Let it out
Updated: Jun 3, 2019
Earlier this year I read a great book about writing as therapy. Let it Out by Katie Dalebout is about the benefits of journaling, keeping a diary or doing writing exercises to help access and organise your thoughts.
The guide takes you through some really great journalling exercises which can help get your thoughts, dreams (and fears for the really brave out there) into reality in a safe way - on paper. "Holding a mirror up to your face" and 'journalling both the good and the bad stuff" in this way, she says, can help you feel more in control of your thoughts, your emotions and to enable you to challenge unhelpful beliefs about yourselves and others.
My favourite and most used exercise from the book is in fact #001 The Morning Dump. Just a heads up then that you will see a few posts coming up soon tagged with "Brain Dump" (where I feel able to share them) as I often start difficult days with 15-30 minutes just downloading my messy mind onto paper (or my blog).
If you would rather ignore these ramblings (they may not be the most inspirational things I have ever written) please just scroll down over anything with BrainDump in the post title.
Another brilliant exercise from Let it Out include #017 The Situation Step Back. To get some objectivity on a difficult or stressful situation, write a 'You Oughta Know' (Alanis Morrissette) style email to the person who has upset you. Include, what they did, how it made you feel, why it was wrong, how they can make it better, how they should have acted etc. then put it away (save as draft). You do not need to send the email for this task to help you. She suggests you re-read it later in the day and try to put yourself in the other persons shoes. Now, consider your part, is there anything in you that allowed them to do this to you? Write about it and end with how you think they should have handled the situation. Check in with how you feel now. Feel, forgive, forget and delete.
This has worked for me on quite a few occasions, on more than one I also ended up sending (an edited version of) the email and resolving the situation with the other person, or at least giving me the closure I clearly needed.
I may write more about other exercises I found useful in due course, and if you find this kind of content interesting please comment below (or make suggestions for better content lol). For now here is the link to Katie's book http://katiedalebout.com/let-it-out/