Sometimes when we experience a trauma such as a car accident, witnessing violence or abuse, our minds protect ourselves by shutting off our emotions. The same way our pain receptors shut off to manage intense pain, our mind suppresses strong, negative emotions during times of crises to protect our well-being.
However, suppressing your emotions consciously and deliberately in times when there is no trauma (e.g. death of a family member, loss of a job, argument with a spouse, anxiety for a test, etc.) can lead to damaging effects on your mind and body. Emotion suppression, which essentially is an avoidance of emotion, is a coping strategy that many people employ mistakenly thinking it is healthy or the right thing to do.