Study: People Who Express Themselves are Mentally Healthier
Valentine's Day is the perfect day for a person to express the way they feel about someone special. If you're one of those people who find it easy to express yourself, then you're probably in a better frame of mind.
In a recent study by PhsychTest.com, people who shun emotional disclosure tend to do so for a number of reasons, including the fear of ridicule, or being seen as vulnerable and weak. In contrast, those who are comfortable sharing their feelings with friends and loved ones, tend to be more healthy and happy.
“Expressing what’s in your heart takes courage - it requires a willingness to be completely open and vulnerable, which means that you always run the risk of being hurt, rejected, and even ridiculed,” explains Dr. Ilona Jerabek, president of PsychTests. “When we looked at the data we collected from over 12,000 people, the average score on Emotional Expression was 50, which is quite low. This tells us that for the majority of people, sharing feelings is very difficult. What’s interesting is that the Emotional Suppresser group scored quite well on scales assessing Empathy, Ability to Read Body Language, and Social Insight. So although they are able to recognize and identify with other people's emotions, they struggle to use that ability to look inwards. This unfortunate pattern is quite common. It’s often easier to deal with other people’s emotions and offer comfort and advice than to face and unload our own emotional baggage.”
The study shows if on Valentine's Day for instance, those who are open with their emotions are more likely to be:
•Better at controlling and regulating their emotions (score of 82 vs. 25, on a scale from 0 to 100 - a 57-point difference)
•Less likely to engage in unhealthy and excessive rumination (score of 23 vs. 78, a 55-point difference).
•Happier (score of 81 vs. 35, a 46-point difference).
•More optimistic (score of 84 vs. 40, a 44-point difference).
•More self-motivated (score of 81 vs. 42, a 39-point difference).
•More self-aware (score of 79 vs. 48, a 31-point difference).
Expressers also do a lot better job at dealing with and handling stress, as opposed to their tight lipped counterparts. In the midst of COVID restrictions, being better equipped to handle stress, comes in quite handy these days.
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