This is always been an understanding in the Psychology of Vision especially in the work pioneered by Lency Spezzano. I have often repeated this statement in my seminars around the world and watched many participants bat the remark into the long grass or refer it to someone else in their family. From our willingness to engage with our emotions come many of the other good things in life and I have certainly found this to be true in my life having had the good fortune not only to be alive but also often actually to feel happy!
Anyway on with the science and less of the psychobabble! A team of researchers at the University of Harvard Medical School has found that not feeling your emotions can take a heavy toll. Basically the survey found we are 35% more likely to face a premature death bottling up our emotions than the people that let it all hang out. It was a simple survey based on 796 people of the age of 44 who were asked what they do when they are angry; do they let others know or do they try and remain pleasant so that others do not get upset?
Twelve years later 111 of the subjects had died mainly of cancer and heart disease and when researchers looked at their answers to the simple question they found a much higher percentage of death amongst those that had suppressed their emotions than those that were not shy of their feelings. The researchers also discovered that when they looked at specific illnesses the risk increased by 47% for heart disease and 70% for cancer.
Needless to say this is a relatively basic study and mainly dealing with one emotion but it is a start, and while the researchers have plenty of avenues to follow up this is a good enough start for me. So you did not hear it here first and you will not hear it here last but it is another milestone on the path of trying to persuade people that the empire was built by people who did not engage in emotions because they just inflicted them on others. You can be a fully functional human being and feel emotions; in fact you can only be human when you are feeling your emotions.
With love, Jeff and Sue