The 5 Ways Suppressed Emotions Can Be Harmful. How Does EFT Tapping Help To Express Them?

EFT Tapping for Suppressed Emotions

EFT Tapping for Suppressed Emotions

In this article, you will learn more about suppressed emotions including their causes, harmful effects, and how EFT Tapping helps in letting go

This alternate therapeutic technique has been clinically proven to let people work on their intense suppressed emotions in order to help them let go. 

As a child, I remember being told that "big girls don't cry." So, I  sat quietly, bottled everything up and did not cry for over 25 years.

We all know what happens when you cover a boiling pot with a lid: the contents will ultimately rise to the top and pour all out in a huge mess. Human emotions are no exception.

If we suppress our emotions and strive to avoid them, they will eventually explode more forcefully than before.

Things don't just vanish if we bottle them up. Emotions will be stifled until we can no longer contain them within, at which point they will erupt with greater ferocity than before.

And it won't just be that one feeling; it'll be everything else that's happened since then. Years, if not decades, of repressed events can be the case for certain people.

And that's exactly what happened to me. 25 years of bottling up emotions took a toll on me. My emotions were all over the place and I just didn't know how to manage them.

But I was glad that I could use my EFT Tapping practice for self-help. Emotional Freedom Techniques helped me oversee my emotions and feelings, and to deal with them in a gentle way. 

Crying is just an expression of an emotion. It is not good or bad. It is just an expression. It is a process of letting the sadness, hurt, joy, love and immense gratitude out.

As adults, we are sometimes conditioned not to show, or even feel, our emotions.

While it is correct that throwing a tantrum in the office would not be accepted or even be considered an ideal working situation, it is important to have a means of letting out and safely expressing emotions.

This should be not just for negative emotions like anger and sadness but even uplifting emotions like joy and excitement. Instead in some cultures, we are taught to dumb things down and dilute the expression of emotions, which is after all only a natural process. 


We all have emotions that let us know how our ideas, memories, or current events are affecting us. Even the most unpleasant sentiments have a psychological purpose, even if they are overwhelming or painful. 

When you choose to suppress your emotions, however, you are avoiding allowing yourself to feel a certain emotion by either pushing it down, ignoring it or distracting yourself with harmful coping techniques. 

Unfortunately, suppressing an emotion for an indefinite period of time is impossible, and attempting to do so will certainly result in increased tension and stress not only for you but also for the others around you.

When you consciously push unpleasant thoughts, feelings, or memories out of your consciousness, it is known as suppression. This is due to the fact that you are unsure what to do with them. 

Shutting down is a term used by some to describe suppression. This can lead to numbing yourself with phone scrolling, TV watching, or any other activity that allows you to avoid feeling your feelings.

What does it mean to deny oneself the ability to feel? Where do emotions go in such circumstances? How can they return with a vengeance after all these years? These are the issues that interest me.

How To Self-Heal & Become An EFT Practitioner

Discover how EFT Tapping can help you to self-heal or to become professionally qualified as a Certified EFT Practitioner. Emotional Freedom Techniques (Tapping) is clinically proven to lower stress, tension, anxiety, past trauma to enable health, happiness and vitality.


A lot of the time we seem to be the very playthings of our emotions, especially for strong ones. They take over our bodies and brains, and we have little choice except to act or wait for them to pass, which can be difficult.

We have the power to control our emotions. Not only do we not act on them, but we also do not allow ourselves to completely experience them. It's as if emotions are banging on our door, but we refuse to open it.

Attention and the body:

By refocusing our attention, we can alter the nature of our mental state. Small children frequently realise that talking or singing can help them overcome their fear of the dark.

What good does that do? The reason, I believe, is that when youngsters are preoccupied with the sound of their voice, it leaves them with fewer mental resources to devote to the object of their anxieties.

This is because they can't converse or sing and have the picture monsters emerging from the closet at the same time, which becomes too taxing to their minds.

The role of interpretation:

By mislabelling an emotion, we can partially prevent its sensation. We mistake melancholy for rage because we believe sadness is a sign of weakness—that it demonstrates another's ability to inflict psychic harm on us—while anger protects our dignity.

Anger, on the other hand, might be misinterpreted as sadness, especially when it is perceived as improper, such as when someone is quietly angry with both inner rage and helplessness after suddenly having their beloved parent or spouse pass away.

