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When you bottle up negative emotions, it can add extra stress to your life and body. This can make dealing with anything much more difficult. It can also lead to angry outbursts or eventually depression. If you only rely on reaching inwards during times of difficulty, it can be tough to try and console yourself. Reaching out to others to talk about what you’re experiencing can help alleviate some of the negative things you’re experiencing while also preventing potential outbursts. I’ve had a couple of experiences with trying to hide all of my feelings at school, but as soon as I got home, I just exploded. It was not a good experience. It was a screaming and crying fit over a very minor thing. After I calmed down, I explained what had happened to my mom and I was able to talk about my feelings and felt better. In the beginning, it was difficult to talk, so I used a whiteboard to try and begin to explain myself. 

Over time, I have been able to develop two new ways that I find helpful in expressing myself. One of them is finding the right people to talk to and to share your feelings with. There are many people you can reach out to, but it is important to find someone you really connect with. Parents, caregivers, and school counselors are always a good place to start reaching out. However, they may not always be available to talk. It is important to have someone that no matter what time it is or where you are, you can talk to them. If you ever encounter a time when you don’t have someone you feel comfortable calling, 988 is a number you can always call to reach out to for support. The 988 Lifeline is available 24/7/365.

Another way to process your emotions is by writing down your feelings. If it is too difficult to directly tell someone about how you are feeling, you can write down what you want to say, then either have someone else read it or give it to them. Similarly, keeping a daily journal of your emotions can help you reflect and better understand how you experience your feelings. 

Remember, your feelings are ALWAYS important and valid. No matter what anyone says, being connected and aware of your feelings can help you work through them. It can be hard to let yourself feel all your emotions, so you may need to make sure you have an appropriate time to do this. Remember, it’s okay to be not okay, but you don’t have to suffer in silence. You are strong for reaching out when you’re hurting, and the 988 Lifeline is always there for you to provide emotional support.


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