Express Yourself

Written by Michelle Robinson

Welcome to Life Chat. I hope that May is unfolding into a very positive month for you.

I was counselling a client via Zoom this week, and her insights got me thinking about the importance of expressing ourselves.

This is a theme that has come up time and again when I work with clients who are experiencing anxiety, depression, low confidence and a host of other challenges. When they discover a way to express their thoughts and feelings, it’s like an internal pressure valve releases, at least for a while.

My recent client has been struggling with a range of significant issues, including uncertain and stressful work, a breakdown in her relationship with her partner, relocation to a new rental home and the death of a cherished elderly dog. The resulting grief and stress have understandably weighed heavily on her, making her feel withdrawn, anxious, lonely and sad. Since my client does not live in our region, there is no risk of disclosing her identity by sharing her story.

In our most recent session, she told me that she is feeling a little better. She has discovered an art class and has been attending it on Friday nights. Painting had always been an interest, though she hadn’t attempted to previously develop her skills. She is finding that when focused on her art, immersing herself in colour and the movement of her brush, she feels happy. She has also formed a new female friendship within the group and catches up with this woman for coffee and chats. On a daily basis, she once again notices the beauty in nature and feels grateful for the blessings in her life. That’s progress.

Science tells us that it is unhelpful psychologically and physically to hold on to harmful emotions and thoughts. Intense feelings of anger, stress, anxiety, resentment and guilt interfere with our digestive, nervous, autonomic and muscular-skeletal systems as well as our ability to produce the positive hormones we need for happiness. Deep feelings of sadness, loneliness, grief and low self-worth have similarly unhelpful health effects.

When we find a way to release some of these feelings, we give ourselves a chance to recalibrate and see life more positively. How we do this must be right for each of us.

I like to explore with clients what their interests or passions might have been when they were younger or more well. Did they have a yearning to draw or paint? Did they love to dance? How about singing, or learning a new craft? Perhaps they prefer to walk on the beach and talk aloud, write their feelings in a journal or create poetry? The possibilities are limitless, but the aim is to express what needs to ‘come out’ so there is a clear space for positive feelings. This must happen without judgement or guilt. Everything we feel exists for a reason. Do not deny this part of you – give it a channel through which it is explored and expressed. Be a friend to yourself.

Whether you are looking for a general boost or are interested in lifting your spirits, consider adding your preferred style of self-expression to your routine. It’s certainly helped me. I joined a singing group and receive enormous pleasure from releasing my feelings through song.

See you next month.

Remember, if you would like to stay connected with me to receive positive tips for life each morning, feel welcome to join my free Facebook group “Your Intuitive Gifts At Work.” Here is a direct link where you can join my group