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3 Signs You May be Emotionally Constipated

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Here are three ways to know you might be emotionally constipated.

I am in line at CVS picking up a bunch of small items. The woman running the cash register looks annoyed. Although she is doing a great job ringing people in and saying, have a nice day as she hands over their receipt, I can’t help but wonder if the way I am staring at her, holding my items close to the vest is only making it worse. So I start to fidget, change my position, perhaps if I stand in a less armored way she will feel better. There I go again, catching myself wandering into someone else’s business.

Here is what I know when someone or something shows up in our lives, throws us off track, and we get preoccupied by our thoughts. What may be really happening is your body is looking to process an undigested emotion. Emotional constipation happens when you avoid and hold in (rather than process) your feelings.

Now, with that said, going around telling everyone you feel uncomfortable, frustrated, and stressed isn’t very socially acceptable. Fortunately, you don’t have to actually talk about your emotions to process them.

What I have found is most people will do anything but feel their emotions. They would rather put the majority of their attention on figuring someone else out.  The challenge is when your attention goes elsewhere your body has no choice but to withhold, and in some cases, bind up the emotions which are attempting to surface. This causes bloating and inflammation in both your mind body.

Here are three ways to know you might be emotionally constipated:

  1. Facial Tension. When your face feels tense and you have a hard time contriving a genuine smile, this could be a sign you are emotionally constipated. To support yourself, be sure to soften your cheek bones, and relax the corners of your eyes when you breathe.
  2. Distractibility. Being over focused on others or are having a hard time being present can be another sign. Remember most of us are not mind readers. Rather than wonder what others are thinking and feeling, instead redirect your awareness by noticing your feet on the floor. This will help slow down those careless thoughts.
  3. Self-Consciousness. Not everything is about you. With that said, my motto is if you are feeling discomfort, own it. Self-consciousness is one of those sneaky ways you might avoid what you are really feeling. Rather than fidget consider breathing more deeply through your nose. Inhale, inflate your lower abdomen on the count of three and exhale deflate it on the count of three.

Sherianna Boyle

Sherianna Boyle is a professional speaker, adjunct Psychology Professor, seasoned yogi and author of seven books including her most recent, Emotional Detox, Simon & Schuster. Sherianna's C.L.E.A.N.S.E Yoga ™ has been featured in Yoga Journal and she will host an Emotional Detox retreat at Kripalu Health & Yoga Center in Feb 2019. She is also a professional speaker for PESI ® a non-profit professional development organization, which provides licensure credits to mental health professionals and educators. To find out more information go to www.sheriannaboyle.com

Learn with Sherianna!

If you find yourself feeling bad or guilty for saying "NO" or perhaps you feel the need to explain and/or defend your decisions these are often signs you could benefit from an Emotional Detox. Register for Sherianna's new online course, Emotional Detox: Cleansing for Better Boundaries.


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