The 2 Benefits of Writing Down Your Feelings

Each day presents a cycle of emotions. Any normal person feels a range of feelings - from sadness to anxiety to happiness. Our emotions are a product of evolution; they help us survive.

But emotions can sometimes be crippling. A panic attack can render you motionless. An overwhelming bout of despair can keep you from getting up from the bed. If you are experiencing negative emotions, writing your thoughts and feelings down may help you.

Here are 2 benefits of writing down your feelings:

It can provide catharsis

One definition of catharsis in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary reads, "Elimination of a complex by bringing it to consciousness and affording it expression." When you jot down your thoughts and feelings, you break down their complexity.

A sense of reason washes over you when you give your emotion a name. Declaring its presence somehow erodes the power of emotion and settles down the raging river of feelings.

Another definition offered by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary states: "A purification or purgation that brings about spiritual renewal or release from tension." It does not have to get to that level, but writing down your thoughts and feelings, indeed, offers a powerful release.

It helps you track your thoughts and feelings

A journal helps you keep a record of your emotions. You don't need to write lengthy paragraphs in your journal, as is often portrayed in movies. Letting your thoughts flow on the page, regardless of structure, can be more effective when you are purging negative emotions than obsessing about grammar, logical reasoning, and the like.

A journal helps you see the progression of your emotional state. Tracking your thoughts and feelings can help you assess your mental health and come up with intervention plans if you see a decline.

If you are in a better mental state, you can also feel pleasure and a sense of accomplishment when you see your positive progress over a course of a period. 

It can be difficult to get out when you are trapped in negative patterns of thoughts. But keep in mind there is a simple tool that can help you. Get a nice notepad and pen and assert your control over your thoughts and feelings by putting them into written words.