Today I'd like to share with you a little story - a mini story about how I helped myself through some moments of emotional hardship by doing 10 minute of writing, or journaling while I was in the metro on my commute to work.
Most mornings when I commute to work or when I am in crowded places I get irritated and anxious. I have all these thoughts inside my mind that people are looking at me and highlighting my flaws inside their own heads and gossiping inside it to themselves about me. Funny thing is, that I don't even know what 'flaws' they see in me. Fact is that what I believe they think my flaws are is actually what I see as my flaws inside my own mind and project onto them. It then seemingly appears to me as if it's their mind that thinks about it. Strange how our minds and we work. I usually put on a cold gaze, start to pretend like I don't think that others think I am weird and flawed. I think that if I internally - inside myself start generating feelings and telling myself that I don't care about what others think about me that they will know not to screw with me and not to think bad about me or make fun of me and the like.
Flipping one and the same coin
It doesn't really work all that well, because what am I actually doing? I am just flipping the same coin, different side. Am I not? Meaning that I am just trying to overrule and suppress my me feeling awkward and judged and seeing myself as flawed and feeling self conscious by generating and superimposing other feeling onto it: Feelings of power, strength, toughness and 'I don't care what you think about me'. Sure. Fact is, that deep down behind the feelings of feeling tough and telling myself that I don't care about what other think about me there is it lays dormant: Those initial feelings and experiences of inadequacy, self-judgement, self-diminishment, self-ridicule, fear, anxiety and self-consciousness.
Spill out the guts of you and your mind
An application that on the other hand does really help me and has been proven to work over and over again for me is writing / journaling. On my commute to work I take out my smartphone and start writing about the experiences and content that goes on and through inside me and inside my mind. But I don't just throw up my mind on paper, so to speak. What the hell do you mean by that? Keep Calm and Keep Reading. What I mean by it is that you don't just rant and rave and that's it. You don't just use the paper or writing app you do the writing or journaling with to simply repeat the thoughts and emotions and inner talk and all the rest of the content that's inside your mind. That would just mean we make yet just another copy of the problem, of the junk that we already have inside of us. Well what do I do with or in the writing and journaling instead? I always make my starting point before I write that I am going to write with the objective to UNDERSTAND the content - meaning the thoughts, emotions, feeling, inner talk and pattern that exist inside me and inside my mind that I am experiencing and going through and secondly that I am going to push myself to find a SOLUTION, a point of application that I am going to practice living that will allow me and support me to CHANGE the experiences and patterns I am living over and over right now.
The difference it makes: From Problem-COPY to Understanding- and Solution-CREATION
See how different the outcome is? From just spilling out our mind's guts and basically just creating a replica on another medium (the paper of digital document) of our inner problems and issues (the thoughts, emotions, feelings, inner talk and patterns we have and deal with and struggle with) - To using writing and journaling as a medium, a TOOL towards creating self-understanding of our own internal reality, self, mind body and life and as a platform from which we build, construct, create and discover practical solutions and applications and methods we can apply and live to support in actually changing and transcending the patterns and issues we have and go through inside of us, our minds and lives.
The power of just a few minutes of writing and journaling
Just writing in this way about my experiences and issues I have and go through inside myself, my mind and my life and day to day reality for a 10 minute commute to and from work alone makes a huge positive difference in understanding and finding solutions to them and eventually ridding myself from such internal issues and problems a.k.a. how I feel and react emotionally and in thought towards something in my reality and this world. Amazing what as little as 10 or 20 minutes a day of self-honest writing / journaling can do in understanding and transforming and changing our inner issues and problems of thoughts, reactions and patterns we have, go through and struggle with on a frequent basis.
From little to big
Understanding and change comes in steps. Sometimes 10 minutes here and there in a day are enough, most definitely a ton better than non at all, but applied consistently over time like days or weeks (depending on the size of the pattern and issue) will through accumulation of such self-work bring about the essential understanding and practical solutions and change required.
Give it a go! Write and journal to your heart's content. Just remember that at the heart of a successful understanding and real self-change and breakthrough with one’s issues and problems lies the premise of self-honesty. That we have to be self-honest in our writing and journaling.