If the thought of having a good rant to your friend or colleague fills you with dread in fear of being called a ‘moaner’, you’re not alone. In the safe space of our mind, we can freely express our opinions without fear of judgement. But when it comes to voicing those grievances, the thought of putting yourself into an uncomfortable situation, or cause yourself to be labelled as a negative nelly, usually forces people to stuff those thoughts deep down where no one will find them.
Self-expression is an integral part of your wellbeing and can be very cathartic. Whether that’s journaling, talking therapy, different forms of artistic expression or exercise, having a daily outlet to externalise your inner dwellings will let that energy flow out of you and be released. Think about the last time you were upset with something that happened to you; how did you tend to that discomfort? Did you rant about it? Was it at the forefront of your mind for the rest of the week?
However healthy it is to get those feelings off of your chest, there is a fine line between expression and letting your emotions steer the wheel. There are plenty of instances where communicating how you feel to others is important, but these situations should be handled with care and ideally after you have had the opportunity to process your reaction first.
I personally like to express myself through journaling and exercise. This is where I get to the nitty gritty of how I’m feeling and why I’m responding in that way. I find in the morning is where I benefit from an early run, to reset my mind and body, and to work through any negative residue from the day before that I haven’t slept off. This is also the best time for me to adopt a positive mindset and to set good intentions for my day. In the evenings, after a long day of interaction and obligation, is when I take to my journal to digest every little detail I’m holding on to. I think of journaling as a way to unload luggage off of my shoulders. Taking one situation at a time and turning it over until I’m sure I’m ready to put it down.
If you’re having difficulty sleeping because you’re replaying trauma over and over again or are finding that you’re often reacting in ways you are not proud of, you might not be expressing yourself enough. There is absolutely nothing wrong with your feelings. Every emotion you experience is valid. But for your own sanity, finding an outlet to shift some of those sticky emotions will make you more resilient.
What do you need to be honest with yourself about and how will you deal with it?
Sending loving kindness your way,