Writing when we have experienced something stressful or traumatic in our lives can be hugely beneficial. This is especially true when we find it difficult to talk to someone else about what we are feeling. The following exercises are a great way to process and help you manage your emotions until you feel ready to tell someone. These exercises can be difficult so take your time doing them.
First step is to buy a notebook. It is important that you choose something that you find attractive. You may choose it because it is your favourite colour or because it has an image on the front you find interesting. While not always possible, we do not recommend using an old notebook as this one should be dedicated only to your emotional wellbeing. If you are only able to obtain a very basic notebook, why dont you cover it with images or drawings that inspire you.
Write down what you have experienced online and how it has made you feel. Focus specifically on words that describe emotions. This might be sadness, lonely, scared, anxious etc.
At the end of this. Take a space and write 'It is normal and acceptable for me to feel these emotions. They will soon pass and are simply a way to help me process something that has happened to me.'
When experience something stressful or traumatic, our bodies can react in a way which makes us feel uncomfortable. Many of us are not even aware of this. Write a letter from your body addressed to your brain, telling you what is going for it. Is there pain or tension and if so where is this? What might this mean?
At the end of this. Take a space and write 'It is normal and acceptable for my body to react this way. It is its way of telling me that something is wrong and protecting me. It is not telling me that something is wrong with me but that what I am experiencing is painful'
Write down 3 strengths you have or 3 things you are good at. Underneath each describe at lease one situation in your life where you have shown this. Lots of people can find it difficult to find strengths but every single person has at least 3.
At the end of this, take a space and write 'I have the inner strength and qualities to deal with my difficult experiences'
Write about an experience that made you feel happy and relaxed. What did this feel like in your body. What was it aout this specific experience that made you feel happy?
At the end of this, take a space and write 'I have the ability to feel happy again, despite what I am currently feeling'
Write down three healthy things you can do when you are feeling overwhelmed. If you cant think of three things. Write down 5 things which you could possibly try and then try them in real life. It is important to chose things which will be helpful in the long term rather than things such as drink and drugs etc.
At the end of this, take a space and write 'I have the ability inside me to create a safe and calm space. I can do this even when I am struggling and feeling overwhelmed'