There are many studies showcasing the benefits of writing down your thoughts. In this post I’m not going to deny them, or tell you that you shouldn’t use this therapeutic technique to reduce stress in your life.
What I DO want to do however, is give you a word of warning about how this activity can go down for some people…
One of the main benefits to writing down your thoughts is that it feels as though you’re processing an emotion or feeling more thoroughly. This helps stress and negativity or “emotional baggage” to leave your body easier.
Another feature this technique provides is that it allows you to SEE what you’re thinking. When we read our thoughts back to ourselves, it becomes more evident as to how our mind is operating. Harmful recurring thoughts are brought to light, and we can see how our thoughts may have been damaging our positivity, optimism, and enthusiasm towards activities or opportunities.
BUT, here’s one problem I’ve seen for “some” people when they write down their thoughts…
We all tell ourselves a story about who we believe we are to a certain extent. Even though over time we’re influenced and conditioned to be the people we are, (you’d be surprised as to how malleable the human mind is!), in actual fact, we’re manufactured by our genetics and our surroundings.
For people who have a hard time “changing”, writing down your thoughts can amplify the issues written down. Basically, an “opposite” effect goes into motion.
Think of how strong a concept or idea could become to a person if they’re easily manipulated or conditioned when using with the “writing” method.
First of all the person thinks something i.e. “driving to work stresses me out”. They then continue thinking about this thought until they write it down. When it’s written down they then reread the thought, amplifying its severity. In a way, this thought is now acting in the same way that affirmations work.
Unless you understand the writing method, and that it’s supposed to be a process of “letting go”, it could work in the opposite way… This has also been the case with affirmations when used incorrectly. People think about what they want to become, and in doing so, they realise how “different” they are to the person they wish to be, so they feel negative emotions afterwards.
Processes aren’t the issue, however, the misunderstanding of how they work “can” be!
Try to focus on where you want to go. Whatever we focus on, we work towards through our thoughts, actions, and finally results.
Instead of writing down the problem, why not write down the solution? Wouldn’t this place our attention on productivity and proactivity instead of wallowing in our misery?
If you’ve read any of my material before or are a part of the Evolution Hacks Insiders’ Club, you know that I like to find the most effective and speedy solutions to challenges. In my view, I’d rather understand the harmful thought that occurred, then work on a solution. This allows me to both “let go” of the stress AND to prevent it from happening again in the future.
Now, if you’ve found the writing method to be effective for you then obviously continue using it. But why not amplify upon its success? Write down your thoughts, then write down anything you could do to improve upon the areas you thought about.
For example, let’s take the “driving to work stresses me out” scenario. The thought would be written down when appropriate, and then below that writing, you could craft some solutions. These solutions could include playing relaxing music while driving to work, making your car more comfortable, installing amazing smelling air fresheners, and so on.
Isn’t this more productive and effective?
You bet it is!
Wrapping things up…
Remember, whatever we focus on we gravitate towards. How? Through aligning our thoughts with a goal, acting on those thoughts and producing results…
Utilising the above concept with the “writing method” we’re able to spot both a problem and solution for different types of people.
For those that haven’t found the method helpful, or if it’s had the opposite impact on your results, try adding the solution to the technique. If you’ve found the writing method works well for you, still add on the solution as it’ll force you to be more productive and proactive.
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