Emotional Suppression

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Terrell Joseph
Professor Filbel
CMST 2060 - 36
15 February 2012
Emotional Suppression
Have you ever had a really intense thought or feeling that you could not get rid of? Did you try find yourself using a lot of energy to push that emotion out of your head or simply not think about it at all? This is called emotional suppression, and research shows that not only is it incapable of erasing these thoughts and images but it may even cause your greater problems.

Thoughts, feelings, and desires of which we call emotions, can be hazardous to a person’s life is suppressed. By definition, emotional suppression is a regulation technique designed for emotions that someone does not wish to think about. By engaging in this act of regulating emotions by trying to push them out of your mind, you can damage your mind in the process. Most people feel it is healthier to not think about a bad thought or try not to relive a painful moment or memory by just simply erasing it completely. This has proven to cause unhealthy relationships and studies show most who engage in this act; often turn to alcohol and drugs.

Daniel Weigner formed the idea of the Rebound Effect of suppressing emotions. All this means is that by trying to get rid of a painful emotion, you in fact amplify that emotion and cause more. Some researchers have linked the emotional suppression of people to more serious illnesses such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PSTD). Also studies show people who avoid emotions have poor communication skills and are often unhappily married. They begin to have poor memory and develop anxiety issues. Weigner and his colleagues also performed a test that later he called the “White Bear Theory”. In this experiment, Weigner formed two groups to be tested. One group was instructed to try and not think of a white bear. The other group was allowed to think freely of any thoughts that would come to mind. When the test was...
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