Maybe you’re anxious being around others or feel scared being honest about how you feel.
I know how that feels. I’ve been there myself plenty of times. Once a friend asked me to stop saying “I’m sorry” so much because I apologized for every little thing!
Thankfully, learning how to express yourself isn’t a magical gift. It’s just an emotional intelligence skill you can practice.
In this short guide, I’ll explain how to express yourself with nine easy tips I’ve seen work for me.
1. Make small but firm decisions
If you’re like me, you don’t think your opinion matters all that much. If someone asks what you want to eat, for example, you might just shrug and ask what they want.
(Even if a pizza sounds like the tastiest food in the world.)
But this is the perfect chance to build up your confidence and communication skills in a healthy way. After all, a situation like this with friends is a safe environment!
The next time you feel anxiety when someone asks you for your opinion, see it in a different way—it’s a chance to flex your self-expression muscle!
And an extra benefit once you start showing your opinion and personality? Better relationships!
2. Spend time on something creative
The best kind of self-expression is creative expression!
Spend a few minutes dancing, painting, or playing music. Not sure what to do? Think about your favorite activity as a kid, and try that! Even if you think you don’t have a skill, practice gives you confidence.
And when you can express your creativity with confidence, it’s easier to express yourself in everything else.
Most of us spend way too much of our time on social media.
Sure, it’s a great place to connect with friends and entertain ourselves when we’re feeling bored. But you know it’s gone too far if you want to click on Facebook or Twitter whenever there’s a spare moment.
An easy idea is to take one or two minutes a day without paying attention to social media. It’s an easy way to appreciate the present moment.
I promise you’ll enjoy it more than you thought.
4. Journal what you’re feeling
I spend a few minutes writing in my journal every day.
I love it because I can write like myself without worrying about my vocabulary or what others will say.
When I’m feeling a negative emotion like fear or anger, I can get it all out on a page without hurting anyone’s feelings.
Sometimes I’ll write a conversation with myself, and I often realize a different perspective I didn’t see before.
I’ve been journaling for years, and I can look back on my life and see how I’ve become more self-confident.
Often we’ll go an entire day without actually thinking about our senses.
But even if you aren’t thinking about it, your body is hearing, tasting, smelling, seeing, or feeling something all day long. By concentrating your mind on those sensations, you can find your authentic self.
For example, as you read this, think about how your clothes feel. What does the room smell like? How many colors can you see around you? Can you hear music, traffic, or even the tone of a refrigerator?
We spend most of our days without even noticing a priceless experience like this. But by bringing our focus back to them, we can calm down and find joy and confidence in even the dullest day.
6. Ask a friend for advice
Confident communication isn’t about finding the right words. Often, the best self-expression happens without saying a word at all.
If you have a close confidant, you can ask them how well you express yourself now.
With a little gentle guidance, they might be able to share ways you can use better body language and confident facial expressions.
7. Do some physical activity
Did you know that our emotions and our bodies are linked?
An easy way to feel happier and more confident is doing some physical activity. No matter what emotion is floating through your mind, your focus will soon be on the exercise.
Whether that’s running, cycling, dancing—or even just vacuuming!—you can feel like a whole new person once you get moving.
And that feeling doesn’t stop when you do. A nice morning workout gives me an energy boost all day.