6 Easy Ways To Process Intense THOUGHTS and Difficult Emotions



In this episode, I'm going to teach you another way 
to process emotions it's something you can do on your own and it's a powerful way to work through the jumble of thoughts and emotions that are all up in your head.

So today you're going to learn how to journal for depression and anxiety now therapists have this phrase make the implicit explicit. 

And it's basically a terrible phrase because it sounds like you're going to be doing something wrong. But all these academics all, they're trying to say is to take something that's inside your head something that's cloudy and vague, or implied, and to make it clear and solid, and like external, something you can like physically touch almost.

 And when you look at all the hundreds of types of therapy one thing that is common among them is this process of making the implicit, taking the vague, and making it solid. This is a really effective way to solve problems. For example, it can help a person resolve internal conflicts and to soothe painful emotions like depression or anxiety.

And the common way that you do this is by talking about it, right? by trying to explain it or describe it out loud to your therapist. But there's a ton of other ways to do it too. If you learn these skills it's kind of like learning some ways to do a little bit of self-therapy. 

So today I'm going to teach you six ways you can improve your mental health through writing. When you have a lot of pain or distress when you're anxious or upset or overwhelmed it's easy to feel like a situation is hopeless or to feel conflicted about what action to take.

So I've seen this with my client right like, should I be selfless with my teenager and serve and love them or should I set boundaries and demand that they treat me with respect? right.

Things can feel really confusing or sometimes a problem is so overwhelming that we can't even figure out what's wrong. Going to a therapist can help you sort through all these confusing thoughts and feelings and of course I recommend that.

But most people only see a therapist one hour a week and some people can't get to a therapist. So here  are six easy ways to sort through your issues on your own, okay, so let's start with the first

JOURNALING-Journaling is really simple. You just write about what you're feeling or thinking or experiencing. Journaling can help you track your moods and identify triggering situations. It can also help decrease anxiety and stress and it can help you gain a clearer perspective on your challenges. Journaling has been shown to help your physical health too, it can lower blood pressure. It can help your immune system and it can improve liver function. Writing can help you get to know yourself better and improve your relationships. 

Journaling has been shown to improve mood and fight depression. Matthew Lieberman a psychologist, at UCLA, said brain scans on volunteers showed that putting feelings down on paper reduces activity in a part of the brain called the amygdala which is responsible for controlling the intensity of our emotions.

Men seemed to benefit from writing about their feelings more than women and writing by hand had a bigger effect than typing. Journaling has been shown to help people process trauma. 

In a study with college students, prompting these students to write about stressful or traumatic events, helped them reduce stress improve their mood, and even have better physical health.

Other studies have shown that writing about your stress helps people with asthma improve lung functioning and people with rheumatoid arthritis decrease their symptoms of arthritis.

So the simple act of taking 10 minutes every day to write about how you're feeling can be really helpful to your mental and physical health. Okay the second  technique is the 

BRAIN DUMP-The basic idea behind the brain, dump is that when you're feeling really intense emotions or when you're overwhelmed or upset it can be helpful to just take everything in your brain and put it down on paper.

For me when I brain dump, I actually use a computer because I can type faster than I can write. The goal is not to make some beautiful cohesive narrative but to just dump your thoughts down into words. Don't worry about spelling or grammar just get your ideas out of your head and onto paper.

Now you'll probably notice that if you do this you'll feel an immediate sense of relief or at the very least some clarity. Okay, the third way to process emotions through writing is to;

MAKE A DIAGRAM -I do this in almost every therapy session. My clients come in with complicated and complex problems and  I can't even keep track of all the issues that come up in one session. It's hard to know what to work on first

So in almost every session, I'm using the whiteboard or a piece of paper to keep track of ideas. Sometimes we make lists together, sometimes we write down all the separate problems, and just use that to keep our focus on just one of them at a time. I'll use charts to help a client clarify what's going on and honestly I could not function as a therapist without drawing.  

Writing or listing things out in a session is a skill that I encourage everyone to try right  make a diagram or a chart exploring your problem and see if that helps bring you some clarity, okay  the next activity is

 WRITING  A LETTER  You won't send.- I use this activity quite frequently with teenagers and with trauma survivors. Sometimes you have these things you want to say but you'll never get a chance to say them. 

Maybe your parents just aren't able to hear what you need. Or your abuser will never be in a place to take accountability for what they've done. Maybe the person you need to reconcile with is dead, or you have no way to reach them.

 And perhaps you just have things to say but you're not ready for anyone to know them yet. So in this situation writing a letter that you never send can be a way for you to personally get some closure on a situation.

 It helps you express your needs and your wants and your wishes without expecting any kind of change on their part. Write the letter, tell them what you need to say  and then afterward you can burn it or flush it down the toilet or save it or if you choose you  can mail it whatever you want.

But it's the process of expression that leads to healing or you can use that terrible therapist term make the implicit explicit, write it down in a letter you're never  gonna send. Okay next option the next way you can process anxiety and depression and other  strong emotions through writing is to

CLARIFY Your Locus of Control -This is really simple but really  powerful. Just make a chart with three columns. In one column write about what's within your control.In the other write about what's outside  of your control and in the middle write about the things  you can influence but you can't control. This a straightforward concept with some really powerful outcomes.

It can help you decrease your stress and  anxiety, and it can help you find clarity about what action to take and what to let go of. Okay,the next way to process intense emotions is to

WRITE an ALTERNATE Version of a SituationWhat we focus on we get more of. So instead of constantly focusing on problems, this writing  activity encourages you to bring your attention to solutions, to the things you want more of  in your life.

So write about how you would like things to be going. Write in detail about how you  would like to be feeling, and how you would like to be handling a situation. Write about how it would  be different if you were living the life that you valued? Spend time writing an alternate version of how you would be acting or feeling and focus on the things that are in your control instead of dwelling on what you wish would change, that's outside of your control.

So for example let's  say you're in an unhappy relationship. When you write out this idea you could choose a couple of  alternate endings; One may look like writing about yourself expressing gratitude or writing about  yourself feeling forgiveness or writing about yourself falling back in love with your spouse,and writing about seeing the positive in your spouse.

You may write about those feelings of  warmth and humor that you used to have in the relationship.It's basically just bringing to mind the things that you value and that you love about yourself and your spouse.Or you could write about what it would look like if you got the courage to leave an abusive relationship.

What it  would look like if you had healthy boundaries. What you would say and what you would do  what you would do if you believe in yourself and if you believed in your right to be loved and  to be safe write about the actions you would take to get your life back and live your dream  okay so there you have it six ways to help you process through your thoughts and emotions  with just a pencil and paper.

 I hope you found this is helpful thank you for STOPING by.

Which of the Six ways do you feel motivated to attempt? Please share with me below

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