Did you know that some people consider many forms of self-expression to be taboo? Many professional, cultural, and institutional communities deem certain forms of self-expression inappropriate or looked down on, from tattoos to unconventional outfits to various hairstyles. They often enforce certain rules and uniforms to create a more cohesive population. However, by doing so, they cause people to disconnect from themselves, creating a chain reaction of other issues.
Expressing your identity, personality, thoughts, and emotions through different creative outlets provides multiple benefits. It prevents numerous unhealthy feelings and situations, including doubt, stress, anxiety, and helplessness. Here is how self-expression benefits your mental wellness and why it’s important to allow people to express themselves creatively.
Creates a Sense of Identity
Throughout centuries and many stages of life, people ask themselves, “Who am I?” and “what is my purpose?” These philosophical ponderings arise from feelings of helplessness, anxiety, uncertainty, and unfulfillment in life. Understanding who you are, from your dislikes and likes to your gender and sexuality, frees you from many weighing feelings and gives you fulfillment. Self-expression allows people to explore and create a sense of identity, answering the age-old questions of life, purpose, and meaning.
Helps With Self-Discovery
In line with creating an identity for yourself, self-expression goes hand-in-hand with self-discovery. Exploring the self allows people to learn more about their behaviors, personality, preferences, forms of communication, and how they work with others, solidifying their identity. There are many ways to discover one’s self, including the myriad of personality tests and classification systems.
Understanding how to dress for your style essence helps you express your personality through fashion. Learning your love language (and your partners) makes giving and receiving love easier. And diving into the various types of personality tests, like enneagram and Myers Briggs, helps with communication and understanding the best form of self-expression for you.
The more authentic you feel, the more confidence you gain. Expressing yourself through clothes, art, music, and writing clarifies various anxious uncertainties, like identity crises and deep-rooted emotions. Self-expression also heals many traumas and long-carried baggage. It often brings closure, allowing people to move on with their heads held high, further increasing their self-esteem since they know that they can overcome hardship.
Produces Healthy Coping Mechanisms
When emotions, uncertainties, and certain life situations get too much, it’s easy to fall into bad habits. Most people who turn to drugs, alcohol, physical harm, and verbal abuse are those with unsettled or overwhelming feelings. Self-expression provides healthy comping mechanism alternatives that satisfy and help heal growing and ambiguous negative emotions. Channeling those feelings toward a form of art brings them to light, releases them, and allows you to come to terms with them.
Self-expression benefits your mental wellness in various ways, from solidifying your purpose and identity to dealing with unrelenting emotions and negative feelings. Allowing yourself, loved ones, and others to venture into their preferred form of self-expression helps you heal and grow as people. It also builds more meaningful connections and a more diverse and fruitful community.