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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 January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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