Life is full of circumstances where it can be difficult to say what we’re really thinking, but silence sometimes comes at a high cost.
In a recent article in the British newspaper The Guardian, a nurse reported that failing to express our true emotions is one of the most common deathbed regrets.
Read on to discover the significant benefits of speaking your mind and helpful ways to get started.
BENEFITS of expressing yourself
- Lead a fuller life. Dare to take on difficult issues. You’ll learn more about yourself and discover your true potential.
- Authenticity. If you habitually suppress your true feelings, you may become unfamiliar with them yourself. Get to know the real you and accept yourself for who you are.
- Release fears. Fear and anxiety build up when we try to shelter ourselves from difficult truths rather than facing them directly. When you see yourself successfully negotiating a disagreement with someone, you’ll feel more confident.
- Improved relationships. Quickly clearing the air can keep resentments from building up. Maybe ask your family to share in more of the housework rather than feeling like a martyr.
- Liberate others. Courage is contagious. Your willingness to be direct and honest makes it easier for others to do the same.
TECHNIQUES for expressing your emotions.
- Clarify your intentions. Everyone benefits when we devote ourselves to promoting the common good. It beats worrying about being comfortable or universally popular.
- Take accountability for your own emotions. State your feelings in a way that avoids blaming others. Recognize that your unpleasant feelings have more to do with your mindset rather than external events.
- Start small. It’s okay to move slowly. Talk with your best friend about how her showing up late for appointments affects you. Soon you’ll be able to approach people who may be less directly concerned with your well being.
- Practice regularly. Like any skill, open communications improve the more you practice.
- Be courteous. Even when you need to confront difficult truths, you can pick a setting and language that will make the message more palatable. If tempers are already flaring, give yourselves time to calm down and speak privately. Try making requests rather than demanding changes.
- Listen intentionally. On the other hand, you may find that others welcome the opportunity to be candid. Give people your full attention. Show that you’re attuned to their concerns. If you feel overwhelmed by what you’re hearing, ask for time to reflect before continuing the discussion.
If you want to live life to the fullest, get in touch with your true feelings and bring them out into the open. You’ll enrich your own experiences and empower those around you to do the same.