Monday, November 19, 2012


“Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways”

-Sigmund Freud

Basic physics teaches us that we cannot destroy energy. But what is energy? Scientific technicalities aside, (and for the sake of this article) energy is potential for human action. Force, drive, vitality; call it as you wish, but since you can’t destroy energy it can only be transformed or exerted into activity.

Traditionally, the term ANXIETY is defined as the feeling of worry, fear, dread, or uneasiness. I’m not a medical authority but I disagree. Anxiety is energy. Surely, once someone entertains their negative thoughts the energy is used to fuel bad feelings, but the charge itself isn’t harmful. Energy is not good or bad - it’s neutral. It is only when the charge is directed that it takes on a constructive or destructive purpose.

One of the most important techniques to develop in life is the ability to express oneself. Without expression, our thoughts, feelings, and emotions - all energy - don’t have an escape route and are trapped in the body. Human energy needs expression – to air out, if you will. If we try to suppress our energy chances are it will manifest itself somehow in some other area of our lives. And it is how this energy is expressed that will determine if the action is constructive or destructive.

If our body’s energy is not properly expressed it could have a detrimental affect on our emotional and physical wellbeing. If we don’t have the proper positive attitude, the energy will only fuel the opposite negative side of us. Instead of using our energies in the pursuit of happiness, knowledge, creativity, or to give, the force will feed brooding, fear, shame, and low self-esteem. These consequences will not only harm the mind but also the body. Negativity is known to zap the body’s energy and can make one feel lousy, sluggish, weak, and unmotivated. This is why many people sleep when they are depressed.

Caffeine, the most commonly used drug in the world, is well known for its stimulant effect. Somewhat of an illusion, caffeine gives people MORE energy and if this extra boost isn’t channeled properly the affects can be even more harmful. If your body is tense when you drink your morning coffee you may be in for a bad day. If your over-stimulated blood is not flowing freely through relaxed muscles it can cause tension, discomfort, irritability, and heart rhythm problems. This usually puts the person in a negative mindset and those bad thoughts will spiral down faster, stronger, and scarier. If this hyper-negativity isn’t stopped soon the extra energy may manifest itself in anger, destructive and irrational behavior, or sexual frustration. Since eating and swallowing increase the heart rate, your body will trick you into hunger and you may want to gorge yourself with food because the extra energy has nowhere to go and it wants out.

Fortunately, for many, there is a cure for this downward spiral. Positive thinking, relaxation, stretching, and light cardio can get the blood flowing freely. Personally, I do yoga throughout the day to relax and stay loose and I know others who hum, sing, dance, laugh, or meditate when they are feeling uncomfortably wired or anxious.

A not-so-close friend of mine once took a decent amount of the drug MDMA for “recreational use”. I ran into him about an hour later and he was clenching, grinding his teeth, and in a dramatic fit as he bemoaned how bad his life was. “My life sucks, I’m so depressed, I’m such a crack-head, My mother doesn’t love me…” He looked terrible. I immediately recognized what was happening. I ran over to him, sat him down, massaged his back and shoulders, and told him to get a grip. No more than a minute later he was glowing with bliss and radiating love and happiness! Clearly, he was so tense that the drug only made him more uncomfortable as he continued rolling down a dark road. He wouldn’t stop thanking me...

(This was to prove a point and wasn’t meant to offer a failsafe way to use narcotics. Drugs are bad. M’kay?)

Whether or not you use drugs (legal or illegal) our bodies need to express the energy that is running through our veins. Most importantly, the energy that comes from our minds – like from memories, feelings, and desires – must also be expressed in some form or another.

There are an innumerable amount of things that can be bugging us out in life: Our past, present, or future, friends and family, school, career, money, problems with our Spirituality and personal philosophy, depression, fear, war, love or lack of love, feelings of inadequacy, social issues, guilt, drama, addiction, boredom, facial acne, lack of direction, health issues, pain and past trauma, bereavement, not living up to our own expectations, obesity or eating disorders, resentment, troubles with the law, male pattern baldness, self mutilation, lack of justice, peer-pressure, hormones… The list goes on and on. (I purposely excluded “stress” because it is simply potential energy.)

Whether or not our troubles can be immediately fixed, they need to be EXPRESSED! We cannot allow them to swim around our psyches and zap up our ENERGY! We owe it to ourselves to free our minds from their constant bombardment and intrusion into our daily (and nightly) lives.

For as many problems that exist there are ways to express them. Whether using thought, speech, or action there is a way. Maybe you don’t feel comfortable speaking to a friend, family member, spouse, or therapist? So speak to yourself or your Higher Power or write it down. Can’t find the words? Hum, sing, paint it in a picture, or create music, food, or whatever from the emotions that you feel. Exercise, dance or go crazy. Boogie - woogie it out of you. Cry if you have to.  Personally, I enjoy writing but there have been times where I filled up whole stacks of papers with my junk and then burned them in a fire. Not everything we think has to be said and not everything we write needs to be published. Sometimes, things are private or scary or humiliating or gross. But we can still get it out of our mind’s eye without exposing the secrets of our Soul to society.

When we are painfully honest with ourselves and express  our deepest and darkest emotions, we can attain higher levels of our personality that were previously inaccessible. We can gain tremendous personal clarity and literally free up space in our brains for novel thoughts and ideas.

And if you’re really cool, you can catch yourself in a high-octane negative moment and reverse the charge by thinking, speaking, or acting positive with determination. The momentum will still be there and you can hit the ground running in a more positive direction. You can turn darkness into light and have it guide you through a great life.


  1. I couldn't agree with you more! I used to suppress my feelings and it came back and kicked my ass. I thought real men don't cry, even though at times I should've. I needed some way to vent out, a way to get the feelings out. I turned to drugs to help me feel good, it just made my life worse. Then I started to see a drug therapist, as we talked things out, I noticed that I started changing and feeling better.

    ~ "oh you like that huh?"

  2. Yes, Anonymous, I do like that.

    I'm happy to hear that you have found ways of expression and experienced its positive affects in your life.

    Wishing you continued success,


  3. I love how this was written. You can tell it's personal based on the diction chosen- which makes it only that much more meaningful. (the "m'kay was a nice touch) Ever read any Tal-Ben Shahar books? He's an amazing positive psychologist!

    Anyway, thanks for making my day, as usual

  4. Dave, where did you learn this from? Another timely post and it really hits the nail on the head for me. I am beginning a process to address issues I have from growing up in an alcoholic household. Not dealing with these issues "the right way" has definitely had its manifestations. I am starting to realize that maybe a part of me or the inner child never had a chance to heal and express emotions. Thanks for posting this.

  5. Anonymous,

    I'm happy that you shared this and i'm even more honored to be part of your journey. You may be right that your "inner child" did not have the chance to express strong emotions from your past, but the fact that you can identify that is the start of a great future. It sounds like you are already on the right track.

    Honesty, honesty, honesty, is the most important part of the process. It may be tough but you will soon see how it will change your life for the better.

    Best of luck, to you.