Bottling vs. Brooding Emotions —Why Both Are Bad For Mental Health

In their simplest terms, bottling is the act of pushing emotions aside, and brooding is the act of sitting in those emotions. While they may look different, David says they both have a real cost to mental health and overall well-being. 

People who have a tendency to either push aside difficult emotions or get stuck in difficult emotions tend to have higher levels of depression and anxiety, and lower levels of self-worth

While bottling or brooding may seem like easier alternatives to actually seeking help or working through a difficult emotion, both require a lot of mental resources. In fact, they can end up draining so much mental energy that a person can no longer problem solve their way out of the situation or move forward productively, David says.

Experiencing emotions is a natural human experience, and when people don’t allow themselves to engage in them, it also makes it difficult to be vulnerable and engage in interpersonal relationships, romantic or otherwise.