Welcome to My Life Experiment once again or for the first time. In either case thank you for stopping in to check the site out. In the last article on My Life Experiment, I talked about getting emotional healing through communicating with my own troublesome thoughts!
I let you know about how I talk to the pain, but more specifically that I tell the thoughts that I love them. I also mentioned very briefly that I get healing from writing to the pain. This is my form of Therapeutic Writing. In this article we will be diving deeper into this topic!
For my form of Therapeutic Writing, I have important guidelines that I follow. These guidelines have been developed out of necessity to help this recovering addict stay in the know with his rather intense emotional nature.
Not staying in touch with my emotions has unpleasant consequences. I become more stressed, my thoughts get more resentful, and I find myself getting snippier with people around me. I even become more attached to unnecessary junk on my phone, as well as other things that are a waste of my time!
Those are some of the warning signs, telling me that I am having emotions that need to be brought out of the dark. It is critical that I use these signs as a prompt to get back in touch with these emotions. Not getting in touch with them at this time, will make healthy life experimentation much more difficult!
I trust that when I am willing to stop and ask myself what I am feeling, my body will let me know if I listen close enough. It will inform me of what is going on with it and these guidelines that I follow, effectively get to where I am at emotionally on a highly consistent basis.
My Life Experiment’s Guidelines for Therapeutic Writing:
- When I feel the need to get in touch with an emotion, it may not always be the right time to invoke this pain. So instead of tapping the emotion at work, or another inappropriate time, I will commit to sitting down and writing later when I get home.
- Sometimes I will write in a notebook and sometimes I will write on my laptop. I don’t think one has been any better than the other for me.
- I do like to put some chill music on. The music makes it more likely that I will get in a relaxed enough space to allow myself to feel vulnerable enough to soften up my current perspective. Though it is not always necessary.
- A lot of times when I need to do some Therapeutic Writing, I am feeling anger that is directed at someone else. Other times it may be angry at myself. Either way, when I am writing I need to make sure that I am good to myself and good to others. This Therapeutic Writing is meant for healing resentments, not perpetuating them. Forgiveness is of the utmost importance, and I offer to both myself or the others I may be punishing inside of my own skull.
- I steer myself away from getting wrapped up in self-pity. I need to stay in the reality that I am not a victim to what caused the feeling. Where ever the emotion stems from, it is not that important here. To me it is only as important in so far as it helps me get in touch with the emotion. Rumination on the circumstance that may have caused the emotion will likely keep me stuck in anger or self-pity. (*Note I am not saying there are no victims of circumstance, only that I can’t afford to allow the past keep me from feeling my emotion.)
- Most of the time it will not take much time to get some emotion to the surface. Once it shows up I find that it isn’t all that important for me to keep writing, since this is all I wanted out of the exercise.
The Therapeutic Writing I do has gotten me unstuck from many painful emotions. That means that it has helped me from acting out in all sorts of ways that would have caused me excess guilt and a lot more problems. Not to mention has relieved a great deal of pent up stress!
I don’t know about you, but I would rather not be dragged around by emotions, acting out in damaging ways. I want to be in control of my life as much as possible. Thanks to this writing process I have a practical way to bring myself back into the moment!
Although this process has led to feeling many painful emotions, the pain of feeling the emotions is far more desirable then the painful consequences of not feeling them! I do realize that traumatic emotions from the past can be tremendously difficult to process. This process has been so helpful to me in a large part because I am closely connected to a recovery community that has helped me develop a great deal of stability. So if you are in too rough of a spot, please get yourself some professional help!
If you end up deciding to make this process a part of your life, I hope you find them as helpful as I have found them in mine! If you have any questions or concerns about My Life Experiment’s Therapeutic Writing process, please leave them in the comments section below and I will promptly respond to them!
See you next time!