In such circumstances, we allow ourselves to feel something, but it isn't what we expect to feel from the depths of our minds.

When the emotions are expected to be short-lived, depriving it of oxygen (our attention), or allowing that emotion's more acceptable cousin, it may succeed in freeing ourselves of the emotion. 

Tip: You can prevent having an outburst while on the phone with an incompetent customer service representative, by instead focusing on the lovely dinner that you will be having with your family or friends tonight.

Unconscious feeling:

We can have unconscious feelings and emotional processes, just as we can have unconscious thoughts.

Since this happens without your knowledge or active participation we must conclude that it was unintentional. As a result, you may have harboured love, anger, or indifference for years without even realising it.

We can only assume that the feelings we try to conceal and deny ourselves the ability to feel, continue to live in us in the same way outside our awareness. They may evolve and alter in that state, or they may not. 


  • Motion unleashes emotions: Dance, hop, run, and move about. Unhealed wounds are a source of trapped energy in our bodies. As a result of the motion, these energy blocks are released from your body. Move your body whenever it's difficult to connect with your emotions. For example, instead of arguing with someone the next time that you are furious, engage in some physical activity. So, simply begin stomping your feet.
  • Stay with your wounds and feel them: It's great if you don't have a hard time becoming emotional. You can use it to your advantage to completely experience your feelings. Feeling unpleasant emotions, accepting them (it's acceptable to be sad), and then releasing them is the most effective strategy to get rid of them. You can look at your body to see where the energy is trapped. Tension, acute discomfort, muscle twitching, or heaviness are all symptoms. So simply be with your feelings for a bit, without judging or thinking about them. Simply be present.
  • Write it down: This is an old strategy that still works well. For around 15 minutes, write everything that comes to mind. You could believe it's pointless at first, and that you're just writing silly stuff. However, after a few minutes, you'll discover the source of the limiting thought. If you're not sure where to begin, ask yourself questions such as, "How do I feel right now?" “In this situation, what type of person am I?” “How come it bothers me?” Alternatively, “Is there anything I need to know about the situation?
  • Accept your suppressed emotions: Sit down, close your eyes, and take a deep breath in and out. Then examine your body for any unpleasant sensations and focus your attention on them for a bit. Just be aware of it. Then, in some way, express your emotion and perceive it with your inner eye. You may experience any dark-coloured visions or observe a cloud-like image of a specific colour. Try to feel gratitude and love for it, and you'll notice that the image becomes dim and fades away.

Suppressed emotions increase the risk of cancer by 70% and heart disease by 47%.

"A study in the US by experts at Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Rochester shows that the risk of premature death from all causes increases by about 35% among those who fail to say how they feel. But when the researchers looked at specific causes of death they discovered that the risks increased by 47% for heart disease and 70% for cancer" (1).

"The long-term pain suffered by suppressing emotions is far greater than the short-term pain of confronting them.”

Sam oven

Suppressed Emotions

Feeling, accepting and expressing emotions is natural and necessary for good health.

There are many emotions such as love, happiness, elation, sadness, anger, fears and much more, that we may encounter multiple times, during the course of our lives.

Sometimes feeling negative emotions such as anger or fear, can be a little overwhelming and hence we may choose to block them out or even avoid these.

Think again though, as there is evidence to show that expressing one's emotions might actually be good for health.

“Emotions make you human, even the unpleasant ones have a purpose. Don't lock them away.”

Sabaa Tahir


Unexpressed anger is known to be linked to cancer

Anger is perhaps one of the most intense emotions and can bring in a lot of irritation, animosity, aggressiveness, or even hostility. 

A study published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research found premature deaths from either heart disease or cancer were linked to bottled up anger (1).

Suppressed anger increases cortisol (stress hormone) levels, which directly suppresses the immune system function of our bodies. Studies have also shown that when the immune system is not working properly, normal cells mutate to abnormal cancer cells (2).


Stress is linked to 85% of illnesses and once resolved, can aid healing

Stress is different emotions bundled up together: emotions like anxiety, worry, fear, panic and overwhelm.

Simply put, in the dictionary stress is "a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances."

According to the American Medical Association, 85% of known illnesses are stress-related (4).

When stressed, the body thinks it is under attack. The body automatically switches to ‘fight or flight’ mode, thus releasing adrenaline, cortisol, and norepinephrine to prepare the body to be able to take physical action.

This means blood is diverted towards the muscles and away from bodily functions like digestion.

