Have you ever taken time to analyze your thoughts or emotions? When you are in the middle of a “bad day” how can you get out of it? What do you do? Do you believe that you are helpless in the situation and that you can only wait it out? If so, is your whole day ruined if something doesn’t go as planned when you first wake up? Is the day just a lost cause? I hope not. Sometimes you may feel justified in wallowing in self pity for a while. However, there is a time when you’ve got to pick yourself back up and move on. Over the last year, I have learned (and relearned) valuable ways to pick myself up and get going again.
In the last year, I have learned that I can control my thoughts. In fact, I am the only one who truly can control them. Nobody else can think for me. Other people may try to influence how I think, but ultimately the choice is mine. When hard situations arise, just remembering that I have control of my thoughts gives me power. I admit that I am not perfect at controlling my thoughts. I still have so much room for progress. However, I am making progress. I would like to share with you five simple steps that I do to release negative emotion.
Grab a pen, paper, and something to write on
It may sound simple, but one thing I do to gain more control over my thoughts and to identify my emotions is to write about them. When I have a particularly hard day, I will get out a pen and paper and start writing.
Write “I feel ___ because…” at the top of your paper
Start by describing the situation that you have been dealing with. Then let the pen go. Write everything that you can think of. Write all the ugly thoughts that have come to mind. Throw out all your emotions. Scream and yell and throw a good old temper tantrum at the paper. Get it all out if you possibly can. It will feel so good to let go of all the negative thoughts and emotions that have been bottled up. Then something amazing happens. You may start writing about another situation that is like what you have just been facing and get it all out. While I write, I get so engrossed in my writing that everything around me vanishes. All I see is my paper and pen and my hand moving so fast trying to keep up to my thoughts.
Let your subconscious take over
Don’t worry about what anybody else thinks. They don’t get to control your thoughts because they won’t see them. This paper is just for you. You have complete freedom to say whatever you want, in whatever way you want. If you want to do it in big letters, go right ahead. Throw blame around like it’s going out of style. Bring up past experiences if you want. The key here is to truly get into your subconscious and let it loose. Once you do, you will be amazed at what else comes out onto your paper.
Write until you can’t think of anything else to write
If you have done this properly, your paper should be full. You may even have gone on to a second page. You will know you are done when you can’t think of anything else to write. You will feel satisfied with what you have put down on paper.
Take a deep breath… and then destroy the evidence
Like I said, this paper is just for you. Once you have written everything you can think to write, you no longer need the paper, so get rid of it. Burn it, shred it, crumple it, stomp on it, etc. Whatever makes you feel good. This paper represents all the negative emotion that you just got out. You don’t want the negative emotions anymore, so get rid of them in the most dramatic way that you want.
Unlock the power of a clear mind
There are a few reasons that I choose to write my thoughts and emotions. First, writing gives me total freedom to write whatever is in my mind because I know that once I am done writing, I will destroy the paper. Nobody else needs to see what I have written. Nobody wants to know what is in my mind. This way, I have total freedom to express exactly what is in my mind without worrying about what anybody else thinks. Another reason I write is so I can organize my thoughts better. I find that I can explain my thought process better on paper than I can if I just stew in my mind about something. I have learned that there is something magical about writing. When I really get into my writing, I can dig deep into my subconscious to pull out negative emotions and thoughts that I have been holding onto for years, sometimes even my whole life. When I write about something I have been holding onto my whole life, it is like a huge weight has been lifted. Experiencing a connection between conscious and subconscious mind is so exhilarating!
Does writing about a rough situation make the situation change? The answer to that is often no. What it does, though, is gives you the opportunity to let go of the negative emotions enough to start seeing that there may be something to gain from the difficulties you are facing. You may discover a solution to your problem. You may just feel good letting off steam that has been building for a while.
I must admit that I have written so many times about having vEDS. I have written about the initial incident that put me in the hospital. I have written about receiving the diagnosis. I have written about when we received the results of our kids’ tests. I have written about as many “unfair” things about vEDS. Has this taken vEDS away? If only it was so easy! It hasn’t taken away the effects of vEDS. It hasn’t taken away the fact that I have pain regularly or that our family life has changed forever. What it has done is helped me learn how to process such a life-changing experience. It has helped me connect with my emotions, which is something that I used to be afraid of. Connecting with my emotions has helped me sort through them instead of just shoving them and trying to ignore them.
I know that I still have so much emotional discovery to experience. My subconscious has been holding on to so many negative emotions over the years, even before I was diagnosed with vEDS. I would suggest that, if you take time to try this for yourself, you will realize that your subconscious is holding on to too much garbage too.
This is considered a release technique because you are releasing negativity. You must replace the negative thoughts with something or your mind will fill in the empty spaces for you. In my next post, I will teach you what you can do to replace the negativity with thoughts that will serve you better.