I believe one foundational way to work through things in life is through writing your story and experiences, even if it’s just fragments at a time.
You are living, breathing history.
Writing is also a form of moving emotions through the body. It is a process of putting a name to your feelings and experiences and moving those emotions through your body and on to paper- or screen.
I’ve found that one of the best ways to process emotions through writing is by using sensory awareness. This is just using all of your senses, then combining them with short poetic phrases. It doesn’t have to rhyme in any way or follow any sort of structure. I say poetic because there is something so beautiful about poetry. Sometimes when we are remembering, it’s easier to write in shorthand as poetry tends to be. This is an opportunity to take unpleasant experiences and alchemize them into something of beauty.
When deep emotions rise, taking the time to write everything you are feeling in detail is powerful and profoundly freeing. Scanning your body for physiological responses or emotions that surface & addressing them can bring clarity to your experience.
It is an act of self-compassion to honor your experiences, frustrations, trauma, joy, & everything in-between.
I like to just pull out my phone and start writing in my note app when I’m experiencing a rush of emotions. I run down the list of the five senses and describe in short, descriptive phrases exactly what I’m experiencing. So I go through the list of taste, smell, sight, sound, and touch. I find that when I am extremely frustrated or angry I get a sweet taste in my mouth and my hearing gets very muffled. Words connected with memories connected with senses are powerful. Writing helps give your feelings the honor they deserve.
Your feelings and emotions are so valid. Keeping them bottled up tells our bodies that they are not worthy of being expressed. This trapped emotion again can have physiological effects on our bodies. Somatic healing and movement are what we use to draw out those stagnant emotions, and writing is a part of the healing process.
The freshest memories equal the most realistically portrayed poems and feelings, but there’s also merit to writing after you’ve internally processed as well.
There are two times to process emotions through writing- in the midst of whatever intense emotion you are feeling or after when the feelings have simmered a bit. Both are equally helpful.
Sometimes if I am experiencing something like a bout of criticism or extreme frustration, I like to just pull out my phone and start writing in my note app. I run down the list of the five senses and describe in short, descriptive phrases exactly what I’m experiencing.
Each stanza comes alive as we merge words with senses. Words connected with memories connected with senses are shockingly powerful. I’m such a huge advocate for physically writing down your feelings. It engages several senses at once subconsciously. Seeing the words written on a page, touching a pen to the paper, giving your feelings the honor they deserve. To draw them out from the far reaches of your mind and give them a home on a page.
If I have more time to write, I often listen to instrumental music. The Deep Focus or Dreamy Vibes playlist on Spotify are two of my favorites. It totally depends on your mood though, and what type of emotions you are processing. Writing in the style of the Psalms is also so therapeutic. Sometimes we are in a mindset where we need to praise and other times we are in a place of crying out and lament. Write from the heart no matter how it looks.
Pinpointing the root of our trauma is often the exact place we need to start.
It can be a seemingly dreaded task to dig up all of our old wounds. However, when we deal with them they are resolved once and for all. Writing is one of the most therapeutic things we can do and helps to release pent up emotions and thoughts. There are times when I really just do not want to write, but once a habit is formed and I can clearly see the progress being made within my own mind, it does get easier.
Moving forward and learning how to establish good habits as they pertain to emotions and processing is the goal. If we process emotions as they come, there is a lot less backtracking. Our senses are powerful and as we become more in tune with them, the more exciting and present life becomes.
We are often-times so afraid to feel, and with good reason. Being afraid to feel though will not keep our emotions from coming. Stifling them only keeps them locked away, sure to resurface at some point. If we feel through our negative, sad, hard emotions that won’t mean we will never feel them again, but we will develop emotional maturity and be able to handle far more than we ever thought possible.
I used to be fearful that someone would see my writings and be critical, shocked, or that I would just let too much of myself be seen. If this is the case for you, this shorthand, poetic way of releasing your thoughts and emotions is the perfect solution. This preserves some of your privacy, but you are still getting issues off of your heart.
There is such a release when we work through and process emotions and events in more than one way. Then when you get to the place where you are able to share a piece of your story willingly with at least one person you trust, you allow them to be a witness to your heart & to come alongside you.
Your light then illuminates the way for the next person to write & share their own story.