How are you feeling? “I’m fine.”
How are you today? “I’m doing well!”
No, how are you really?
Time and time again, we lie about how we feel. You’ve been taught to “not wear your feelings on your sleeve” or to “put on a happy face”.
We hide how we truly feel because we don’t want to be seen as negative, we don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings, and sometimes we just don’t want to deal with the work that comes along with taking care of emotions.
Whatever the reason is, I challenge you to stop lying about how you feel. Here’s why:
1. You Give a False Image of Yourself
Wonder how you got the title of “The Strong One” or the “Helpful One”? You told people that’s who you are - even if you’ve never said it out loud.
When you’re not honest with yourself that you feel drained or overwhelmed, you tell this lie to people and guess what? They volunteer you to save the world!
Some people have never heard or seen you express any emotions other than fake laughter and a forced smile you wear. I get it, maybe you’ve tried to throw a subtle hint when you say “I may not be able to do it, but I’ll try”, but they didn’t catch it.
Well throw a harder hint because your health and peace are on the line! I’m not suggesting to give every detail of how you feel to others, but you are entailed to be honest with yourself and tell them “No”.
2. It Doesn’t Make You Feel the Feelings Any Less
Lying about your feelings is not a magical potion that makes you stop having feelings. If you are angry, no matter how far down you bury it, you will still be angry.
Without realizing it, your unaddressed feelings will project onto your relationships and other areas of your life.
The best thing to do is to be honest about how you feel. This opens the door for you to have the necessary conversations – whether it be with a therapist, a loved one, or with yourself.
3. It Leads to Anxiety, Depression, and Loneliness
When you keep your feelings bottled up inside, it makes you feel alone in the world, like no one understands you.
Feeling alone and misunderstood can be very burdensome. The truth is, you are not the only one who feels the way you do, but if you never open up, no one will know.
However, I should warn you that just because you make your feelings known doesn’t mean that they will be acknowledged. Guess what? That’s not your problem.
You don’t have any control over how a person responds to how you feel. Your job is to focus your energy into things that promote wellness like, prayer, therapy, meditation, exercise, and self-care.
4. It’s Damaging to your Body
Unresolved emotions are not only damaging to or mental and emotional well-being, but our physical bodies as well. A poor mental state can impact your motivation to exercise or eat well.
Even on a cellular level, stress and negative thoughts have been shown to impact the way your body heals itself. Chronic stress can affect they way your body processes hormones.
This can lead to unwanted weight gain, your menstrual cycle, and lead to auto immune diseases. Not processing your feelings can lead to insomnia and unrestful sleep. A lack of sleep will impact the way your body regenerates and recovers from wear and tear, injuries, or trauma.
5. Nothing Changes
If you hide how you feel, I guarantee you this - nothing will change for you.
It may be easier for you to bury your feelings, but the outcome will not be in your favor.
If you want your health, your relationships, and your life to change for the better, you have to do the work of acknowledging and considering your own feelings.
Lying about how you feel can be a hard habit to break, but you deserve to live in peace, truth, and health. The next time someone you love or trust asks, “How are you?” Give them an honest answer! The truth will set you free!