Expressing our emotions without filters, in the purest and most faithful way to how we feel them is called emotional catharsis. An intimate and intense process which can sometimes be seen as dangerous, but which is really the most liberating. Let's go deeper into this wonderful concept to understand it better.
What is emotional catharsis?
The concept of catharsis was introduced by Aristotle to refer to the process of "purification" that the spectators of the tragedy about their low passions could experience, observing the interpretation of the deep and mobilizing emotions on the part of the actors. But it was Freud who rescued him later and applied it to the psychotherapeutic field to call the process of discharge and relief of emotional tension.
Although it is true, it was Breuer who created the cathartic or free association method and Freud developed it as part of his psychoanalytic theory. Thus, Breuer and Freud used emotional catharsis in psychological treatment, as a technique that was part of the hypnotic therapy, so that their patients could express and release their repressed emotions.
On the other hand, from the social psychology this term has also been used to develop the cathartic theory of aggressiveness, following the studies of psychoanalysis. Through it, it is explained how the human being can accumulate frustrations in his daily life that can end in aggression but that can be relieved through catharsis, through the participation of an "intermediary" in the aggression of others. Thus, according to Seymour Feshbach, watching violent content through television provides indirect aggressive experiences that serve as a harmless vehicle to relieve feelings of hostility or frustration.
As we see, one way or another, Emotional catharsis is that process that allows us to discharge all the energy generated by our emotions, even the most repressed.From what we can deduce the importance of this process for our psychological well-being.
The need to express our emotions
At present, society invites us not to express what we feel, especially what is not well seen as intense and uncontrolled crying, an explosion of anger or rage or simply feelings of discomfort. That is to say, it prevents us from expressing our emotions and fosters their repression, which implies that we keep them deep inside us.
However, every emotional expression, however abrupt it may be, needs to be validated and not censored, As much as we want to think otherwise; since every emotion we experience is a part of us and a bit of our essence. Thanks to them, we can get to know each other better and improve our relationships with others. Emotions are the support for self-knowledge and knowledge of others, let's not forget it.
So, an emotional catharsis process is not dangerous, although sometimes we can think about it. This phenomenon arises especially when we have been strong for a long time and have blocked our discomfort until it ends up broken inside. In this way, it emerges as a bridge to free ourselves emotionally and show us that fragility is also part of our lives because we are not superheroes, because crying is also necessary and screaming sometimes relieves us ...
Now this does not make us weak, but human and teaches us how necessary is the emotional expression for his future understanding and the assimilation of pain and suffering that haunts us.
Finally, there is a very important aspect to consider in everything related to emotional catharsis: the consequences of our actions in relationships with others. That is to say, releasing our emotions is recommended but doing so causing harm to others is not. Therefore, it is very important to take into account our behavior when we experience a process of emotional catharsis and investigate methods such as art, writing, meditation or dance to express everything we have repressed and thus increase our well-being.