Expressing your emotions
Believe it or not, expressing our emotions is extremely healthy and can help to reduce the stress in our lives. When we hold things in, we tend to feel it all over our bodies. How many times have you been upset with something or somebody and all day long you are in a bad mood? When you are in a bad mood, your body can feel it. Your heart feels heavy. You do not want to be around others and seem to snap at the smallest things. That is why it is so important to be able to release those feelings. You need to let those feelings out and make room for good feelings. Free your mind and start living a better, happier and healthier life.
How to use a journal
You do not have to be a fantastic writer to use a journal. In fact, you do not even have to be a good writer to use a journal. What is important is that you are able to express and confront the things that are bothering you. Once you are able to see why you are unhappy, sad, stressed or what ever the situation is, you can start on fixing it and/or letting it go.
- I always suggest that you buy a "special" book to write in. It does not have to be fancy, but using the same book your child draws in is probably not a good idea.
- I would date the top of the page. This will be helpful when looking back. You will be able to see the progress you have made and in what amount of time.
- Write a heading or something that tells you what emotion you are feeling.
- Below that write how the emotion is affecting you. The key is to be totally honest. If not, writing in a journal will not help you at all. This is private and for your eyes only. You are trying to improve yourself, so rant.
- After you write about how you are feeling, jot down how the situation occurred or what happened to make you feel that way.
- After you have finished that, I would go back and read it. Make sure you wrote down everything you were feeling. Allow yourself to get angry, upset, cry or whatever.
- Next is where you will start to work on fixing these feelings. Do not worry how crazy it sounds or how unrealistic it might seem, try writing down solutions. If you could change the situation what would you do. What would make you happy?
- Now your goal is to start one day at a time. Choose one of your solutions and start acting on it. There is no way that your life will change if you do not try to change it. You have a goal now, a plan. Start working on it.
Example of a simple journal page:
July 22, 2012
I feel as if everybody is expecting me to be superwoman. I wake up in the morning walk the dog, take the kids to school, go to work, come home, cook dinner, clean the house, do homework, put the kids to bed, clean some more, go shopping and then finally get to go to bed. Then I wake up and do it all over again. I feel like I am the one who is doing everything, and I have no help. I feel I never have any me time and I think too much is expected of me. I do not know how to deal with this. I feel angry and bitter and just want to get away sometimes.
I would really like to make some time for myself. I would like some help. It would be so nice to come home after work and have dinner made for me, the kids homework done and ready for bed. I would also like to be able to tell other people no when they ask me for a favor. I really want to be able to help others, but I am just making my life more stressful. I think that I am going to ask my husband to walk the dog in the morning and to help out a little more after work with the kids. I am also going to start telling people no. I will not always say no, but if it is going to interfere with my schedule I will have to say no. I would love to be able to take an exercise class at the gym and start working on getting healthier.
See that is an example of an easy journal entry. I started with what emotion I was feeling, why I was feeling it and what I could do to change it. I also put a small plan together. The next step would be to come back to your journal everyday and write down what things you did to follow your plan. Express how it made you feel and maybe jot down some other things you could do to help you feel less stressed. Dream big. The more you write down, the better your chances are of starting a goal.
The main goal here is to change the way we are feeling. To be healthier and to live a life that is satisfying to us. Expressing how you feel, and creating goals for yourself is the first step!