Dealing with negative thoughts and emotions can sometimes be hard and overwhelming.
Over the past few years, one thing that has helped me immensely when I’ve felt upset and overwhelmed on numerous occasions has been putting my thoughts and feelings on paper.
Thoughts that are screaming for my attention somehow fade into the background or even disappear altogether when I write them down. I find that putting them down on paper causes them to be less intimidating.
What I usually do when I feel bothered about something is to free write.
Freewriting involves dumping whatever thoughts cross your mind and whatever emotions you are feeling without trying to edit or second-guess.
This sort of writing is good therapy for several reasons. It helps us slow down our busy minds, get in touch with our thoughts and emotions, let go of mental clutter and improve self-awareness.
Most importantly, it helps us attain a certain distance from our thoughts and feelings and view them more objectively.
We may often feel hesitant to share our innermost thoughts and feelings with others out of embarrassment, shame, guilt or sometimes simply because we may not want to burden them with our worries.
Writing gives you a completely safe space to express your innermost thoughts and feelings without the fear of being judged. (If you are afraid someone might read what you have written, you can always tear the pages or burn them later).
When you free-write, the objective isn’t necessarily to find meaning or solutions to what’s bothering you (although that may naturally happen) but to rather simply dump your thoughts, worries and frustrations instead of bottling it up inside.
Research shows that repressing thoughts and emotions can lead to various health problems that can affect our mind and body. Writing provides an outlet to express our thoughts and emotions in a healthy way.
Another writing technique that I sometimes use, which can perhaps be even more effective in dealing with stressful thoughts and emotions is to refer to myself in the third person.
When you refer to yourself in the third person, you suddenly become less emotionally attached to what’s bothering you, and it can help you view things from a larger perspective. In fact, plenty of studies suggests that adopting this point of view during stressful situations can be good for our mental health.
Writing is healing and therapeutic and has worked wonders for me when it comes to coping with difficult emotions, gaining clarity, finding solutions and having peace of mind.
To deal with unpleasant thoughts and emotions better, writing is an incredibly easy and effective option that’s well worth considering.
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