Yoga | | Aug 23, 2021

Expressive Therapy

Not everyone deals with their problems in the same way. It depends on the problem, their prior experiences, the way they take them, their resilience. Some people can express their emotions when talking with someone, others find it more challenging - maybe it's difficult for them to put them into words, maybe they are not comfortable doing so.

There are other ways that help people to process and cope with emotions that are being used by psychologists and therapists. They use expressive therapy, a type of therapy that focuses on creativity and the expression of our emotions through a creative activity. It can be drawing, painting, dancing, singing, playing an instrument, writing, etc.

This kind of therapy can promote positive emotions, healing, tension and emotion relief, self-awareness, coping skills, emotional well-being, self-esteem, and stress and anxiety relief. It's a transformative process that can improve both mental and physical health.

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Many people use this kind of therapy on their own, without any sort of professional support and - depending on the problem - that's fine. It's their way of dealing with their problems, their way of processing and coping with whatever they are going through.

If you analyse your life and your behaviour, odds are you have done it too. Maybe you have sung your lungs out when you were feeling sad and frustrated, maybe you have danced until you felt so physically tired that you felt that knot in your chest get lighter.

Personally, I'm one of those who sing - usually really depressing and heartbreaking songs, ahah. There are people who use those colouring books, but I've tried it and noticed that it is not really my thing.

I've recently discovered drawing mandalas and that for me is really therapeutic. Some of you know that I suffer a lot during my period, most months I stay bedridden. Not only that, I get really depressive - yay! A couple of months ago during my period I had access to an iPad and started drawing mandalas to pass the time. Not only did it make me kind of forget about my pain, it also helped me emotionally. So I kept on drawing more and more designs. I tried again on the following month and it helped again.

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Not period related - ahah - I recently tried painting with alcohol ink and playing with clay. And that was sooo much fun! Not only that, it made me zone out, it was so meditative! I was into it and my mind didn't wander, it was focused on that activity. It was such a mindful experience.

It's definitely something that I will keep doing, trying to express myself in creative ways. I will keep designing mandalas for sure, and will try to find the activities that will work for me the best. I am pretty good at drawing with charcoal pencil, but terrible at painting using colours and brushes. I will try to get some classes on oil pastels one of these days, because it's something that I've tried before and because I don't know any techniques it didn't work well, but I will try again soon!

What about you? Do you use any form of creative expression to deal with your emotions? What do you do?

With love and positive energies,

Expressive Therapy written by Joana Vieira

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