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- Jun 2019
Internalization of anger can cause heart problems. As the Levenson study above shows, holding in your anger takes a toll on your heart. If you grow up in a household that is intolerant of your anger, ignores your anger, or fails to name, discuss or validate the reasons for your anger, you learn only one way to deal with it: wall it off. This may allow you to cope as a child, but it can harm your heart. Sensitivity to stress can cause back problems or headaches. What makes you sensitive to stress? Not dealing with your feelings. When you wall off your fear, your insecurity, your uncertainty, your anger, sadness, or hurt, those feelings do not go away. They simply pool together on the other side of the wall, waiting for something to touch them off. Then, when it happens, they all surge at you, making you feel overwhelmed and stressed. So going through your life with your feelings blocked makes you more sensitive to stress. Lack of self-awareness makes you vulnerable to poor habits. Families who don’t notice what their child is feeling miss getting to know their child on a deeply personal level. So they sadly remain unaware of who their child really is. I have seen, over decades of treating Childhood Emotional Neglect, that if your parents don’t see you, you do not learn that you are worth looking at. You grow up to be unaware of your own needs, and deep down you don’t realize that your needs even matter. You then are vulnerable to eating or sleeping too much or too little, drinking too much, or engaging in other behaviors that can harm your health. 3 Steps to Stop Childhood Emotional Neglect (CEN) From Harming Your Health Start paying attention to your feelings as you go through your day. Learn more emotion words and make an effort to use them, including naming your own feelings see the book Running On Empty: Overcome Your Childhood Emotional Neglect for an exhaustive list of feeling words). As you do steps 1 and 2 you will start to feel more. Now it is time to begin to actively take charge of your feelings. Work on learning the emotion s
IT should also be stressed that family dysfunction is highly variable and study correlations should never be construed as simple cause and effect. None of it is that simple--especially when it comes to dysfunctional family dynamics.Serious abusers for instance are expert liars (lest outsiders shine light on their true nature), and many come to clinic with stress related complaints about their own childhood experiences. Therapists and other healers must keep that in mind, and not fall to the flattery of 'so-and-so' is so good and helped me so much," while concealing and denying ongoing abuse they may be passing on--some in frank denial--on to their own families and to their own children.