When we perform certain acts like music and art, we open up the opportunity to express ourselves. Through varied activities, we can communicate who we are on the inside, as well as how we feel and interpret our world.
Self-expression is the act of sharing our ideas and thoughts through several different ways. We can use activities like painting, dancing, and even fashion to express ourselves and project to the world who our authentic selves are. There are many benefits of utilizing self-expression.
When you create art, put on your favorite shirt, and dance in your bedroom you are utilizing self-expression. Who is your authentic self-and how do you express who that is?
What Is Self-Expression?
Self-expression is the way we share our ideas, thoughts, and feelings. It is exposing our inner self through unique and creative outlets. It empowers us to stray from our normal routines to explore deeper meaning in ourselves. Through self-expression, we show our true values and can feel happier and more fulfilled in life.
We choose how to express ourselves, and this can be done in many different ways:
- Facial expressions
- and more!
No matter how we choose to do it, self-expression is a way for us to demonstrate what we like or not, how we think, what and how we feel.
Why Self Expression Is Important
We use self-expression in order to connect to ourselves, who we really are deep within, and keep us balanced. This helps us to find our happiness and be who we truly are, rather than project the facades that society has come to seem to expect by some. When who we are on the inside matches the image we project through self-expression, we maintain our balance and can be happier in life. Self-expression allows us to utilize our own creativity, especially to feel and experience things we just can’t put into words.
We use self-expression in order to connect to ourselves, who we really are deep within, and keep us balanced.
Benefits of Self Expression
When we use self-expression in the ways we see best fit for ourselves, we experience many benefits. Here are just a few of the benefits you can experience when you use your creativity and self-expression:
- Authenticity: You are not defined by social structure or roles. You are who you are.
- Freedom: You are free to be yourself. You share yourself with those around you as well as the world.
- Inspiration: When you use your creativity, you inspire yourself as well as others around you. You bring yourself joy and wisdom.
- Improved relationships: When you are authentically you, you open up better relationships and connections with others. You are truly you and you attract others to you.
- Acceptance: By putting your authentic self out in the world, you accept yourself and learn from risks and judgements from others. You grow as your true self.
- Self-discovery: Through putting yourself out there and learning from others reactions, you learn more about yourself. This is the best way to grow and refine your self-expression.
- Connect to divine sources: As you discover more about yourself, you connect to bigger and better things. You may even find divine inspiration through being your authentic self.
Forms of Self Expression
There are very few wrong ways to express yourself-some practice will do you good! All it takes is courage and creativity. Find an activity you enjoy and try it out!
Self Expression Through Art – You don’t have to be Van Gogh or Monet to utilize art for self-expression! Perhaps you enjoyed drawing or finger painting as a child and let it go. If so, it’s about time you picked it up again! You can use water colors on canvas, pencil on paper, or even chalk on the sidewalk. Draw anything that comes to mind; whether it’s your favorite flower or a happy memory. Create and enjoy!
Self Expression Through Music – If you enjoyed playing piano as a kid or played clarinet in the marching band as a teenager, you might find music to be the way to self-expression for you. Maybe you always wanted to learn how to play guitar, or you’ve got some bongos in the attic. Give it a shot! Play whatever comes to mind or find some sheet music online-the possibilities are almost endless! Don’t worry, no one is expecting Bach or Billie Eilish out of you.
Self Expression Through Writing – When it comes to writing for self-expression, no one expects Stephen King or Dean Koontz right out of the box. You could try journaling to get started with writing, or expand your skills and write a book. An online blog is also an options if you’re interested in sharing your ideas and skills to teach others. Or use your social media accounts to share your thoughts, you never know who you might inspire!
Self Expression Through Dancing – Remember that episode of Seinfeld when Elaine did that crazy dance? You don’t have to do that-but if that’s what you feel like doing, then do it! Perhaps you took ballet lessons as a child, or you really enjoy line dancing. Either way, find your style and make it fun! Move in a way that feels right to you and keep it up. Find the music that makes you snap your fingers or tap your toes, that’s the best place to start. Then just start moving to the music!
Self Expression Through Communication – You already know that communication with others is not only important, it’s essential. This communication is honest, open, and effectively lets someone else know who you really are on the inside. It’s communicating your ideas, thoughts, and feelings with someone else who may or may not be like-minded. It’s not a brain dump per se, it’s sharing your authentic self with someone else. Even Madonna will tell you to express yourself!
You don’t have to stick to just one form of self-expression here. If there are two activities above you really enjoy, do them both (and not necessarily at the same time)! If there are more, then do them to your heart’s content and enjoy!
Examples of Self Expression
So I’ve shared with you several broad categories of forms of self-expression, now let me share with you some specific examples to five you a better idea.
- Express yourself by not “fitting in”. Reject the latest fashion trend and wear what you want. Not to stand out, but because it’s what you like. Or stand out if you’d like-it’s whatever you like.
- Decorate your bedroom or your favorite comfortable spot with seashells and paintings of the beach, or with flowers and pretty designs that make you happy and remind you of someone or something special. It’s your happy place, so surround yourself with it.
- Write about the events of your day and how each one made you feel. Keep a journal of good and bad events, or just the good ones. Go back and look at previous entries to remind yourself of what works and what doesn’t, what makes you happy and what makes you sad. Focus on the positives and what makes you feel good about yourself.
- Paint something – a picture, your living room, your house. Use colors that bring you joy and happiness (homeowner’s association approved if needed).
- Take pictures of beautiful things – sunsets, your children, your pets, landscapes. Save them or share them on social media. Tell others how those pictures and those things bring you joy.
Here is an insightful video on thoughtful ways to express yourself:
Examples of Self Expression – From Real People
I asked 5 family and friends what top 4 areas of self expression they value and try to perform the most that helps them feel good. Here is what they shared and what I learned:
|Area of Self-Expression
|# of Family and Friends
|Social media posts
|Cleaning and organizing
|Listening to music
|Playing music (piano, clarinet, guitar)
- Self-Actualization – Feeling and Realizing Your Full Potential
- Unique Person – The Value and Greatness In Each of Us
- Sympathy vs Empathy vs Compassion – Insight For Living Well
- Saying No – Be Strong and Learn from My Experience
- How Being Authentic Helps – From Someone Who’s Done It
- Empathy Vs Sympathy – Connection for Yourself and Others
- Synchronicity – Getting a Feel For Unseen Connections
- Manifestation – Turning Dreams and Desires into Reality
- Manifestation Methods & Techniques for Everyday People
- Selflessness: Embracing the Art of Giving and Compassion
- Bubbly Personality: Embracing Your Inner Enthusiasm
- Shift Reality: Unveiling the Secrets of Altered Perception
- Unsolicited Advice: Tackling the Issue With Clarity and Confidence
Self-expression is a creative way of balancing who you are with what you do. As long as we remain true to ourselves and project who we are versus who others want to be, we can be in harmony with ourselves. There are so many ways to express yourself, the question is-how are you doing it?