Is there anything more satisfying in life than expressing yourself? Whether it is through creative means, journaling, or talking with people who understand you, humans crave connection to other people and being heard authentically. The feeling you get when you are having a conversation with someone and they are nodding along like they totally get you is important. It is important because you receive a sense of validation who you are and what you say mean something. And, we need this today more than ever when smart phones have become a substitute for real human connection.
Expressing Yourself as Self-Care
Writing is a really excellent way to express yourself whether it is just to yourself, another person or the masses (with a blog). If you want to find out how you feel about a topic, the act of writing forces you to collect your thoughts and organize them in away that will make sense to yourself or someone else. Even if you don’t feel comfortable sharing yourself with the masses, being able to speak your mind to someone is important. If you aren’t comfortable writing a blog, you can always keep a journal and decide who you will share it with (or not).
Keeping a journal is one way to express yourself. You can try stream of consciousness style writing where you write for a set amount of time or pages. You write about whatever comes to mind and then interpret what is going on based on what you wrote. Julia Cameron promotes writing in this way with her morning pages. She describes this technique in her book, The Artist’s Way, which I highly recommend reading whether you are an artist or not. She proposes you write out three 8.5 x 11 pages longhand every morning as a way of getting clear about what is going on in you. This can be a very valuable way to discover all kinds of things about yourself (hopes, fears, worries, the mundane, etc.).
Depending on how brave you feel about putting yourself out there, you may decide to try different methods of expressing who you are. Art is another way to communicate with people and express your particular view of the world. Art can be anything you want it to be really. Here are some possible vehicles for expressing yourself through art:
- Making videos
- Performing a one woman play
- Creating a podcast
- Or whatever else you feel called to do
The vehicle doesn’t matter. What matters is finding a way to connect with someone else and sharing your view of the world.
Scheduling regular one on one time with people you can have a genuine conversation with is vital to your well being. Being with someone who understands you and sharing your joys and sorrows can help to give your life meaning. Having someone you feel understands you can make you feel safe to open up and help you to know what is really going on in your world. It can be hard to truly be authentic with someone you don’t know very well mainly because you don’t know if you can trust them with your innermost feelings.
Trust is a big element in being authentically ourselves. If we feel like our genuine self won’t be accepted, we may try to hide or pretend to be something we are not – which can be exhausting. If you are fortunate enough to have someone you can be authentically yourself with and can share a great conversation with them that is a win-win.
Expressing yourself = Authentic You
You will eventually find your own tribe of people who you feel comfortable sharing yourself with. Your partner or spouse should be the main cheerleader for you in this regard. Even if you have friends and a spouse who is supportive, sometimes you still need to figure out who you are and how you feel at various points in your life. Particularly after a significant loss or change or when taking on a new role for the first time (like becoming a Mom).
Please know that it is perfectly fine to journal your innermost thoughts and feelings to help you navigate these new territories. There can also be great value in talking with someone who is not biased one way or another. Talking to a therapist who can help you sift through your thoughts and concerns may help you to feel more like your wonderful authentic self.
Regardless of which way you choose expressing yourself as a form of self-care, just do it! The world needs more people who are in tune with what is going on with themselves, so they can then help other people figure out who they are as well. When we are able to be authentically ourselves with each other, we are able to bring our gifts out into the world. We are all unique and sharing our view of the world can help us all to live more meaningfully.
How to Get Started Expressing Yourself
If you would like more information on writing, please see How to Fill Your Creative Well. Or, if you would like some inspiration around what might be some fun things to try as a means of expressing yourself, check out:
I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic, please comment in the area below with your experiences trying to express yourself as a way of taking great care of you.
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