There is no harm in temporary stress. However, when stress becomes prolonged over time and cortisol remains elevated it can be detrimental to health. For example, increasing sugar levels as well as raising blood pressure.

Elevated cortisol makes it harder to lose weight even when on a regimented diet and exercise plan, and can even be responsible for weight gain.

With EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) the symptoms of stress can be reversed. 

Clinical studies have shown that EFT Tapping not only reduces cortisol levels (4), it also reduces the symptoms of extreme stress following trauma, known as PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder) (5).

New to EFT? Learn how EFT Tapping heals

Emotional Freedom Techniques (tapping) is clinically proven to lower stress, tension, anxiety, past-trauma to enable health, happiness and vitality.


Holding onto unforgiveness can lead to diabetes, pain and heart attack

Imagine that you are popping a pill for a headache. You happen to bite into the pill to find out it is extremely bitter. What happens next?

Doesn't the bitterness spread throughout your mouth? Even sometimes contorting your face? And this is just a bitter pill.

How much more damage can bitterness or unforgiveness cause in our daily lives then?

What's more, studies have shown that the act of forgiveness could not only lessen the burden of stress from you, it also lessens the risk of a heart attack (6).

To be able to truly forgive, the past hurt or emotional pain has to be freely expressed and then forgiveness comes naturally.

What prevents forgiveness can be the inability to let go or even the resentment, anger and hurt that was caused by the situation.

Importantly with forgiveness, any inappropriate behaviours are not being forgiven. Forgiveness is directed towards ourselves as well as the goodness in the other person.


Anxiety can lead to panic attacks and even insomnia

Anxiety is a state of extreme worry or severe stress and suppressing this emotion can lead to depression, panic attacks and in severe cases even insomnia and heart attacks (7).

When a panic attack happens, it could bring with it symptoms like sweating profusely, increased heart rate and even physical pain.

After only one hour of EFT Tapping, the symptoms of anxiety and its severity, as well as cortisol level, was shown to be reduced (4).


Fear can stop you from living your passion!

Once fear takes hold of you, it can cripple you from taking action.

Just imagine your dream was to become a leader or someone in an upper management position in your organisation. As part of your role, you need to hold constant meetings and give speeches. However, you have a fear of speaking to a crowd or a gathering.

Pop! There goes your dream. 

Just because you let your fear take you over, it does not allow you to move forward and take action to achieve your goals and dreams.

Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) method will help you to release suppressed emotions and feelings. 

EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) is clinically proven to give relief from suppressed feelings and unwanted emotions such as anger, guilt, hurt, fear and sadness by just tapping on acupuncture points and saying out loud your truth also known as "truth statements."

New to EFT? Learn how Emotional Freedom Techniques Tapping heals, including Anxiety.

Emotional Freedom Techniques (tapping) is clinically proven to lower stress, tension, anxiety, past-trauma to enable health, happiness and vitality.


EFT Tapping for Suppressed Emotions is a clinically proven therapeutic method.

Since people that go through this unpleasant feeling tend to suppress these emotions that later cause a problem, tapping is very effective in releasing the suppressed emotions and helping them calm their nerves.

EFT Tapping is also quick to administer and is long-lasting. This technique also helps you come in tune with your emotions and allows you to get rid of negativity residing in your mind and body.

Step 1:

Identify what your suppressed emotions are. 

Explore the physical sensations in the body associated with suppressed emotions, and use the physical tension tapping process to reduce the sensations.

Step 2:

Uncover the memories or past events related to that feeling.

Explore memories related to the suppressed emotions.

To uncover the memories linked to the effects of suppressed emotions, you can ask questions like:

  • When have you felt these sensations before?
  • When did the sensations start? What happened?
  • Was there ever a time when you did not experience these effects?
  • What can trigger and bring on the effects?

You can ask the following questions:

  • When did the sensations start? What happened?
  • What do these sensations remind you of?
  • When have you felt like this before?
  • What happens to if you feel like this?

These questions will identify your past experiences associated with suppressed emotions.

Step 3:

Use the EFT Tapping process to clear the past emotions.

  • Identify past events linked to the feeling of suppression and resolve it with the help of tapping therapy.
  • Connect with the suppressed emotions and notice where you feel them in the body.

You can then begin the process by asking the following questions to explore further:

  • Where in the body do you experience the suppressed emotions?

  • What is the colour, texture, size, shape of the suppressed emotions in the body?

