The Journaling Technique
Frequent and intense emotions can have both a physical and mental impact on us. The body can experience increased heart rates, temperature, perspiration, or acidity. Eventually it will lead to physical ailments – ulcers, hypertension, Acidity related problems, Insomnia, even auto immune diseases and mental disorders such as Anxiety and Depression. However, it is possible to learn to regulate our emotions so that we are not experiencing a continual see saw of the nervous system. Not only can we keep our emotions in check each time we feel it, but we can also develop better coping mechanisms that will help us express our emotions more effectively with least harm to ourselves. This will be beneficial both personally and professionally as many organizations are now basing their recruitment on EQ and not IQ.
If you are interested in improving your Emotional Quotient and working towards a more constructive approach to expressing your emotions, then read on. At no point am I proposing suppressing an emotion, as that too results in mental and physical health issues.
To improve our Emotional wellness, we need to cultivate ways to express our emotions effectively.
Some situations and people affect us more than others. There are always some triggers that will rile us more. There is usually a set pattern of how we react to the trigger. To understand how the emotion takes root in you, you need to observe yourself each time you feel yourself get worked up. To do this you can journal your feelings whenever you feel you are on the verge of an emotion. This will also prevent you from blowing steam off causing harm to self and others. The first step, in learning to regulate an emotion before it explodes, is the nurturing of an awareness of the process of any form of emotional upset, as it takes root in us.
The process of Journaling
This is not a tool to vent and build a story about injustice and self-pity. In fact, it’s a process that helps us build up the storyline in our mind, because the process of creating a story about the situations and persons involved on the situation will hasten and intensify the onset of the emotion.
When you are in a difficult situation and notice an emotion rising in you can start the process of journaling. Have an Emotions journal that will be your go to confidante.
Steps for writing an Emotions journal
- Start describing the facts of the situation – where you are, who you are with
- Next write down the thoughts that are occurring in your mind- just a listing of the thoughts. No elaborate story or cause and effect description is required. Remember we don’t want to encourage the storyline.
- Pay attention to your hands, the pen, the paper, your physical movements as you write, just examining yourself and what you are experiencing.
- Don’t worry about what you are writing, the language.
- Just spill out anything that comes to your mind about what you are feeling not why not why you are feeling.
- Label the emotion
- Observe what are you feeling by turning your focus to your body and the changes you may be experiencing.
Reference: Emotional Rescue by Dzogchen Ponlop
Tarcher Perigee 2016