Growing up I learned very young how to stuff my emotions. I used all kinds of things to accomplish this task…cigarettes, alcohol, food, and depression. I didn’t really even know that’s what I was doing. I was just going along, living my life and stuffing everything down.
But once I found myself in the hospital for a few days with no real answers to what was wrong with me I began the long journey to figure my shit out. What I discovered is the world of emotional release which is being with your emotions in the moment no matter what they are and letting them flow through you.
My emotion of choice has always been anger. I hold onto that one for dear life until it blows like a catastrophic volcano. The first time I sat with it and really let it out it felt like my whole body was literally on fire. It was raging through me with incredible power. I felt like one of this old cartoons where the character turned red with smoke blowing out of their ears. Whew!
It felt amazing to get it out. I felt like I lost 50 pounds that day. But emotions are not a one time thing. They come and they go everyday. They like to hide out in the body so sometimes you don’t even know what is going on until it gets so big you can’t ignore it.
My greatest discovery was understanding how Freedom Art™ can be used to release emotions. Regular time in front of your journal, canvas or even a poster board taped to the wall is one of the greatest ways I have found to get in touch with emotions and just allow them to be.
It’s like a playdate with all those little emotions hiding out inside you. Have you seen that movie Inside Out? I love that movie. It really gives a concrete example of what is going on in there. And the moral of that story is that every emotion has its place and shouldn’t be ignored.
Here are 5 ways you can use art to release your emotions:
1. Work in your journal- Your journal is a safe place to let all of your emotions out. You can close the pages and no one has to see what you've done. You can scribble and swear and create the ugliest things you've ever seen and it is only for you.
2. Choose your materials wisely- Different materials can evoke different feelings. Water colors are fluid and can connect you to your watery emotions like sadness, grief, and love. Crayons and oil pastels can really help you gain access to anger, jealousy and fear. Everyone will have different connections to the materials so tap into how you are feeling and which material will best express that feeling and don't be afraid to switch it up in the middle.
3. Choose colors without judgement- Each color can represent an emotion and once again, everyone will have different associations with colors. One person might associate green with health and vibrancy and another might think of sickness. It only matters what color you are being nudged to use. Don't ask why, just go with it and see where it leads you.
4. Use gestures that represent how you feel- Do you feel like moving in long, sweeping vertical lines or are you feeling hard, frantic scribbles? Perhaps you want to move slowly in a horizontal direction or in short stabbing dots. Allow your movement to match your emotions and pay attention to when you feel like changing.
5. Spend some time in reflection- When you finish your art piece spend some time writing about it. How did it feel to create it? How does it make you feel when you look at it? What messages does it have for you.