No matter what our personality, no matter what our life situation, no matter where we live, what we do, how rich, poor, tall or short we are, we all have emotional highs and lows.
Whether we see these as being caused by outside forces or see them as originating within ourselves, either way, all that ‘stuff’ is much healthier expressed.
Perhaps you are fortunate enough to have family or friends who will listen to your outpour and empathize. Perhaps you don’t. Or you could pay a psychologist to listen to you. But you can always find a pen and paper somewhere around and it can be the most sympathetic, of often awareness-giving listener of all.
I am of course talking about journaling.
Your journal never judges you, it never takes sides, it has no agenda. It just listens and records exactly what you say and how you say it.
You may want to go back and read it later, or you may never look at that entry again. Either way, do whatever fits for you is best, and your journal will willingly go along with your wishes.
Here I am not going to delve into the benefits of journaling by hand, I am just going to leave it at journaling – whichever way you choose to do it.
If you are upset, worried or have a problem that needs worked out
…journaling can be the very best gift you give yourself. And it’s totally calorie free!
Start just by writing whatever comes to mind. What is the problem? Or how are you feeling? And why? Just write whatever comes. And keep writing.
As you write you will find yourself becoming more and more comfortable with pouring out your innermost feelings onto the page.
You may be surprised to realize, as you write, that you are gaining an amazing amount of clarity both about your emotions and also, perhaps, about possible ways to deal with things.
You can write out all the ways you can think of to take care of the situation that is causing your inner turmoil. You can write about how you feel about each one, what you see as working well and what t you see as not working, and why.
Once you unload your present emotions – and a tear stained journal is quite Ok – you may find more peace. The problem may still be the same, but you have let go your emotions, expressed them in whatever way felt right, and a calmness, or relevant calmness, usually follows accompanied by the ability to think as well as feel.
It’s all very well to follow your heart
…and I recommend it totally, but a heart in turmoil may well not lead you in the best direction. By allowing your head to have some say in things helps ensure that what you do next will be in both your best interests and in that of others who will be affected. It helps avoid rash actions or judgements. Then your calmer heart can lead the way again.
Write about how you see the future if you do this, or you do that, or if you do nothing at all.
If you feel like it, you can go on to write about how it will look down the road if you follow the action (or no action) that seems at the moment the best plan. Or write about the future and how it could look in several ways as a result of various actions.
Write until the calmness comes.
Write, if necessary, until you are exhausted. If your emotions were strong, exhaustion often comes when they’re spent. Peace of some kind usually results from an highly emotional journal entry. It may be temporary, depending on the situation you are in, but it is nevertheless with you just now, and you can always journal again anytime you need or want.
And by the way, don’t worry about spelling, grammar or how neat your writing is or, if typing, how well the page is formatted. These are totally irrelevant. This is all about feelings, and your inner turmoil being let out.
At the end of your journaling for this session
…it is good to comfort yourself by assuring yourself you are OK. You may have to go through tough times ahead, but you can see beyond that and know that you will come through. You are OK just now and you will be OK then too.
Journaling, of course, is not only for times of turmoil and pain. It is for any time, for all times. But when emotional pain and anxiety comes, don’t neglect the outstanding benefits and help you can bring yourself from just taking the time to pour it all out onto the page.
Fiona MacKay Young