Enhance Emotional Expression

Emotional expression refers to one’s ability to express emotions in a constructive manner. It also refers to the ability to be able to identify, understand and outwardly express both positive and negative emotions by way of articulation and/or physical expression of such, in an appropriate way.

Importance of Emotional Expression in the Workspace
People who are emotionally expressive are able to use their words and physical expressions to display their emotions in a meaningful and positive way. People who are proficient in this area are able to achieve their goals, as they are in control of their emotions and do not suppress them. They can build strong relationships with others as they are willing to openly share, creating an environment where others are comfortable to do the same.

Guidelines for enhancing Emotional Expression

A prerequisite to being able to express emotion is to first acknowledge the emotion. To do this, you need to identify your emotions – give your emotion a name. Ask yourself what am I feeling now? Identify between anger, frustration, or resentment. There are significant differences between these emotions. If you can name the emotion, it will give great insight into what made you feel that way and why. You will have a difficult time expressing your emotions constructively if you don’t try to understand the emotion first.

A good way to remain aware of your emotions is to keep a journal. Each day, write down one positive and one negative emotion you experienced that day.
Then ask yourself: What caused me to feel this way and why? Often, writing down how you feel will clarify your thoughts and make it easier to express your feelings verbally.

Don’t suppress emotions
When we are faced with a difficult or negative emotion, the easiest thing to do is to deny it. We shrug it off. When it comes to positive emotions such as joy, happiness and excitement, it’s far easier for us to express these emotions – we smile, laugh, throw our hands in the air. However, when we experience a negative emotion we tend to head for the nearest emotional exit. Challenge yourself to engage with your negative emotions. It’s often when working through the negative emotions that we grow and learn the most.

Secondly, if you suppress an emotion, it will eventually surface and chances are that it will not be positive. By facing your emotions, you will remain in control of them and not them in control of you.

Pay attention to the physical signs
Your body will tell you when you are experiencing an emotion. Usually there is a physical component to an emotion. For example, nervousness might present signs of ‘butterflies’ in your stomach, sweating or dizziness. Fear can cause trembling, increased heart rate and shortness of breath. If you are aware of these signals you will, over time, be able to pre-empt emotions and thus be able to deal with them more effectively. What’s more, emotions are like an internal GPS system, they can alert us when we are in an uncomfortable situation or about to make a bad decision, which will ultimately help you to stay on the right path and stay true to who you are.

“Never apologise for showing feelings. When you do so you apologise for the truth.” – Benjamin Disraeli.

By enhancing your emotional expression, you will come to understand yourself better, express yourself better and have more successful relationships.