Have you ever felt that you are unable to deal with your emotions? Or do you feel overwhelmed unreasonably and feel trapped in the web of your thoughts and emotions? It is said that human emotions are the most complex to handle. This conception has made its way so easily into our minds that we have come to acceptance with it. Every day, a person may experience different emotions and may not understand the reason behind them or how to deal with them. Good news!! It is completely normal to feel so.
What is important here is that you must know how to deal with their overwhelming emotions and learn how to handle them.
Expressive therapy, also known as “expressive arts therapy” is a form of therapy that uses creative techniques to help identify, understand, process and share your feelings and emotions. It uses writing, painting, drawing, sculpting, dancing, and other forms of art as a therapeutic method to express. When you are not able to understand or handle your emotions, one of the most effective ways to deal with them is by giving them a physical form.
Expressive therapy is all about expressing what’s inside you, what’s holding it to come out, and how to deal with what has been bothering you. It is also very helpful for treating and managing various mental health disorders like depression, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, neurodevelopmental disorders, eating disorders as well as high levels of stress and trauma. Expressive therapy can be used along with ‘talk therapy’ as well. While the best way is to find yourself a trained expressive art therapist with a license who can help you in the long run, you can also try some expressive tools and techniques on your own.
Journaling technique- Type. Pause. Read. Untype
Sit down with your laptop and start typing everything that comes to your mind. Do not skip anything including ill/bad thoughts that are coming to your mind. It is better to give them a safe physical form rather than harboring them. When you are done typing, take a break. Take deep breaths for 30 seconds. Now read what you have written and then start to untype.
This is a very effective technique of journaling. You do not have to save what you wrote, so there is no risk of someone invading your personal thoughts. It allows you to freely express what you are feeling and gives you time to calm down and reflect on what you have written and what you actually feel. Chances are you will have a different perspective for certain things after you have read what you have written.
Draw your safe place
Imagine a safe place in your mind. It could be anything like a building, place, person, or thing. Draw the mental image on a sheet of plain white paper. Once you are done drawing, try to identify the reason why it’s your safe place, what is the thing that it keeps you safe from, and your bodily reactions while figuring out the answers to these questions.
Picturing your emotions
Draw a mental representation of your feeling on a plain white sheet of paper. First, give it a form in your mind and then draw a physical manifestation of your feeling. You may color it if you would like to. For example, you have been experiencing anger lately and it has caused you a great deal of loss. You can picture it as a monster and draw it on the sheet. Color is exactly the same as you have imagined it in your mind. You may name it if you would like to.
Your feeling gets a form and an identity. You can bring it out and see what it needs and what you can do about it. This activity can especially be helpful with kids.
Transforming negative thoughts
Make a list of all the troubling or negative thoughts. After you have written it down on a sheet of paper, tear the paper into pieces (as many as you want). Now use these bits of paper to make something beautiful, a piece of art like a collage or a beautiful design. You can paste the design on a piece of paper using glue.
Here, you are using your negative thoughts, something ugly to create something beautiful.
It is completely normal to feel emotions. People who are battling a mental health disorder can benefit from therapy and people who are not battling a mental health disorder but are having a tough time dealing with their everyday issues can also benefit from expressive therapy. An important thing to remember is that this therapy is for everyone.
Psychologists as mental health care providers play a major role in understanding biological, behavioral, and social factors that influence mental health and physical wellbeing. Dr. (Prof) R K Suri, Senior Clinical Psychologist at Psychowellness Center, is a trained professional clinical psychologist, having more than 36 years of experience in all kinds of mental health issues and related therapeutic interventions.
Furthermore, TalkToAngel online mental health services under him put your needs first. They can help you with flexible appointments, personalized and customized intervention plans all at the tip of your fingers.
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