For most of us, accessing our emotions is not at the top of our skill set. It makes sense, when our lives are packed with doing and moving and going, that we would not stop to give much attention to feeling. However, it’s important to not only be aware of and acknowledge our emotions, but allow for the range of emotions that are available to us.
The challenge with emotions is that they are not something you can see or hear. They are sensations that are uniquely personal, often hard to understand, and at times irrational. Yet, they are real and manifest in ways that impact our lives. Emotions effect our mood, influence how we interact and engage with others, and shape our sense of self. Emotional wellness is an important part of our overall health.
We know that burying or hiding our emotions can be destructive, so finding creative outlets is an important aspect to wellness. Additionally, allowing for the skill of creativity can enrich our lives in other ways as well, such as fostering critical thinking and innovation. Emotions are hard to put to words, so one way to capture our feelings is to draw them. The colors and shapes can reflect our mood and feelings, and sometimes, if we give ourselves permission to be open we might gain insight into something deeper within us.
Some things to remember when drawing your feelings:
- Before you start, take a moment to pause and access how you feel in the moment.
- You can draw how you feel now or reflect back on a feeling from earlier in the day that you want to access and process.
- This is not about creating anything artistic. Your drawing may be lines and scribbles, shapes, figures, landscapes, or anything that makes it’s way to the paper. If you are not comfortable with drawing free form, you are welcome to draw an emotion using stick figures and the surroundings from how you felt at any point during the day.
- Try not to think when you are drawing… FEEL, and then draw. There is no right or wrong to this exercise.
- Using different colors is a helpful way to show different moods.
- While not required, feel free to invite someone to draw feelings with you. Children love this exercise as it allows them to process their emotions in a comfortable way.
- For extra credit, you can draw how you would like to feel on a separate piece of paper.
So, take a deep breath, allow yourself to feel… and then…. draw!