3 Signs That You Have an Unhealthy Relationship with Your Emotions

#1: Constant busyness

Nick Wignall
8 min readSep 20


Photo by Emma Llamas

In my work as a psychologist, I’ve found that one simple mistake is at the heart of nearly every emotional struggle from anxiety and panic to depression and procrastination…

Just because an emotion feels bad doesn’t mean it is bad.

When you believe painful emotions are bad or dangerous, you tend to treat them like enemies to be avoided or eliminated. Unfortunately, this fight or flight reaction to painful emotions trains your brain to see them as threats, which makes them increasingly painful and frequent over time.

If you want to start building a healthier, less painful relationship with your emotions, you must learn to see the patterns of avoidance and aggression with your own emotions.

You’ve got to recognize the many ways in which — consciously or not — you treat your emotions like enemies. And then start treating them like friends instead. (Or at least like a roommate you don’t particularly love but tolerate civilly).

No matter how painful, emotions are messengers to be listened to, not threats to be eliminated.

What follows are 3 signs that you have an unhealthy relationship with your emotions.

If you can learn to identify the ones at play in your own life, you can start to correct them and build a healthier, more mature, and ultimately less painful relationship with your emotions.

1. Constant Busyness

We all have different energy levels and preferences for how much activity feels good to us. Some of us enjoy being quite active and on the move, while others prefer a more low-key approach to life.

But whatever your baseline preference for activity and movement, being constantly busy — always preoccupied with one thing or another and never really present in the moment — is often a sign of a conflicted relationship with your emotions.

We use busyness as a distraction from painful feelings.



Nick Wignall

Psychologist and writer sharing practical advice for emotional health and well-being: https://thefriendlymind.com