More than just lyrical advice from the great Madonna, these words can mean the difference between health, sickness and even early death, yikes! I’d like to take a moment to give kudos to Madonna. As we are all aware, this woman is the icon of self-expression. From the moment she walked on to the music scene in the 80’s through the turbulent 90’s and into today, she has never shied away from artistic or self-expression. In fact, more and more artist, such as Lady Ga Ga are following in Madonna’s footsteps and making a huge name for themselves because of their individuality and ability to express themselves in their art.
Note: This is not an avocation or promotion for Madonna or Lady Ga Ga. Only and advocation and promotion for living a life that is free from self-repression.
There are so many ways we express ourselves and who we are. Here are a few:
- Your personal style: clothing, jewelry, the car you drive, your home furnishings, are all outer expressions of who you are and how you feel.
- What you say, and how you say it are all forms of self-expression.
- Your habits, the activities you do for pleasure and your work are all expressions of who you are.
You are in constant expression or repression of yourself. This expression or repression could come from your higher self or your ego self, but you are always, in some way expressing or repressing your desires and emotions. Expressing yourself in healthy ways can lead to a much happier and healthier life.
Here are a few healthy ways of expressing yourself:
- Speak up when you have a strong feeling about something. Shout it if you must!
- Wear what you feel comfortable in, not what other people want or expect you to wear.
- Dance, sing, paint, photograph. Just create!
- Be direct and open when expressing your thoughts and feelings.
Having the capacity to put your emotions out there when it comes to any and all aspects of your life, can be scary, but ultimately can save your life. Expressing yourself can build self-confidence, strengthen your immune system and help you to live longer according to this twelve year study: “Emotion Suppression and Mortality Risk Over a 12-Year Follow-up”, (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3939772/#__ffn_sectitle). This study suggests that people who constantly suppressed their emotions were at a higher risk for cancer and cardiovascular disease. Neither of these conditions are worth repressing who you truly are.
How are we suppressing or repressing ourselves?
- Not speaking up when we feel strongly about an issue in fear of rejection or ridicule.
- Not telling that loved one how we really feel in fear of hurting them or fear of rejection.
- Not wearing that dress or suit we love in fear that we won’t be accepted by our peers.
- Staying in situations that no longer serve us in fear of change, complication, or hurt.
- Not dancing to our favorite song in fear that someone might see and make fun of us.
Again, there are so many ways we repress who and what we really are. Each time we do, we are carving away at our health, wellness, and happiness. It is hard to break out of this cycle, but it can be done. Start today! Do something that scares you but excites you at the same time.
And remember, if you need a circle that understands… find it at gratiu.
Chapman BP, Fiscella K, Kawachi I, Duberstein P, Muennig P. Emotion suppression and mortality risk over a 12-year follow-up. J Psychosom Res. 2013;75(4):381–385. doi:10.1016/j.jpsychores.2013.07.014