Should We Suppress Our Urges? The Benefits of Expressing Our Desires
Suppressing our natural urges and desires has been ingrained in us since childhood, in order to conform to social norms and expectations. However, denying ourselves of our true nature can lead to negative consequences both physically and mentally. Studies have shown that suppression can lead to high levels of stress, memory impairment, psychopathology, and even relapse. So, it’s time to consider when indulging in our urges in a healthy manner can benefit us.
The Ancient Practice of Ayurveda
According to the ancient Indian practice of Ayurveda, denying our urges is a crime against wisdom. Our bodies experience the sensations to release natural urges such as using the bathroom or coughing because the stimuli in our nervous systems require it. Denying our bodies of what they need can disrupt the homeostasis, the internal balance of the body and mind, and can lead to disease development. Ayurveda teaches us to listen to our bodies and honor what they call for, which is a valuable lesson for modern-day life.
Give In to Your Urge with Moderation
Instead of denying our urges, we should find healthy alternatives to satisfy them. Depending on the nature of these urges, we can either indulge in them or adapt them into our lifestyle with a little bit of moderation. For instance, if you have the urge to punch someone in the face, find a kickboxing class to release your stress instead. If quitting smoking is challenging, vaping could be an excellent alternative. Planning ahead and having a substitute for the unhealthy urge can also help to disconnect the thought process between the urge and giving in to the temptation.
Suppression vs. Expression
Although suppression may be necessary in certain situations, expressing our emotional urges is equally vital for our well-being. We are conditioned to suppress our emotional urges, but doing so can lead to high levels of stress, memory impairment, and can negatively affect our relationships. Research has shown that when subjects are asked to suppress their reactions and feelings, it makes their partners uncomfortable and strains their relationship. It’s important to cultivate a balance between suppression and expression.
Analyzing the Appropriateness of Our Desires
We should also consider the appropriateness of indulging in our desires based on our surroundings and whether we might end up harming others in the process. If it’s an appropriate environment to exercise your urges, then go for it. For instance, if you have cross-dressing urges, book a gig at a drag bar. If you feel like busting out a dance number in public, as long as you don’t hit anyone while you flail about, you can do that just about anywhere. It’s important to consider the impact our actions may have on others.
In conclusion, suppressing our natural urges and desires can have negative consequences both physically and mentally. Denying ourselves of our true nature can lead to disease development, high levels of stress, and memory impairment. By indulging in our urges in a healthy manner, we can cultivate a balance between suppression and expression, and avoid a huge conflict down the line. So, if you have the urge, find a way to satisfy it, or find a healthy alternative. Listen to your body, honor what it calls for, and don’t be afraid to let your freak flag fly. Just be mindful of your surroundings and others.