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How to Reduce Stress Using Healthy Emotional Expression

How to Reduce Stress Using Healthy Emotional Expression

We all have emotions and expressing them in healthy and sustainable ways is one of the key ingredients for a solid recovery and happy life. Humans are filled with complicated and ever-present and shifting states of emotion. There is no such thing as a “wrong” or “negative” emotion, only unhealthy ways of expressing them. When we repress our emotions or express them in ways that don’t serve our highest mental and emotional well-being, we get stressed out, drained, and don’t feel like our best selves. Here are a few ways to reduce stress using a healthy emotional expression. 

Identify Your Emotion

This sounds simple, but in moments of heightened intensity, we can forget to label what we’re feeling. Assigning a word to an overwhelming sensation will offer clarity and might make you begin to feel like your feeling has less power over you. Are you feeling anger, sadness, fear? Label your feelings and try not to judge them.

Tune Into Your Body

Where do you feel the emotion in your body? It’s okay if you don’t know right away. Focus on your body and note any tension or feelings of pain, clenching, or discomfort. Try not to ask questions about why you’re feeling this way. Simply focus on your body.

Breathe

When we feel heightened states of stress, we enter fight or flight mode and our breathing patterns become shallow and quick. Try to shift the breath into slow and deep rhythms. Fee your belly rising and falling on the inhale and exhale. As you exhale, imagine your negative emotions melting away.

Use Relaxation Exercises

Simple exercises such as journaling, guided visualization, positive self-talk, and meditation can calm the mind and body and allow us to express our emotions in healthy, constructive ways.

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