If you’re anything of an overthinker like myself, you end up worrying about situations in the future that haven’t even happened yet because of a bad decision you made today. I say to myself, ‘without a doubt, this is how I’m going to handle it next time, and that’s that’. Then I pat myself on the back and push away the real problem and move on with life. The problem with that is, I haven’t even figured out the underlying reason behind my CURRENT situation – I haven’t faced the truth.
Lemme give you an example. Let’s say, FOR EXAMPLE, I get mad and smash a glass. Then I say to myself, ‘next time I get mad, I’ll be calm’. That won’t work. Reason being, I haven’t sat down and asked myself why I smashed the glass. I haven’t figured out the current state, therefore I have zero control over my future state. So basically, tomorrow I’ll get mad again, and before you know it, I’ll smash another glass.
For some people, it might not be anger. It might be worry, it might be depression, it might be some undeniable pull to a substance, it might be some sexual feeling. Whatever the case is, DON’T SUPPRESS IT, find out why. The next time I catch myself feeling an emotion I don’t want to feel, feeling like I’m not in control, that is the EXACT time to sit and chat with myself. For example, let’s say today I get mad again. I should immediately start asking myself, OUT LOUD, why? Why are you mad? Why are you worrying? And never stop asking until you have a suitable answer. Because if I don’t have an answer today, tomorrow I’ll repeat the same steps.
Of course, this only works with complete honesty. You can’t fool yourself. You know when you lie to yourself. No one knows you better than you. But we, as humans, are very good at ignoring the truth when it’s right in our faces. It’s a psychological defense mechanism that happens when our minds can’t handle reality. Our brain creates a fake world to live in – essentially it creates a lie that we force ourselves to believe. Let me explain a bit.
When you lie to yourself, there’s a feeling of tightness or constriction. That is SUPPRESSION. It’s as if something isn’t quite right. It’s common to start laughing when you lie, or walk around and pace the area, or avoid eye contact, or constantly shift your eyes, or fold your arms, or make a lot of hand gestures, or back away from the person you are lying to, or smile awkwardly. All of these are defense mechanisms, to distract ourselves from the truth. Our brain tells our body to protect itself from the reality, and sometimes it’s subtle, other times it’s very obvious.
When you tell yourself the TRUTH, there might be a feeling of fear, but also a feeling of release. When the truth hits, it’s common to stay still, and the eyes tend to focus on one area. The sense of release or relief that comes with telling the truth may drive some folks to tears. It’s a pretty sombre moment, because more often than not, the truth is UGLY. The truth reveals things about you that you don’t want to believe. If it’s a truth that might hurt someone else, there may also be a sense of wanting to hide – not necessarily from the person you hurt, but from your own self.
So, again, what are you suppressing? Dig deep. The next time you react in a way that you don’t like, keep asking yourself why and dig deep. Your brain will automatically want to suppress the truth but don’t run from it. Be honest and open, that way you can truly make a better decision next time.