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Therapeutic Writing Erases Bad Moods

Posted by Mari L. M cCarthy
Mari L. M cCarthy
Mari L. M cCarthy has not set their biography yet
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on Tuesday, 01 May 2012
in Blogs

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A bad mood can be tough to shake. Maybe you woke up with a headache or had an unpleasant conversation with your boss, and you haven’t quite been able to regain your positive, cheerful disposition. Maybe you are simply cranky for no real reason.

Don’t worry; your journal is here to help. Take a breather, find a quiet spot away from the madness and make time for some therapeutic writing. Even 10 minutes can rejuvenate you and help you transform a yucky day.

Try these Therapeutic Writing Tips:

1. Spend a few moments reflecting on how you are feeling right now. What adjectives would you use to describe your mood? Irritable, frustrated, tired, angry? Are there circumstances or events that caused your bad mood? What people are involved?

Write a paragraph in your journal that sums up your mental state. Be as raw and honest as you want – no one is going to see this but you, so let it all out! (If that means you rant and swear for several pages, that’s perfectly fine.) For example:

I am exhausted and annoyed and generally ticked off at everyone and everything. I woke up on the wrong side of the bed, and it seems that every little thing that has happened today has made my bad mood worse. It doesn’t help that I got into an argument with my mom on the phone last night before I went to bed and keep thinking, thinking, thinking about it today.

2. Read what you wrote, and ask yourself, “Do I have control over any of these factors? If yes, which?” Tell your journal what circumstances you can realistically have an effect on, and which are out of your control. Actively try to accept that you won’t be able to change everything you want. For example:

I can’t control the way my mom sometimes criticizes me and interferes with certain aspects of my life, but I can control how I react to her behavior. I do get really defensive and upset with her as a knee-jerk reaction. I can change that.

3. Think about what you would say to a friend or partner who was having a bad day. What words of encouragement, support or humor would you share with him or her? What do you most want to hear when you are in a cranky mood? Channel your inner coach and write those words down in your journal. For example:

I’m sorry you’re having a tough time right now. That’s no fun, and you deserve much better. Don’t let the little things get to you. You can smooth things over with your mom tomorrow, and it will all be fine. Read a good book, watch a funny TV show and go to bed early. And do some Night Notes so you can clear your head and get a good night’s sleep.4. Follow your own advice, and remember that tomorrow is another day! Also remember that everything gets renewed and refreshed with a good night’s post therapeutic writing sleep.

What therapeutic writing strategies do you use to turn your bad moods into glad moods?

Mari McCarthy with bio


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