5 Journaling Options For Individuals Who Hate Writing About Their Emotions


However you approach the video or voice notes, the goal is to have a fluid dialogue with yourself to make sense of your observations, emotions, and perceptions. Some people find it helpful to watch or listen to their recordings. If you’re going this route, Dr. Peifer recommends asking yourself: What do you notice when you look or hear yourself? You might see yourself in a new light, she says. You might learn that you were too hard on yourself to cancel plans, or that feeling stuck at work is a sign that you’re ready for a career change.

Make a mind map.

Think of this kind of as a vision board. Mind maps, which are visual diagrams of words, pictures, and concepts, can help you become aware of different issues in your life and « bring out whatever’s on your mind, » says Dr. Bilder .

To create a mind map, you create a model, either digitally, on an app like Consciously or Notions, or on a physical board where you can write and doodle on various ideas. You can create a central theme – your work, for example – and expand into sub-topics (projects, work trips, or colleagues) before expanding even further and diving into different emotions or issues you encounter. Think of it like a crime scene map, but for whatever is going on in your life. (Here is a Tutorial of the father of mind mapping, Tony Buzan).

mind maps activate both the visual and logical areas of the brain, which can help you organize your thoughts. The combination of words and symbols can also activate your imagination, thus stimulating creativity. Mind maps have been shown to encourage problem solving and help people better retain information, also. « It helps you bring things together and connect them in ways you might not have enjoyed before, » says Dr. Bilder. If your mind map is solely about your job, you might see that specific people or projects at work are stressing you out, or finally identify why you’re having trouble with a particular task.

Explore movement-based therapy.

Dr. Peifer keeps a journal from time to time, but she says dancing does a lot more for her well-being. With journaling, she says, « I don’t get the same result as dancing through everything I feel. » Like Dr. Peifer, some people process their thoughts and emotions better when they are moving. (If you’ve ever come back from a run or walk with a great work idea or a new sense of clarity about a certain relationship issue you’re struggling with, you’ve figured it out.)

The movement, in general, was watch to improve overall physical and mental health. Research suggests that specific movement-based therapies — where a teacher or therapist guides practitioners through a movement of their choice, such as dance or yoga — can help people resolve their issues nonverbally. Movement can be especially beneficial for helping people deal with feelings that are too difficult or scary to talk about or write about, such as anger or regret.

Movement-based practices give people a safe, low-risk space to express all kinds of emotions, says Dr. Peifer. Some people may prefer to intentionally reflect on specific issues in their lives — like complicated relationships, unfulfilling jobs, ongoing grief, or trauma — as they move on, while others may process things unconsciously, backwards. -plan, she explains. And there’s no one right way to get through feelings either. Go for a hike, practice yoga, dance your heart out — as long as you feel better emotionally when you’re done, you’re doing it well.

Make art.

Art can give people a canvas to get to know themselves and explore their emotions without constraints. As Dr. Bilder says, « It gives you a form of free expression that can reveal things you wouldn’t have thought of. » If you don’t enjoy the other methods on this list, try creating something with your hands: paint, doodle, make graphic art, make clay, draw in a coloring book, or play with sand . You don’t need an MFA to experience art; just enjoy what you are doing.

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