Do you ever reflect on the ways you share yourself to others and the outside world?
The way we share ourselves is called self-expression, or the transfer of energy from our inner emotions, personality, and thoughts into another form. From clothing to body language, people often express themselves involuntarily. Some positive activities to increase self-expression include forms such as art, music, dance, writing, group sharing, and performance.
But why is self-expression important to engage in on a daily basis? The answer is simple. Humans are designed to feel, create, and make connections. When we express our inner world in an open, honest way, we are able to better recognize and understand our emotions, thus making it easier to accept and cope with them. Holding in strong emotions and thoughts can be challenging and it can lead to both physical and mental distress. For example, take feelings of stress and worry. Dwelling in these emotions inwardly may result in physical symptoms such headaches, tense and tight shoulders, and fatigue. Mentally, a negative spiral begins to develop. Social withdrawal may even occur. However, if these powerful emotions are expressed in a positive, constructive way, that person can find freedom and maybe the source of those feelings. Negative emotions are worked through and find an outlet, allowing for positivity and peace to prevail.
Life can get busy with work, school, and other responsibilities, and it can be easy to neglect mental health and emotional wellbeing. Whether it be in the morning or before bed, carve out some time in your day for a little activity to foster self-expression. Here are a few easy ideas to start your journey towards self-expression and discovery:
1. Dump your thoughts from the day in a journal (the messier the better).
2. Draw a circle and use different watercolors to paint your emotions.
3. Take a mindful walk while observing and being present (no judgment allowed).
4. Have a mini dance party.
5. Play an instrument or listen to instrumental music.
6. Work on a vision board and add to it each day.
7. Decorate the outside of a bag or box with words and images that represent qualities you show to the outside world. On the inside, write how you truly are and feel (this can even be a quick journal entry).
8. Keep a mood journal, writing down how you feel and what happened that day. Reflect after each entry.
Making a daily effort to transfer authentic energy and emotions into constructive forms can allow us to embrace our true selves, better understand feelings, and achieve fulfillment. How do you express yourself?