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Metaphorically Speaking

Thinking, speaking, writing and of course dreaming in metaphors is something we all regularly do, and yet we rarely give a moment’s pause for our choice of metaphors and the importance they play.

‘I am up to my eyes in stress’, ‘Work is such a nightmare’, ‘It’s like I’m walking on air’, ‘My life’s got direction’ are just some I can think of. Using metaphors allows us to understand and communicate how we are feeling and experiencing, in a way that is unique to each of us. They are important because they are a meaningful and often have deep expression, intrinsic to our emotional make up going back to when early humans were drawing in caves.

By paying attention to the metaphors we use, especially those we use often and that arouse a strong emotion, we can explore complimentary ways of expressing ourselves if we think it might lead to a better result.

So if someone feels anxious a lot and they always experience it as ‘my chest feels tight and stomach is in big knots’ by exploring this metaphor they might try visualising and feeling the tightness loosen inside and the knots unravelling.

Children use metaphors a lot too and by incorporating them into stories this can be a very simple and powerful way of helping them when they are emotionally distraught or in pain.




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