Whenever you're feeling emotionally charged - sad, upset, angry, or depressed, instead of calling your friend to vent or grabbing that bag of chips to stuff your feelings, I want you to pull out your journal.
Journaling is like therapy.
You get to express all the angry and unreasonable thoughts and feelings without censoring, and you also get to hear the wisdom of your own wise self, which always shows up when you're willing to turn inward.
The experience of journaling comes in like waves - charged emotions, curiosity, inquiry, reflection, epiphany, insight, wisdom, release.
When you're willing to come face to face with yourself, wisdom always comes through along with compassion and love.
You also come away with amazing insight about yourself, and start to develop self-awareness and recognize your own patterns that have prevented you from living a fulfilled life.
And guess what?
Your friends may not always be there for you (physically or emotionally) when you need them the most. Your journal will be there for you when you need it.
Besides, in your charged state, you may say something to your friend you may later regret. Your journal is forgiving. It's a no-censor zone. You can always burn the pages later, too!
So grab your pen and paper and get writing!
5 Simple Tips to Unload Your Charged Emotions through Journaling:
1. Make it feel safe.
Don’t let anybody read your journal and hide it in a safe place if you're worried that someone might read it. You want to be able to spill your guts out without the fear of someone seeing this uncensored “spillage.” So make sure you do whatever you need to make it feel safe for you to write your heart out.
2. Forget the spelling, grammar, and structure.
You're not writing here to be graded. You're writing for your emotional health. Let whatever comes out come out in its messy, misspelled, glorious forms.
3. It doesn’t have to make sense.
You can write in a what some people call “stream of consciousness” style and let whatever pops up in head your appear on your pages.
If you're new to journaling, you may feel that you don’t know where to begin, and this way of writing may be really helpful to you.
For example, you can start with, “Gosh, I really want to have pizza right now,” or “Gotta pee. Why is my bladder so small?” You can just follow your line of thought from there.
4. Put down all your angry, mean, ugly, negative thoughts.
Remember this is a no-censor zone.
Often times, we get depressed because there are unexpressed feelings and emotions. Some of us feel really guilty about expressing our “negative” emotions. We were given a full spectrum of feelings and emotions for a reason. We have permission to feel and express both “positive” and “negative” emotions. It’s a natural thing.
I’m not saying to punch your neighbor or curse at him just because you're angry, but you can express it in a safe container like your journal in a healthy way.
5. Call on Your Wise Self, God, or Universe
After you pour out your angry, demented, hateful feelings onto the paper, call on your wise self, God, universe, etc., depending on what you believe, and see what nuggets of wisdom come through onto the paper. You’ll be surprised at what your pen scribbles down.
You might be rolling your eyes at this idea of writing from your wise self, but suspend your belief for a moment and be open to it. You don’t know what surprising insight you may find on your paper.