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How to Solve 10 Life Problems with Insightful Writing

How to Solve 10 Life Problems with Insightful Writing

Putting pen to paper can be very therapeutic when you’re troubled—sitting at a keyboard doesn’t have the same effect as sitting in a quiet spot and getting your thoughts down on paper. You don’t necessarily have to share those thoughts with anyone, although you could decide to show your insightful writing to a counselor or a therapist to help you make sense of what you have discovered about yourself. Here are some life problems that you can make sense of through the power of words:

1. You’re Angry

Pick up a pen and write down exactly why you are angry. Now make a decision to let it go. Holding onto the anger doesn’t affect the other person, the company, or the situation one bit: only you can decide when you’ve had enough.

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2. You’re Stressed

Start by writing down the words, “I’m feeling stressed” and then go on to describe what that feels like. Your brain needs to get off the cycle of spinning around in circles so you can start focusing on solutions.

3. You’re Depressed

Journaling can help you document your recovery as you recover from depression. You can look back over time and see that you are making progress, even if you don’t notice that you are feeling better day to day.

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4. You’re Anxious

Write down the issue that you are concerned about and its consequences; it can help you put things into perspective, and save the response for when you really need it.

5. You’re Confused

We all get stuck sometimes and have no idea what to do next. Start with what you know and build out from there. You may find that you have more answers (and options) than you originally thought.

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6. You’re Afraid

Write down exactly what you are afraid of. Let your words shine a light on it and stare it down. Is it something you can control or do something about? Then take action. If not, you may need to decide to let it go, either on your own or with professional help.

7. You’re Grieving

If you have experienced a loss, your grief may come in waves. Write down memories of your loved one, what it feels like to be without him or her, your anger, sadness, or whatever you are feeling on a particular day. The paper is a safe place for you to unload all of those feelings.

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8. You Feel “Blue”

On days when you feel out of sorts and can’t seem to get out of a funk, pull out a pad of paper and start writing about it. Some people find it helpful to remind themselves that even the worst day will pass and that things will get better. Another approach is to give yourself a limited time (15-20 minutes) to feel icky and write about it. Then get on with your day in a more positive frame of mind.

9. You’re in Physical Pain

People who live with chronic pain have a lot on their plate, even at the best of times. Writing about how you feel about the pain can be a good coping strategy, especially if you share what you have written with your health care team. Your doctor wants to know if you are feeling angry, depressed, frustrated, hopeless, etc. Putting pen to paper can also be a distraction from the physical sensations when you are having a challenging time.

10. You’re Struggling with Low Self-esteem

If your self-esteem has taken a beating and you’re feeling less than great about yourself, it’s time to do some work to build yourself back up. What would you say to a good friend in your shoes? Think of something positive about yourself and write it down. Then add something else. It doesn’t matter what these statements are; no one is going to see them. They can be sweet or silly. The important thing is that they mean something to you. Save that piece of paper and refer to it whenever you need a boost.

Writing can be a wonderful way to relieve stress, help you see things clearly, and give yourself a much-needed boost when you need it. Why don’t you make a point of spending some quality time with a pen and some paper today?

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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