Journaling to rescue you from an emotional tsunami

The Latin root of the word “emotion” means “to move”. Emotions are not steady or stagnant states. The ocean wave is an apt metaphor to describe an emotional current. Just like waves emotions start small, grow larger and then crash and fade away. When we are scared of drowning in our emotions we overlook this aspect; like ocean waves, if we allow emotions to run their course they will eventually fade away.

We hide our true emotions by embracing a crutch of emotional avoidance; we binge on an entire season of House of Cards, eat more, put on a game face, indulge in retail therapy and employ tactics to “keep busy.” This strategy leads to stagnated emotions that are not moving through us. Learning how to let an emotional current pass is the healthiest thing you can do for yourself and others.

Suppressing your emotions consumes energy reserves. Here is a journaling exercise through which you will establish contact with your emotions. This is an effective method to stop energy depletion, find release, clarity, and relief from emotional flux. Open your journal and begin following a five step process which involves the following.

  • Sensing – what does your body feel like? Do you sense any tension anywhere?
  • Naming – what kind of feelings are emerging? (clearly name these feelings)
  • Attribution – where are you feeling these emotions? (recognise the physical signals) What caused these emotions? (try not to attribute emotions exclusively to one thing, investigate multiple sources)
  • Evaluating – what could these emotions possibly be trying to tell me? What is breaking open in my life that is meant to evolve into something new for me and those around me?
  • Acting – in light of all the information that I see in front of me, how can I can express myself and release this emotion? When you chose to process emotions in this manner you no longer engage in outburst and sporadic actions. Here you get to decide how to express or cope with that emotion. Develop a coping strategy here.

We genuinely believe that after each journaling exercise you will begin looking at emotions less as enemies and more like intuitive allies. As you practice this release method you will step out from a place of confusion and step into a space of curiosity where you begin asking the following question: What are my emotions trying to tell me?

Words To Grow By

Rob Brandsma

“No matter how good you are at running, your emotions will always keep trying to seep into your consciousness. You become somber or grumpy, or you feel uncomfortable. You can feel it most at the end of the day, when your reservoir of distractions is drying up? What it boils down to is that you have to be busy all the time, or else emotions will be able to grab you.”