“What Message Is Your Body Sending You?”
Anxiety is the result of the body’s fight or flight response becoming activated consistently causing what’s called excessive amygdala activation (EAA). It can become a problem when it gets triggered without any apparent cause or when it refuses to subside. This can result in several unnecessary mental and physical issues which pose great hardships in controlling the quality of daily life.
The activation of the fight or flight response causes the affected person to either fight or flee, neither of which can help ease anxiety in sufferers. Hence, anxiety sufferers may resort to masking their anxiety, which in turn can result in numerous trapped emotions as discussed below.
“Anxiety sufferers often tend to be sensitive and this world can be brutal towards sensitive individuals.”
Hence, the sufferers develop ‘avoidance masking’ as a coping mechanism. Masking their anxiety helps protect all those aspects of where they feel rejected, abused, or misconstrued by people/society around them.
People with chronic anxiety often tend to hide their real self behind a behavioral or emotional mask.
This coping strategy can be quite an effective weapon against a cruel world. However, the problem with masking anxiety is the fact that sufferers need to pretend to be someone they are not and doing so eventually results in exacerbation of their anxiety and generation of trapped emotions.
All of us tend to hide how we truly think or feel about certain people and situations. And there is nothing wrong in doing that as it conforms to the rules of being a rational adult. However, when the feelings and emotions are hidden on a frequent basis and becomes a habit, then it can lead to loss of touch with our real selves, ideas, thoughts, and feelings. We may eventually even forget who we are. This can further exacerbate anxiety and trigger trapped emotions.
Below are some ways in which anxiety sufferers mask their anxiety, leading to trapped emotions.
- An emotion that is stronger than fear, hurt, or sadness is anger. It is often used by anxiety sufferers to avoid other feelings that cause pain. Masking anxiety through anger helps the sufferers in their quest to keep others away from them so that they cannot hurt them and also safeguards their vulnerability. Not many would really understand that anxiety sufferers with the ‘anger mask’ are actually deeply hurting on the inside. This form of anxiety masking can result in trapped emotions like self-esteem issues, loneliness, etc.
- People with anxiety may mask their anxiety with a people pleaser façade. They may go out of their way to ensure that all the people around them are happy. Anxiety sufferers with people pleaser masks are really afraid of getting attacked emotionally. Such fear is what drives them to do all that is needed to make others joyous. However, such fear also causes resentment and anger which remain trapped within and which may explode when it gets too much.
- Anxiety may also be masked by some people in outward happiness. Such people may smile and laugh and be happy even when people have been cruel or insensitive to them. Such fake happiness can be very detrimental to a wide range of emotions.
Understanding that trapped emotions have been developed can lead us towards developing something new. New perspectives and thoughts will lead to emotions, which will then lead to action and the results a person gets.