feelings have positives and negatives too. We often hear in stressed times that think of something happy as it will alter our emotional response, but it is not easy to see the light at the end of a tunnel. At times some events take unexpected turns leaving us burdened emotionally and leading to trauma.
Some of us are expressive about how we feel, but others cannot voice their feelings because that’s how their brain functions. People who suffer silently bear the heaviest emotional burden as it keeps accumulating. More than half of Americans go through a traumatic event once in their lifetime. Traumas are common, and it appears in many forms. It can be emotional trauma, a physical one, chronic or acute, or it can also result in PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). The emotions vs feelings dilemma are pretty old, and we all have our fair share of these battles.
This article will highlight some problems that can hinder our life in the long run resulting from unresolved emotional traumas.
Behavioral changes / issues
We all have that one friend or relative labeled as “hot-headed” or “short-tempered,” but we never try to understand the reason behind it. People suffering from emotional trauma often adopt risky behaviors to avoid the feeling. The most common behavioral issue that arises from unresolved emotional conflict or trauma is aggression or irritability. They also adopt risky behaviors like excessive smoking, drinking, or drugs leading to severe health issues. A Harvard expert says that people indulged in these risky behaviors as a coping mechanism to escape the traumatizing event or emotions.
Physical health issues
Health is an umbrella undermining the physical, social, emotional, and mental aspects of our well-being. The problems resulting from emotional trauma does not end with unhealthy habits, but it goes beyond that. Psychosomatic symptoms resulting from any mental disorder or distress are common. Unresolved emotional traumas can also lead to the development of some mental health disorders like depression, or anxiety to say the least. When our body undergoes extreme stress, it has a direct impact on our physical health. It is natural for our body to switch to flight mode in stressful situations. People with a history of trauma may have adrenaline surges constantly and may also experience increased heart rate. The constant adrenaline surge can cause a wear and tear response in our body leading to different psychosomatic symptoms like pain, nausea, fatigue, or appetite loss.
One of the negative impacts resulting from unattended trauma is that it affects our interpersonal relationships. Anyone struggling to sort out their lives through or after a traumatic experience may react differently. One of the common responses is less communication or staying isolated. Such people find it difficult to talk about their traumas or share their feelings. They often believe that the other person might not understand their feelings. These people may react to a simple thing or even aggressively as it may trigger their feelings associated with that trauma. Undealt emotional trauma may also lead to conflicts among family members, friends, or even co-workers.
Impact on social well-being
We all have friends or partners whom we look up to for advice or sharing our feelings. We need people in our lives to make us feel loved and valued. Unresolved traumas can take a toll on us, and they can make us socially isolated. Not sharing or facing people creates a feeling of sheer loneliness. And confining these emotions in a jar will result in other mental issues that may require professional help and treatment. Such people avoid gathering and talking to others leading them to be anti-social or other pathological behaviors.
Whenever we feel troubled or bothered by some incidents, our thoughts take over, and we cannot help ourselves. The problem might not be that intense, but overthinking can lead to restlessness and insomnia. Lack of sleep can induce irritable mood, frustration, or foggy concentration. Prolonged insomnia can affect our daily life routine in the longer run, affecting our physical well-being. Sleep deprivation will eventually lead our body to crash, and it might get us into severe injuries or chronic health issues.
We do not talk about our emotional or mental well-being openly. However, it is as significant as seeking a doctor for a disease. Physical ailments are easy to treat, but hidden mental or emotional traumas can lead to major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder. We might not feel like sharing our problems with a professional, but seeking help can reduce the problems stemming from unresolved trauma. We all need closure to what is bothering us, and running away from the situation may help for a while, but it will affect our well-being in the longer run.