  • What are the sensations like?

Suppressed emotions can sometimes be felt in a specific location like the heart and/or chest. 

The important thing is to use your specific words to describe the suppressed emotions. 

Measure the intensity of your suppressed emotion by asking yourself: 

"What number is the suppressed emotion at, where 10 is really high and 1 is not high at all." 

Just go with whatever comes up spontaneously, without overthinking about it. 

  • Begin by Tapping on the Karate Chop or Side of the Hand EFT Tapping Points: "Even though I have suppressed my emotions and I feel them in my chest and it's at a number 6 and it's red in colour and it feels rough, I deeply and completely love and accept myself (Repeat 3 times)."
  • Then tap on the facial and upper body EFT Tapping Points for suppressed emotions using the phrases:

-Eyebrow: This suppressed emotion

-Side of the eye: suppressed emotion 

-Under the eye: suppressed emotion in my chest.

-Under the nose: It's ____ in colour.

-Chin: at a number ____.

-Collarbone: So ____.

-Under the arm: This suppressed emotion

-Thumb: I feel it in my chest

-Index Finger: Suppressed emotion

-Middle Finger: Suppressed emotion

-Little Finger: It's the colour ____

Close the sequence by coming back the EFT Karate Chop Tapping Points and repeat once: 

"Even though I have suppressed my emotions and I feel it in my chest and it's at a number 6 and it's red in colour and it feels rough, I deeply and completely love and accept myself."

Relax. Take a gentle breath in and out and take a sip of water.

Uncover the memory related to the suppressed emotions and work on it.

Step 4:

Test Yourself.

At the end of the EFT Tapping for Suppressed Emotions, you can ask yourself the following questions:

  • What number is the suppressed emotion at now?
  • What is the colour of the suppressed emotions now?
  • How does it make you feel?

You can repeat this process by going back to Step 1 if you feel like you could release the suppression even more; if not, you can stop the process.

EFT Tapping can not only help to eliminate strong emotions, but also to get to the root cause of the emotion. That way, even if the emotion is suppressed, it can be let go of in an organic and healthy way.

How To Self-Heal & Become An EFT Practitioner

Discover how EFT Tapping can help you to self-heal or to become professionally qualified as a Certified EFT Practitioner. Emotional Freedom Techniques (Tapping) is clinically proven to lower stress, tension, anxiety, past trauma to enable health, happiness and vitality.

It's important to remember that any energy (feeling) must either be changed or released.

Until you confront your suppressed feelings, they will remain with you. It's a long process, and we're dealing with a lot of unresolved issues, but you'll see improvements as soon as you start using EFT Tapping.

This is all it takes to change your life, one moment at a time.


Dr Rangana Rupavi Choudhuri (PhD)

P.S. Want to discover if EFT Tapping is right for you? Book a complimentary Discovery call.

How To Self-Heal & Become An EFT Practitioner

Discover how EFT Tapping can help you to self-heal or to become professionally qualified as a Certified EFT Practitioner. Emotional Freedom Techniques (Tapping) is clinically proven to lower stress, tension, anxiety, past trauma to enable health, happiness and vitality.

In summary, once emotions take their hold of you, they can feel overwhelming and suppressing them might seem like an easier option. Yet, not allowing our emotions to be expressed can be detrimental to health. 


  1. Don't bottle up your emotions- It'll knock years off your life and raise cancer risk by 70 per cent - The daily mail UK, article by Pat Hagan
  2. The link between cancer and unexpressed anger - Psycho-oncology
  3. Tantrum Tapping - Blog, How important is energy? 3 daily exercises to boost yours
  4. Generalized anxiety disorder – The Mayo clinic
  5. Cortisol and anxiety reference - The Effect of Emotional Freedom Techniques on Stress Biochemistry: A Randomized Controlled Trial, Church Dawson PhD *Yount, Garret PhD; Brooks, Audrey J. PhD‡ Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease
  6. Psychological Trauma in Veterans using EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques): A Randomized Controlled Trial, Church, Hawk, Brooks et. al. 
  7. Forgiveness – your health depends on it, John Hopkins Institute

Disclaimer: The information on this website is purely for educational purposes and does not in any way replace the requirement for medical and psychological diagnosis and treatment. Please seek professional medical and psychological diagnosis and advice for all medical and mental health conditions. It is advised to always book any consultations with qualified professionals.

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