Communicating without words (Therapy Thursday)

There is it.  You’ve stopped in your tracks.  This beautiful painting that has prohibited you from moving on, drawn you in and now you are lost in and held captive by its images.

Frustrated, sitting in traffic.  Then you hear it. That song.  You crank up the dial.  Forgetting the traffic, getting lost in the words as the rhythm takes over your body.

emotions art

Art moves us.  It is a nonverbal form of communication.  Much like our dreams.  Images and rhythms are allowed to express where words fall short.

Sometimes, emotions are more easily shared without language and through art.

Sometimes, it is easier to release and share anger by painting or listening to loud music, even screaming or banging drums.

Sometimes tears are more easily shared through drawing or photography, or listening to music that stirs the sadness, allowing it to flow.

We don’t always have to express our emotions through language.  We have become conditioned to talk about how we feel.  To express ourselves through our words.  And we love stories.  Stories are how we connect to each other. However, sometimes, words fall short.  They do not capture the soul’s plight.  Language can hinder the release and expression of emotion by bounding and restricting it.  Art can help release and express emotions beyond the constraints of language.  Allowing emotions to express themselves through color and movement. Then you can go back and tell the story, process with words.

felt emotion

The best way to express emotion through art is to just let it out, don’t try and stop it, judge it, think about it, plan it, just let it out.  Don’t let your ego censor you or convince you that you are not an artist, that you are no good, this is silly or you just can’t.   That is not what this process is about.  This process is about expression and release, so let it out.  Let the paint fly, the colors flow, the ink bleed, the shutter snap away.  Your feet stomp and body sway. Let the emotion express itself and release its self, through your body.  Not through your thoughts or ego.  But just let it happen. Give yourself permission to let it out, uncensored.  Give yourself permission to feel it.

When anger starts to boil and rise to the surface, play that song that you scream to, stomp your feet and raise your fists.  Grab your paints and let them fly.  Grab your pens and let the scribbles cover the page.  Let it be what it needs to be.  And when you are done.  Step back.  Take a couple deep breathes. Sigh your relief and be grateful for this outlet of nonverbal expression.

When you start to feel the tears welling up, your face turning red.  Play that song that makes you cry.  Allow your body to rock and sway.  Again, grab the paints or markers and just let whatever needs to come out, come out.

You are releasing emotions that needs to be expressed.  These emotions don’t need words, they don’t need your mind and thoughts to understand them.  They just need to be freed.  To be expressed.

our bodies hold our emotions and through art and movement, you allow your body to release them. to express them.  to be freed of them.

dancing emotions

Give yourself permission this week to non-verbally express your emotions.  Whatever they maybe.  I have included anger and sadness because these seem to be the two that we fight the most.  Find time, that you can be alone.  Honor what comes up. Don’t censor, just let them be.  Set the intention, that you are releasing the emotions you are holding onto.  And when you are done, if you need to process.  Journal.  Talk to a friend, your therapist.  Because that’s what we do.  We create stories to understand ourselves. You just need to let the emotion out before you can use words to understand it.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. updownflight says:

    I love this post! As a former dancer (and still dancer at heart) I understand exact what you are writing about. Dancing was such a healthy form of release for me. Now writing seems to have taken dancing’s place.

    The photo of the girl with the bird’s attached to her heart is wonderful! I wish it was painted on my house.

    1. Thank you for sharing! Movement is powerful! The woman is on the side of a restaurant, I love her too!

  2. lindsy says:

    So well said. Thanks for the reminder!

    1. Thank you and you are welcome 🙂

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