Let’s face it: few of us are comfortable being with our emotions, particularly men. As boys, we’re told not to cry; as men we’re told to be silent about our emotions and be rational thinkers, instead. Even when we’re not told explicitly to suppress our emotions, we grow up emulating our parents and the adults around us. If they resist expressing emotions, then we internalize that we are to do the same.

Unfortunately, suppressing our emotions can lead to depression, anger management issues, and the inability to connect with others. Left suppressed through adulthood, we actively avoid emotions, making us more prone to addictions, which are an effort to numb our feelings or distract us from them. Emotions are critical to living a full life. They tell us whether our basic needs are being met, so we need to feel them and learn to understand what they mean to us.