Creative Self-Expression: Positive Outlets to Express Yourself

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Life is a combination of all types of experiences: happy, sad, stressful, etc.  Despite what life throws at you, it is important to remember that there are so many positive ways in which to express your emotions. Art, writing and music are a few methods in which you can express yourself and decompress from life’s battles.


When I say, “express yourself with art,” people probably imagine these elaborate paintings and think, “I couldn’t possibly do that”. However, the great thing about self-expression is that you do not have to be the next Picasso in order to use it as an outlet! I am not good at art by any means. I am not smooth with a paintbrush and I typically label my drawings for fear of people not knowing what it is. Regardless of your level of talent, drawing, painting, and sketching are great ways to distress. If it’s a nice day outside, you can try to draw a certain tree, house, or landscape. If you need a break from homework, you can fill a page of your notebook with doodles. You can even to try to tell a story with funny pictures or draw your friends! Using whichever type of art you prefer, art can be a great way to relax and have fun.


Writing is a fantastic way of expressing your thoughts and feelings. If you are upset about something and like using the style of poetry, you can express your emotions in metaphors and imagery. If you just want to be creative, you can write stories. If you are trying to figure out how to talk to someone about an important matter, writing your thoughts down can help you organize what you want to say. I think this outlet is effective, because it allows you to release the emotions that may be held inside by putting them into words and onto paper.


Listening to music is a common way for people to distress from a long day or feel better if they were recently feeling down. Creating music also helps you express yourself. As noted before, you do not have to sound like Beyoncé or play an instrument professionally in order to use music as an outlet. Singing a song that you relate to allows you to express what you are feeling. Playing an instrument can help you get your mind off of current struggles and actually benefits your brain in several ways. Anita Collins explains these benefits in her video, “How Playing Music Benefits Your Brain”. Whether it is listening to music, singing, or playing an instrument, music is a great form a self-expression.

There are a variety of self-expression methods that can serve as positive outlets in times of stress and hard times. Whether it’s art, writing and music as listed above, or theater performances and sports, everyone can find a way in which to express themselves.

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