Six Steps to Healing With Therapeutic Writing.
In this article we will are discussing the topic of Therapeutic Writing. This a process developed by the writers of My Life Experiment, to help get to the core of current unpleasant emotion. To feel this emotion and create a state of mental equilibrium that wasn’t being felt.
Why Therapeutic Writing?
Not staying in touch with our emotions has unpleasant consequences. Stress builds, thoughts get more resentful, and we may find ourselves getting snippier with people around us. We may even become more attached to unnecessary junk on our phones, overeat, overspend as well as other things that are a waste of time. These are some of the warning signs, telling us that some emotions need to be brought out of the dark.
It is critical that we 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 negotiation with our impulses much more difficult. Our bodies understand more than we can immediately know. But in order to communicate with our bodies we have to listen. Therapeutic Writing process is a great process for getting us into a place where we can listen to our bodies so we can hear it’s messages.
For Therapeutic Writing, we have important guidelines to follow.
My Life Experiment’s Guidelines for Therapeutic Writing.
These guidelines have been developed out of necessity to help this recovering addict stay in the know with his rather intense emotional nature.
1. Timing is Important.
When we feel the need to get in touch with an emotion, it may not always be the right time to invoke this pain. I mean who in the hell wants to tap into heavy emotion and possibly break down at work? And what job will want us to? On that same note there are all sorts of social situations that are not the appropriate time for tapping into impulses that are causing us anxiety. Or maybe your life is set up in a way that you can pretty much let loose emotionally anytime you please, then that’s great. If that is not the case, just let the impulses know that you will be getting in touch with them soon. Just letting ourselves know that we know we need to and plan to, can get us by until we get to a place to write in private.
2. Whatever Method of Writing is Perfect.
Therapeutic Writing can be done with any method of writing. Whether it is with pen and paper, at home with a computer and Word document, cellphone, whatever works. Hell if it works best for you to use talk to text go for that as well. As long as we are able to get those thoughts out of our minds and into the reality of an outside canvas, it’s a go.
3. Music Can be Therapeutic Aid to Writing.
Using music to soften up our emotional energies, can be intensely therapeutic. The trick is using the music to help us sink into a more relaxed mental space, a space in which we can be vulnerable. Using music that will amp up our impulses may energize us into a more anger than is desired. If there is anger we want it to surrender into the sadness the anger is protecting us from.
4. Anger, Resentment and Forgiveness.
Anger is an important part of this process but only insofar as it is a tool to let us know we feel we are being treated unfairly. Whether that anger is directed at someone else or whether it is directed at ourselves, the process is the same. Anger and resentment are closely related. We feel resentment when we blame others or a piece of ourselves for being the cause of the anger and hurt that we are feeling.
Now of course other people have helped to cause our problems. And you sure a hell better believe we have caused plenty of our own. But the situations that led to pain and suffering for ourselves no longer exist outside of ourselves. We are now the ones reliving them over and over again, causing our own suffering. It is time to let go, that is what forgiveness is all about. Forgiveness is certainly not about forgetting though. We need to remember where that pain came from so that we don’t end up in similar situations again. But beating other people in our own minds does nothing but hurt ourselves. Remember this when writing. The anger we may build up when writing, is best released so that we may feel the powerful and painful energy beneath it.
5. Beware of Self-Pity.
Steering ourselves away from self-pity is a must. We need to stay in the reality that I am not a victim to what caused the feeling. And if we were victims at the time, we need to know that we no longer are at this moment. Where ever the emotion stems from, it is only important insofar has it allows us to come into contact with it’s energy. Self-pity is a way of hiding ourselves from the responsibility of feeling emotions. The problem being that the only person that can feel these emotions is ourselves.
Acknowledge that the situation that led to the hurt is sad. Let the one inside know that we feel the pain and that we are here to make sure it never happens again. The pain doesn’t need to be shied away from, but support from trained professionals may be needed if the pain is too much.
6. How to Know the Therapeutic Writing Process Worked.
When engaged in Therapeutic Writing, understand that one sit down with pen and paper is not going to cure years of pain. But what it can do is alleviate the pain that is arriving and causing us anxiety at the moment. Over time the benefits build, of course. But it is a process that is best used anytime life begins feeling too heavy and we need some relief. This process will likely lead to feeling a great deal of emotion. And it will also likely lead to some tears. These tears are healing, but if they don’t come that doesn’t mean healing is not happening.
Therapeutic Writing is beneficial for loosening up painful emotions. If done regularly when anxiety appears it can also keep us from acting out in others ways that we might otherwise deal with pent up stress. Emotions can sometimes feel like they are dragging us around life, bogging us down, and causing us to act in ways we regret. This is not a feeling that we are in control of our own lives. And who wants to feel out of control emotionally? Being in control of our lives is much more appealing.
This process may lead to feeling painful emotions. Though the pain of feeling these emotions is far more desirable then the painful consequences of not feeling them. Traumatic emotions from the past can be tremendously difficult to process. So if you find yourself in a space where those emotions seem to powerful to deal with alone when writing, then please do not do so. Elicit the support of trusted family and friends, and possibly that of a trained professional.
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*This process is in no way meant to replace professional support. If you need further support please seek it anywhere you can find it.
My Life Experiment
Welcome! We are Travis and Casey Hagen, the writer's and owner's of My Life Experiment. As recovering Individuals, we are no strangers to leaving behind dysfunctional ways of living. Over the years we have become adept at managing our intense mental and emotional worlds. Finding healing from the past, peace in the present and new ways to bring about success for our futures. We promote Healthy Life Experimentation Principles for connecting with ourselves, our relationships, and finding healthier ways of bringing about success in our lives. Stick around and pick up what we have learned. You will not be disappointed.