orange and white egg on stainless steel rack

5 Benefits of Becoming More Comfortable Expressing Your Emotions

Part III Success Traits Series

“How are you?” has shifted from a point of conversation to a meaningless reflex. If you think about how many times you ask that question every day, you may realize it’s no longer achieving its point.  “How are you?” could open up a can of worms. It could allow for meaningful discussion. It could give you the opportunity to talk about your psyche.

But so often, people respond like robots: “I’m good. How are you?” It becomes a pointless conversation –a mere exchange of wasted words. Instead, we could use it as an opportunity to get to know someone better or to express how we’re really feeling. There are many benefits of being comfortable with expressing your emotions; here are five of them!

Be Free (and Free Others, Too)

You don’t realize it, but when you stifle your emotions, you stifle your freedom. You should feel free to express yourself at every phase of life. As soon as you allow yourself to be comfortable with your true self and your true feelings, you open up the door for others to be comfortable with you, too.

I hear you already — “We cannot be honest or express ourselves today?!”. I tend to be a contrarian. You can express yourself with a sense of love and lack of intimidation… you can still have an opinion. Truth is, even people that don’t appreciate your thoughts may find respect for you when you intelligently express yourself.

Tear Down Your Fears

If you’re afraid of showing your emotions, stand up to them. Tell them that you’re not scared of them. Those feelings may be new and utterly foreign to you, but by confronting them, you’re tearing down the sense of fear.

The Mañana No Mas! Academy has a course called “Believe” that may be helpful in this category. Check it out.

Be Authentic to Yourself

The real “you” comes with all of the feelings and emotions you’re experiencing. Be true to that, and don’t let the feelings get in the way. You may feel like your true self is one that doesn’t come with baggage – that would be great, but no one is like that! We all come with goods and bads, and in order to honor the authentic “you,” you need to be able to express your emotions openly and honestly.

In a working environment, your true self will peek out sooner or later. You might as well embrace at and do you. When I was employed at a conservative Asian company, I tried to be calm and not so animated. It didn’t last. A year in and the Asian executive above me pulled me aside and said “We need more of what you bring here”. Don’t let fear hold you back.

Add Flavor to Your Life

Believe it or not, being more honest and expressive can help you live life to the fullest more. It allows you to be you and to enjoy who you are more. If you’re stifling your feelings or being ashamed of them, you’re not living life to the fullest. Add flavor to your life by showing who you really are.

I liken this to food. If I stayed in my little bubble from Philadelphia and failed to expand my personal menu, I would have missed out on Indian, Mexican, Asian, Thai and so on. Here I am in my 50’s mastering the smoker and killing it in the kitchen. Open up to new flavor.

Get Closer to Others

Everyone feels emotions on different levels. No one knows precisely what you’re going through, but people can relate to some degree. When you open up to others, you get closer to them. You can bond over shared emotions, or you can ask them for advice on your situation. Either way, intimacy, and friendship is always enhanced when you’re able to open up more.

The next time someone says, “How are you?” think twice about your answer. Your reflex may be to say you’re good, but maybe if you tell them how you really are (exhausted, over-the-moon, nervous, excited, etc.), you’ll have a more in-depth conversation with them – and you’ll free yourself to be able to talk about how you really feel!