Self-Expression: What Is It and Why Is It Important for Everyone?
There are a multitude of ways to express what is authentic to you, whether through speech, drawing, singing, dancing or even the way you dress.
Cultural, societal and familial conditioning of what to say/not to say or do (e.g. “big boys don’t cry”) leads us to suppress our emotions and thoughts within us, which is unhealthy for our mental and emotional well-being. In some extreme cases, this suppression can even affect our physical health.
True self-expression is a reflection of how honest we are to ourselves and those around us.
It involves acting out your inner vision and desires without the fear of judgment, in spite of you knowing that there may be possible negative reactions from others. For instance, spontaneous singing out loud or dancing in public may be frowned upon — though busking would elicit a different reaction.
You don’t have to be a ‘creative’ or ‘artistic type’ to express what you stand for — how you act as a father, daughter, spouse or friend is a powerful form of expression in itself.
Think about how you react towards a friend who is upset (do you shy away or try to comfort them?), or how a mother interacts with her child when she imparts life skills (does she usually do it sternly, or with kindness and compassion?).
Being in touch with our full range of emotions expands your being, helping our body and mind to become more aligned with each other to create a deeper sense of fulfilment within ourselves.
3 simple steps to express yourself:
- Re-connect to a time when you last felt free…what were you doing then?
- Re-create this feeling. (A word of caution: this free, expressive state may be induced by tobacco, drugs or alcohol, but try not to depend too much on these substances.)
- Journal what you did and how you felt with that experience to help you replicate it in future.
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