Expressing Yourself Through Emotions

December 15, 2017
Emotions-we all know what they are, yet, for each of us, a different feeling may come to mind. Some may think of “warm and fuzzy” feelings that make us happy, others may consider their lack of emotion, while some may reflect on the sadness or anger that they do not know how to express. As a culture, we are exposed to many forms of communication that do not involve direct face to face contact. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have an effect on our emotional expression. According to Waterloo, Baumgartner, Peter, and Valkenburg, (2017), positive emotions are more appropriate on these methods of communication, therefore people who commonly use these outlets may undergo restriction when communicating feelings that are less than positive. In addition, these forms of communication often do not reflect the reality of someone’s actual existence and can be a poor substitute for more authentic social connections. When experiencing depression and anxiety, many people report becoming more depressed when viewing social media due to the impulse to compare their own lives to others and this often leaves them with the feeling of being disconnected rather than connected. Social media can provide safe outlets for expression but it can also set up false expectations associated with emotional expression. When facing depression, anxiety or addiction we may be overwhelmed by feelings. For example, someone may use their addiction to alcohol or drugs to numb painful emotions. Someone who has anxiety may experience intense feelings of fear, while someone with depression may struggle with intense feelings of sadness and hopelessness. Learning more about your emotions and practicing effective emotional regulation is where Jefferson Oaks can help. At Jefferson Oaks, our team utilizes group and individual therapy to help you learn how to express and explore your emotional life without judgment. Many groups are designed to target specific emotions such as anger, but also explore issues associated with co-dependence and day to day emotion management. At Jefferson Oaks Behavioral Health, our groups integrate the opportunity to explore, understand, and express your emotions in a safe and welcoming environment that promotes wellness and peace of mind.

References

Chaplin, T. M. (2014). Gender and emotion expression: A developmental contextual perspective. Emotion Review, 7(1), 14-21. doi:10.1177/1754073914544408 Harris, D. (2010). Oppression of the bereaved: A critical analysis of grief in western society. OMEGA - Journal of Death and Dying, 60(3), 241-253. doi:10.2190/om.60.3.c Waterloo, S. F., Baumgartner, S. E., Peter, J., & Valkenburg, P. M. (2017). Norms of online expressions of emotion: Comparing Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and WhatsApp. New Media & Society. doi:10.1177/1461444817707349