With all these rhymes I was tempted to write a poem (and I may still...stay tuned for the sequel!!) about this topic. However, I decided I would just be straight-forward with these dynamics, seeing how critically valuable they are in our day-to-day lives.

We have a choice we make many times during the course of a day: Express it or repress it.

In other words, we either find a way to release our expression, which may be referred to as “emotional discharge”, or we “stuff it”, which is synonymous with repression. It is quite normal to have to do some “stuffing” during the course of a day, but what is important is that you have an awareness of that and find an appropriate time and place to release it.

Think of these emotions as being weights, and everytime you stuff one you put some additional weight on your back. It can be very subtle; after all, a pound here and there doesn’t amount to much. However, if you begin to accumulate an excessive amount, the load can very easily begin to have some profound effects on your energy.

That is where the “depression” component comes in. I have never met a person who was struggling with this depressed energy that didn’t have a significant amount of unexpressed emotion. So rather than risk getting into any depressive energy, let’s look at some healthy methods of expressing your emotions.

First, realize your personal indicators of stuffed emotions. Some of the common examples would include fatigue, irritation, isolation, rage, decreased concentration, obsessing/ruminating, anxiety, and sleep/appetite disturbance. Identify for yourself what your indicators are.

I would recommend doing a daily inventory (call it “mental flossing”) to identify what, if any, feelings need to be released.

Create a number of outlets to release your emotions. Some examples would include talking to your friends/your spouse/your support group, writing/journaling, singing, dancing, drumming, running, biking, weight-lifting, kick-boxing, mediation, prayer, and creative visualization. Use all the interventions that you can, and repeat as often as you need to.

If any of the above emotional releasing exercises feel “weird”, or if you feel vulnerable or uncomfortable in doing them, then I would say “Congratulations!!” to you. Whenever you step out of on old pattern and into a new, it is very normal for it feel weird, vulnerable, and uncomfortable.

Those feelings, in fact, are validation that you are creating some new skills to deal with these emotional dynamics. And just like everything else in life, when you repeat something over and over that is new and uncomfortable or awkward, it soon becomes comfortable and normalized in your day-to-day life.

I hope you stay on the path of the “expression-connection” to avoid the repression-depression of non-expression.

Now I think I’ll go work on that poem...or maybe I’ll even turn into it a rap and really get self-expressed...

(Just a quick disclaimer: Clinical depression is a chemical imbalance that usually needs to be treated by medication, and although the contents of this article can be very helpful in the recovery of such a depressive state, this by no means is meant to be a substitute for medical intervention. If you think you are suffering from clinical depression, I recommend that you see your doctor or a mental health professional.)

Author's Bio: 

I provide mental health counseling, marriage counseling and relationship counseling to help professionals and their families eliminate stress, maximize success and create extraordinary relationships at home, at work and in the community. As a mental health counselor, marriage counselor and relationship counselor my number one goal is to help people live their lives and relationships fully and completely. I've been offering counseling, coaching, and educational programs since 1987. My programs are focused on empowering people to have more successful lives, businesses and relationships. You'll always find FREE Life and Relationship Success Special Reports at http://kendonaldson.com/. I'm also the author of Marry YourSelf First! Say "I DO" to a Life of Passion, Power, Purpose and Prosperity http://www.marryyourselffirstbook.com/