Properly managing your emotions is crucial to living a fulfilling and happy life. Expressing them in healthy ways can have many positive benefits for you, including ensuring that those feelings don't get out of control or become detrimental.
Below are some examples of the positive benefits one can experience when appropriately expressing your feelings:
- Greater life satisfaction
- Increased adjustment to stressors
- More psychological resilience
- Reduced anxiety
- Reduced stress
- Improved confidence
- Improved connection with others
Expressing your emotions is the fourth step in learning how to process your feelings. Before we can dive into ways to express your emotions, you need to know how to get to that step in the process.
Step One: The first step is to identify your go-to distracting behaviors. Distracting behaviors are behaviors you engage in consciously or unconsciously to avoid facing your emotions. These activities include staying too busy to think, marathoning a streaming service, drugs, alcohol, or video games.
Step 2: Define Your Emotions: Identity what emotions you are experiencing. What triggered this emotion? What are the differences between them? Are you experiencing a change in body temperature? Is there anything else you notice about your physical state? If you had to describe your emotions to a friend or on paper, how would you do it?
Step Three: What Do Your Emotions Tell You? Our emotions provide clues to what we need in the present moment and what we may need in the future. Consider what your feelings are trying to tell you by taking a moment to step back. Is there anything you need to change in your behavior, thoughts, or actions?
Step Four: The final step to fully processing emotions is to express feelings healthily. Not everyone expresses emotions in the same way.
Below are 5 healthy ways to express emotions.
- You can express your emotions by doing something physical. Exercise can include hiking, gym, swimming, playing sports, watching exercise videos, or joining an active club.
- Using your creativity is another way to express your emotions. Besides drawing or painting, you can also write in your journal, create a short story, play an instrument, sing, or try photography. A few other activities you might find interesting are clay modeling, collages, and mandalas.
- The third way to express your emotions is to talk about them. Your friend or family member can help you sort them out. If you are worried about them, you can speak to a professional. A plant at home, a pet, or even yourself can also be talked about out loud.
- Connect your mind and body: Connecting your mind and body is the fourth way to express your emotions. Meditation, yoga, and deep breathing are all good activities to try. Being mindful and grateful in your everyday life will also help you maintain a healthy mind-body connection and help you express emotions more freely.
- The fifth way to express your emotions is to try something new. Consider trying a new recipe, taking a new class, or exploring a new place.
You can live a productive and fulfilling life if you learn to express your emotions healthily. Actively expressing your emotions, using creativity, talking about them, forming a mind-body connection, and trying something new are all healthy ways to do so.