I enjoy writing to myself. Sound strange? I initially chose not to share this information with anyone else because I thought people would be confused by this statement. However, writing to myself is helpful to work, relationships, and self-evolvement. I hope this technique is beneficial to you as well.
Writing to myself is like having a conversation with my true self. Intimately revealing and increasing present moment awareness, it is just as helpful as meditation, visualization, or yoga in relieving stress. Writing to oneself can also help one work through depression or deepening intimacy with a partner.
So, how can you learn to write to yourself?
All you need is fifteen minutes a day, a pen, pencil, or a crayon (whichever works best for you), and an intention to be honest, true, and nonjudgmental to the writing that emerges from within. This method of journal therapy is most beneficial when you are feeling overwhelmed and/or when you are making an important decision. Begin by gathering a pen and paper to have on hand; try opening a window to let in fresh air; make sure you feel calm and ready as you start this activity.
Evaluate your goals, which may include:
- Managing stress.
- Reducing symptoms of depression.
- Losing weight
- Starting a new business.
The first step in this activity is to realize that although you may hear several different voices in your head (the critic, the people-pleaser, etc.), another voice exists that you can call your true self, your guardian angel, or your higher self. This inner voice knows peace and joy and guides you in making choices that feel right for you, without fear.
The second step is to write a question on a piece of paper. Try to find a question that concerns you deeply and affects your current mental health:
- Should I stay in this relationship?
- What do I really want from this job?
- What is my life’s purpose?
- What is bothering me?
- How can I forgive myself?
Once you have determined your question, sit in silence. Close your eyes. Breathe deeply. Notice the thoughts ebb and flow in your mind. Continue to focus on your breath for five minutes. As you calm, notice how your thoughts slow down.
Then write as if you’re having a conversation with your true self. A conversation might ensue as follows.
Q: What is bothering me?
A: I don’t know. What do you think is bothering you?
Q: I don’t know; that’s why I am asking you.
A: Well, sit still for a moment.
Q: How is that going to help?
A: Well, try it and see what happens.
Q: I am not here to sit still. Solve my problem.
A: Sitting still is the answer.
Q: How long do I have to sit still?
A: A couple minutes.
Q: Okay. I’m still. Now what?
A: Well, how do you feel?
Q: Not as bothered as before.
A: Great. Do you have another question?
The first time you attempt this activity you may not hear your inner voice, but don’t give up. Keep writing. It takes time and patience to hear your true self speak to you. The more you intend on finding that voice, the more easily you will hear it. With practice, you will learn to speak from your true self, and all the other voices (the whiny child, the people-pleaser etc) will take a back seat.
© Copyright 2010 by Aqsa Zareen Farooqui. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.