Are you emotionally suppressed?

I heard, “Be nice,” a lot from my mom growing up. If you’re a woman, you’re probably a lot like me. Most times it wasn’t about what I was doing, but rather about what I was feeling. And mostly, I was feeling angry.

But anger wasn’t okay.

Later, I remember crying when I was angry. But I was told to not cry. So it wasn’t okay to be angry, and it wasn’t okay to be sad, and it wasn’t okay to cry. So navigating an emotional life became a minefield. Oh, the stories I could tell!

Maybe you were emotionally suppressed, too.

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Emotional suppression can lead to these issues:

  • Anxiety and depression: Not expressed emotions turn inward and immobilize us. And then medication suppresses us further.
  • Dis-ease: Disease in the body is really dis-ease. Cancer, women’s number two killer, is dis-ease in the body. Energetically, it can be about suppressing your emotions, your passions, your creative self. It’s about “towing the line.”
  • Not living your purpose: Once suppressed, it’s hard to be on purpose. Spending so much time dampening down those pesky emotions dampens down pretty much everything, and then it’s hard to see yourself.
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But what if you just decided to let it all hang out? Are there any benefits to being your emotional self, to being that mess totally and without fear? Yes, there are!

1. You Are More Authentically You.

All of your emotions are who you truly are. If you don’t express what you don’t like, it’s also hard to express what you like.

The more you are you, the easier it gets. At first, this might be a bit rough because people aren’t used to you expressing your whole self. You may overdo it.

You may be louder and angrier than you intend to be, but that’s just a pendulum swing. It will come back into balance and you continue to allow all of your emotions. Authenticity draws the right connections to you. The right jobs, the right partners, the right lovers all come when you are the fullness of you with all of your emotions.

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2. Confidence Is Yours.

When we are more authentically expressing our emotions, confidence builds.

And with that confidence, you might find yourself standing a little taller and speaking with more authority.

3. Less Shame, More Resilience.

Of course, we will make some mistakes in our expression of feelings. That’s okay. There is no need for shame. We all make mistakes.

Forgiving yourself allows you to move forward into a fuller expression of yourself. It’s when we don’t forgive ourselves that the cycle continues and we suppress ourselves once again. Let go of that nonsense.

Make mistakes, love yourself. Repeat. It’s all good.

Does this mean that anything goes at any time? Naw.

But you already knew that. “Be nice” can also mean “be kind.” Kindness never hurts anyone.

So, how can we let that mess out in a way that is productive and feels good? Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Scream in a pillow. Our messy emotional selves don’t always need a witness. And screaming can be therapeutic. So go for it, your pillow won’t mind.
  • Hug a tree. And then just allow all those emotions to drain out of you, into the earth and into the tree. Yes, we need to help Mother Earth, but mother earth can also help us! She can hold our emotions, and so can the trees.
  • Dance. To loud music. Music that matches your mood. Don’t try and appease your emotions. Find music that can allow you to release your frenetic emotions.

It’s only important to let it all out. Be your emotional mess and let the magic begin.

This guest article originally appeared on YourTango.com: How To Handle BIG Emotions In A Healthy Way (Because Hiding Them Makes Us Sick!).