Emotional Expression - Reflective Writing

When you notice your mind racing and going in circles and you sense your emotions building up (the yellow section of the emotional curve) it can be helpful to write it down.

Reflective writing can help you name and understand your emotions and what triggered them. It can also be a good way to organise your thoughts. Seeing your thoughts on paper can help you gain a new perspective the issue, it can help you distance yourself from your thoughts and make you realise that perhaps some of them are false.

Below are two styles of reflective writing try them out and see which one works for you.

Free Writing

Grab a pen and a piece of paper and for 10 min just write everything that comes to mind. The page won't judge your grammar or the content and no one will read this, so allow yourself to let go and simply write non stop. Don't re-read anything yet, just move forward and continue writing until the time runs out.

With practice you can extend the time or have no time restraint if that feels more comfortable.

Structured Writing

If you prefer a more organised approach, answer these questions in as much detail as possible. Again the page won't judge your grammar or the content and no one will read this, so allow yourself to write everything down and don't censor yourself.

1) What was the trigger?

2)What are your thoughts?

3) How do you feel?

4) What sensations do you feel in the body?

5) What do you need?

Reflecting on the Exercises

When the time runs out or when you've answered the questions it is time to reflect. Look at the text you've written.

What emotions come up?

What insights did you gain?

Did your perspective change?

Do you notice any sensations in the body?

Did you notice anything else that you believe is important?

Make a note of these on the bottom of the page.

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Sometimes it can be hard to express your emotions with words and in moments like this it can be easier to draw or paint. You do not have to be "creative" or "good at drawing" to expressing your emotio