Find the right ways to express and experience your emotions

Mental Health   ›   Emotions  ›   Find the right ways to express and experience your emotions

Even if they’re sometimes unpleasant or painful, your emotions are a signal that something is going on inside you. That's why you should try to listen (observe, acknowledge, and accept) and be aware of what can happen if you repress your feelings. Find ways to express them and deal with them in a healthy way with these 5 tips.

Express your emotions as you feel them

You have the right to feel and express your emotions. That will help you let off steam and feel better; it’s healthy. On the other hand, if you repress them, deny them, or keep them buried inside, you’re likely to feel frustrated and your negative emotions can build up. And if they build up too much, there’s a risk you may express them in the wrong way...


Find the right ways to feel and express your emotions.

Choose the right time and a place where you feel comfortable and safe to express yourself. The people around you are also important: they need to be available to listen to you and you need to trust them. They could be some of your friends, certain adults, at school, at home, etc.


If you’re angry, you probably want to let off steam: punch a cushion, yell into a pillow, go out running, listen to music, dance, etc. If you’re sad, you may want to cry, write, talk, take a bath, watch a favourite TV show, listen to or make music, etc.


You have a choice on the way to express your emotions

You can choose to express your emotions differently each time. Do you know how to do this? Sometimes, when we feel an emotion, we feel a need to externalize it: that is, to experience it, accept it, and make room for it. At other times, we might want to take our mind off things and do something else to change the emotion. The important thing is to listen to yourself because you’re the best person to know what will help you.


Understand the origin of your emotion

Take the time to think and understand why you felt this emotion. That can help you better accept it. Instead of wanting to fight against it or repress it, you can even imagine yourself thanking it for warning you that you needed something. For example, maybe you got angry and you realized that it was because you wanted to talk but you felt you weren’t being listened to. The anger was there to help you assert yourself.


Remember that emotions are short-lived

Emotions will make you experience all kinds of things, and some of them aren’t pleasant. But remember that they don’t last long and they don’t represent you. Learn to observe them when they appear and when they disappear. It may help if you imagine that they’re like the cars of a passing train while you’re standing in the station. Sometimes, the train cars stay in the station for a while, whereas other times they move through without even stopping.