I have been actively practicing the art of being present for several years now. This allows for me to be spontaneous and do whatever I feel is right in the moment. Looking back, not practicing this has had several consequences in my life. Do you ever do something because you feel it is your role to perform those duties? Have you ever felt that you need to speak up where your opinion is not the most popular? Holding back and not giving space to those feelings or opinions can impact you more than you know. Here are three ways that holding back is affecting the self.
1. You Hold On to Emotions in The Muscles
If you have ever had a moment where you know that speaking up wasn’t the most popular thing to do and chose not to, did you notice tension headaches and muscle soreness in your shoulders and neck? When we say that we have a gut feeling about something, it is usually literally that our abdomen is tight and flexed. The same applies to ‘butterflies’ in our stomach. When we speak up or ‘vent’ it out, the muscles relax and you no longer carry those suppressed emotions in your body.
2. You Don’t Breathe to Your Full Capacity
When our mind is disturbed so is our breath. Taking long, deep inhalations is important for concentration, mental awareness and overall mood. When we are upset or feel stifled, we literally suffocate ourselves by taking shallower breaths by breathing into the smallest section of the lungs, clavicular breathing. This doesn’t get oxygen to the deepest part of the lung like we do when we are breathing into our abdomen. Don’t deprive yourself and your brain of air. Take deep breaths in so that you have the courage to speak about what is on your mind.
3. No One is Invisible
We have all had those moments where we wish we could disappear into the background. The truth is that this is impossible. Any emotions that we have can’t be hidden on the face. After tasting something horrible, we can’t hide our disgust on our faces no matter how hard we try. So, why do we try? We all have reasons but mostly we are trying to not insult or hurt someone’s feelings. Often in classroom settings, constructive criticism is feared because students don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. When we are not giving that feedback, it hurts the student in the long run.
None of us are exempt when it comes to suppressing words or feelings, but know what affects this has on the body is important for your awareness and never use words as weapons. When you are not speaking out with mindfulness you can’t blame a situation or person for not voicing your opinion. You responsibility for your actions is owned by you which, for the most part, has no negative affect on the body unless it is done to harm someone. This is this idea of karma, but that’s a whole different conversation. For now, focus on being authentic because nine times out of ten people say, ‘I wish I could’, when we had the power to do so all along.