10 Physical and Mental Signs of Suppressed Emotions

What are the signs of suppressed emotions?

Suppressed emotions can manifest in various physical and mental signs. Among these signs are memory problems, increased stress levels, depression and anxiety, attitudes of superiority, weight gain, sleepiness, and loss of interest in things you used to care deeply about. Using alcohol to numb emotional pain and displaying glaring eyes can also indicate suppressed emotions.


A common manner in which we deal with emotions is to ignore or suppress them. However, we can’t suppress emotions for a very long time, and although they leave our present awareness, it doesn’t mean they are entirely gone.

More importantly, this repressed emotional energy gets buried deep within our subconscious mind, where it sits, accumulating emotional dust.

Here are 10 signs of suppressed emotions:

#1 Memory problemsWhat are the physical effects of suppressing emotions

According to research conducted at Stanford University on female undergraduates, emotions that are not allowed to be expressed have negatively affected memory.

The results clearly showed that if emotions were suppressed, the processing of information – particularly short-term memory, was negatively affected.

#2 Using alcohol to take away emotional pain

Alcohol only creates more problems when it comes to emotional pain, and it is not productive in forgetting your troubles at all. In addition, alcohol is a depressant, so not only will it not numb your pain, but it will most certainly add to it.

More importantly, regular alcohol consumption tends to have a way of freezing the person in time – meaning that it freezes your emotional development.

#3 Glaring Eyes

Suppressed emotions affect facial features and empower a penetrating glare, furrowed brows, pronounced frown, flushed complexion, tense facial muscles, enlarged pupils, and prominent veins.

#4 Being overly sensitive

People with many suppressed emotions are quick to take offense.

Comments that others might laugh off can irritate someone who has a bad disposition. Moreover, some individuals with this problem are always waiting for others to screw up.

#5 Increased stress levels

Your nervous system isn’t very good at distinguishing between physical and emotional threats. If emotions start to build up inside, so is your stress levels that will lead to higher cortisol levels.

Sometimes, an increased level of ”stress hormone” is good in response to short-term stressors; it starts to become a real predicament when the body starts making excessive amounts.

#6 Depression and anxiety

Depression is a “negative emotional state” in which an individual feels dejected, sad, and gloomy.

Nevertheless, the most important characteristic of depression is the absence of positive emotion.

Depression is also strongly associated with insomnia, as one might lead to the other and vice versa. In addition, the lack of restful, quality sleep can lead to anxiety.

#7 Attitudes of superiority

Suppressed emotions can inflame antagonistic anger that motivates an individual to challenge the beliefs or feelings of others, particularly those in authority.

#8 Weight gain

Strong emotions usually bring about physical changes to the body.

Unfortunately, many people aren’t aware of hidden or accumulated emotions, and even when they are aware of them, they find that it can be difficult to resolve or release them.

#9 Sleepiness

Most of us don’t need science to tell us that emotion and sleep are closely connected.

Lack of adequate and restful sleep also is frequently linked with psychological or emotional problems. Examples include PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) and depression, while emotional reactivity combined with sleep disturbances are key dimensions of bipolar disorder.

#10 Loss of interest in things you used to care deeply

You might not like being around friends.

You might not bother with hobbies you used to love.

You may lose interest in sex.

ALSO READ: Ways to Relieve Stress & Anxiety

How to release your emotions

The biggest obstacle for those of us with deep emotional pain is denying that it’s true.

Therefore, the first step to recovery is to accept that you have a problem.

A recommended exercise to release emotions is to take a plastic wiffle ball bat and hit a soft pillow with it while yelling and in the meantime releasing all of the emotions which you never released before.

Another method is to put your feelings down on paper that will enable you to start unloading your emotional baggage.

Furthermore, it allows you to process the situation so that perhaps you may be free to move on with the more pleasant and important things in life.

If you practice this method constantly in the form of a journal it makes an intriguing read many years later.


You can’t laugh away your negative emotions.

They’re still going to be there, even if they are diluted.

Thus, you need to learn how to cry before you learn how to laugh.

Image source – https://pixabay.com/photos/woman-redhead-scarf-knitted-1867093/

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