As part of your healing journey, you may need to revisit some of those old haunts of your soul where the past is buried.
Ways to Deal with The Past
Coping with emotional hurt can be a long and painful process. As part of your healing journey, you may need to revisit some of those old haunts of your soul where the past is buried. Doing so can intensify the pain, as though you are once again caught in the negative experience or unpleasant situation that you may have had to endure for so long which brought you to this place of feeling numb and needing to heal.
For some people, talking with a therapist is one way to speed up the emotional recovery process and get clarity on those issues that need resolving in your mind. But for others, talking and sharing may not be enough. You might struggle to find the right words to explain what happened (or didn’t happen). Or you may censor your words, feeling embarrassed or not wanting to fully release your pain in front of another person.
Journaling can be a useful tool for releasing emotions on the path to self-discovery. Write with the intention to heal your heart and one day let love in again. You can journal in combination with talking out your issues with a therapist. Or, if you are unable or unwilling to talk to a mental health professional, you can journal solo. This will help you bring about some peace of mind with regard to the events of your life.
How to start a journal?
The medium by which you put down your thoughts can be a computer document, pen, notebook, or a special diary that you purchase for this purpose.
If you are concerned about discovery, some journals or diaries have a lock to deter the prying eyes of family members or housemates.
Does writing come naturally to you? In that case, it won’t take long for you to ease into the habit of journaling. You can start by detailing how your day went, and see where your mind and heart take you from there. Perhaps you found yourself frustrated today. Or maybe something triggered you, bringing a flood of memories, or maybe just an intense rush of feeling that wasn’t conducive to the circumstance. Detail the events that led up to your emotional challenge. Try to relate whatever happened that mentally connected you with your past and brought about unpleasant feelings.
Still not sure what to write in your journal? Try typing or writing down your thoughts on the following:
- The emotions that I felt today were…
- What or who caused me to feel the way I did? Why?
- What did I do after reacting to whatever happened?
- Why did I react the way I did?
- What can I do differently next time to control my emotional reaction?
- What is a healthy way for me to release emotions in the future?
- What brought me to this place of realization? What is the memory that I am struggling with?
Other possible topics you can explore in your journal:
- Who has influenced me the most in my life, and why?
- What have I experienced in the way of disappointment, and how did this come to be?
- What am I good at? Explain in detail.
- What parts of me don’t I like, and why?
- Which person in my life do I (or did I) struggle to get along with, and why?
- What coping skills have I found to help me survive (or move past) this difficult relationship?
- In my childhood, who made me feel happy and good about myself? What was it about this person that helped me be my best?
- If I did not have a positive role model as a child, who did I seem to emulate or follow in my youth? How did this affect the person I have become today?
- Is there someone in my adult life who mirrors this positive influence?
- If you could return to the past and find words to say to someone who impacted your life for good, what would those words be and to whom would you say them?
- If you could return to the past and find words to say to someone who impacted your life in a negative way, what would those words be and to whom would you say them?
- What simple changes in my life can I make to help me smile more and struggle less?
- List five talents or strengths in yourself that are worth developing and why.