During my off time, I have been watching quite a few webinars to help me progress in my knowledge and education. Yesterday, I watched a video with Ashley Turner, a renowned yoga instructor, psychotherapist and the founder of Yoga, Psyche, Soul. The topic of yesterday’s session was about journaling. I mentioned journaling last week when we were discussing mindfulness, but after watching Ashley today, I wanted to expand on this subject a little bit.
With the world going through this global pandemic right now, many are feeling emotions that they do not know how to control, both on the conscious and unconscious level; fear, anxiety, insecurity, anger, frustration, sadness, so many emotions.
In the yoga practice, the Self is thought of in 5 different layers called the Koshas:
- Physical Body – annamaya kosha – bones, tissues, organs
- Energetic or Pranic Body – pranamaya kosha – chakras, nadi’s, meridians
- Mental-Emotional Body – manomaya kosha – mental health
- Wisdom Body – vijanamaya kosha – don’t have an equivalent in western world
- Spiritual Core – anandamaya kosha – essence of who we are
For a great many of people, the Mental-Emotional Body has kicked into overdrive as we are facing challenges on many fronts all at once. And we are looking at weeks and even months of dealing with this. Therefore, we need to learn how to release our emotions.
If we don’t learn to express and clear our emotions we run the risk of:
- Getting trapped in overwhelm
- Spiraling in fear and projecting it outwards (anyone finding themselves snapping at a spouse or child out of nowhere?)
- Staying stuck in procrastination
This is why journaling can be helpful. Pull out a notebook and bring pen to paper, don’t use the computer, because writing activates the right brain, which is the creative part of the brain. This will help to bring up some of the unconscious emotion coming up at the root.
So many emotions get compounded or lumped together and we end up saying we are stressed. This will help you detangle the emotions that create the stress and overwhelming feeling. Choose one emotion that you are feeling today and write it down in your journal and follow it with the following:
- When I look at you I feel – being flooded and being taken over by a tidal wave
- When I look at you I see – myself shaking
- You act like – overthinking, playing the what if game
- You remind me of – . It helps you bring up memories that allow you to unpack the underlying bubble of emotion. – the time I got stuck at the top of a ferris wheel when it broke down
- This emotion (Anxiety) means – My anxiety is going to mean something different from yours. This is how you relate to the issue this emotion is different for each person, how are you making meaning of this emotion. Any emotion in our life is related to a past experience, especially unresolved traumatic experiences. This is how you are choosing to interpret the experience or make meaning of the experience.
Give yourself a paragraph or 2 of each prompt.
This will help to personify the emotion, it becomes a character in your story. This helps get everything out of your body and let it live somewhere else, so it is not being held in your head and heart.
This is also a great to do with kids who are also experiencing so many changes and are not sure how to process everything. We are not the only ones who’s world has been upside down from this pandemic. Your kids are not allowed to go to school and many are starting to do online schooling now, they aren’t able to leave their house, they aren’t able to spend time with friends, they aren’t able to play sports. Some of them may be holding emotions in them, that they do not know or understand how to process.
I journal every night before going to sleep. I started this a few years ago when I had issues with insomnia and it helped me get everything out and allowed me to find an easier time going to sleep. I hope that this will be a helpful start for you it will help you.