Journaling To Manage Emotions
Sometimes trying to manage your emotions can seem almost impossible. Especially, if you’re like me and have bipolar disorder, depression, severe anxiety, any other mental disorders, or even if you have been having trouble managing your emotions and feelings in general. I get it, and I completely understand. Everyone has been there at least one time in their life. I tend to not believe anyone who says they’ve never been overrun with emotions; after all, we are all only human beings and most humans tend to feel an array of emotions.
For most of my life, I have let my emotions get the best of me. I didn’t know how to control them or even get them out in a healthy manner. I’ve been a cutter (A.K.A. a person who self-harms) since I was 12-years-old; Which is over half my life. That was the only way I knew how to manage my emotions and the horrible thoughts and criticism about myself that would seem to constantly be stuck in my mind.
I have even been hospitalized in a “Behavioral Health Unit” over a handful of times because I had lost control of everything. Those are definitely not fun and now I sometimes go out of my way to avoid being sent to one. However, someone close to me made me realize that I should stop fearing it because they really are there to help. I still fear it, but at least in a worst case scenario, I have realized that maybe it really is necessary to seek extensive treatment and put that option back on the table. So that is a fraction of my story…
Everyone has their own way of dealing with how they feel. But we just have to make sure that it is in a healthy way because when we cope by self-harming, using drugs or alcohol, or even just bottling everything up, we are really just hurting ourselves in the end. We may not even see the damage we are doing and the people we are hurting but coping in unhealthy ways. I have found multiple things that actually have really helped me and have also cut down on how often I self-harm. I used to hurt myself on a daily basis, but now I can actually go months without doing it before I ultimately “relapse.”
So right now, I want to go over only one of the things that have greatly helped me. (I will eventually go over all of them to give everyone some more options to choose from.
Journaling: How It Can Benefit You
Journaling has seemed to help me the most. It is because there are a lot of thoughts and feelings that I feel I cannot talk to anyone about because either it really sounds crazy or odd to even myself, or because I am mainly worried about how people will react to what is lodged inside my mind. Also, at times, I don’t feel like talking to anyone because I feel no one will understand me.
But when a person journals, they can get out every thought that is trapped inside their head without worrying about anyone knowing their personal thoughts, secrets, or feelings. Or sometimes, if you are anything like me and ever go through bouts of paranoia and feel like there is no one you can trust at the moment, then journaling would be perfect for you. I have already spent countless hours at a shot journaling because I had so much stuck in my head. While you are writing, you are also processing your thoughts, emotions, and feelings. Then afterward, you usually tend to feel a bit more at ease because you were able to get everything out instead of trying to bottle it inside.
The thing with bottling emotions is that one day – and you never know when – everything will come to the surface and you could end up taking it out on yourself or an innocent bystander. It could even lead to a mental break down. If you have never experienced one, trust me, you don’t want to.
Even if you don’t like writing, just give journaling a try. What could it hurt, right? Some people just write of list of thoughts, while others write about everything that is going on in a true diary-style format. It’s your journal so you can choose what works best for you but is still effectively getting everything out of your head and onto the paper.
Another good thing about journaling is that you can read through and see the ways that you have changed and the progress you have made over time. Or sometimes, if you are unaware of why you are feeling a certain way, seeing it on paper helps you figure out the source, or cause, of your emotions. Which can, in turn, help you figure out the best way to manage your emotions.
If you are worried about someone finding a regular handwritten journal that you have been trying to hide, there are other options for you to try. You can:
- Download a private lockable diary on your cell phone or tablet.
- Create word document and save them to a random or secret file on your computer.
- Download an app for your computer for a password protected diary.
- You can find some at http://download.cnet.com/windows/ or if you have Windows 10 – you can to your “Microsoft Store” app and search for one.
- You can find online private and password protected diaries
- One I have used ishttp://www.privatediary.net/
- You can also use Google Docs to create a journal.
- You can sign up for a free or paid blog from WordPress and set your blog posts to private so only YOU can have access to and see them.
I am sure there are other ways, you just have to get a bit creative. I hope you give it a try and see if it helps you. If it doesn’t either continue to follow or become a new follower for My Bipolar Mind and keep a look out for more posts for Managing Emotions Monday (or even just randomly places posts) for more tips and ideas for dealing with emotions, or about how we have dealt with emotions.
Enjoy Your Day!
Samantha is the author of "My Bipolar Mind: You're not alone," she is also a freelance writer, blogger, and mental health advocate who runs and manages her own mental health blog MyBipolarMind.com.