It can sometimes feel like our emotions own or dictate our actions, feelings, and/or view of the world. There are a lot of different reasons for this, but for today I want to provide you with a journal prompt to help you understand that you can own your emotions.
Owning an Emotion so it Does Not Own You
Have you ever had one of those days where for whatever reason (and you’re probably not sure what the reason is) you want to ask everyone to just leave you alone? Stop asking you questions? Stop asking anything of you for just. one. moment. geez?!? Maybe you’re at work and your coworkers seem extra needy? Maybe you’re at home and your spouse or your roommate or your children just seem to really want/need your attention but what they are asking for is something they could easily obtain for themselves or is NOT as immediately necessary as they seem to believe it is? Maybe your children are extra whiny on days like this?
If not, consider yourself very lucky. If so, then these are the days where you may feel run by your emotions. These are the days where you probably want to act super kind and loving (your normal self) towards people, but you hear yourself being short with them or you know you’re close to snapping at them.
These are the days where journaling would be a great outlet for you.
If this is the type of day you’re having – here’s the journal prompt for you. Even if this is NOT the type of day you’re having – great! I encourage you to complete this journal prompt:
Sit down in front of your computer of with your paper journal and ask yourself one simple question:
What emotion am I experiencing right now? If you can’t find a name for it, that’s okay. One option to try to find a label: google “emotion list” and read a whole series of names for emotions and pick one.
Then, describe what it feels like. What is your physical response to this emotion? Do you have a headache? back ache? neck pain? Are your muscles tense? Are you shoulder’s hunched. Are you hungry? Eating when you’re not hungry? Dreaming of fro-yo?
If it’s a positive emotion – are you energized, motivated, did you just drink a super sized Starbuck cappicino?
What does the emotion taste like? What does it look like? What does it sound like? What does it smell like?
Get the whole feeling out on paper.
Now, take 5 deep breaths, releasing each of them slowly. Remind yourself that you are loved by your friends, family, pets, and by God. If it was an emotion you want to let go of then let that emotion you were feeling stay on the paper, and fill yourself with a new emotion of your choice.
If you’re having trouble with any part of this prompt, don’t feel guilt about that. It’s okay.
Next, try to think of 1 thing in your life you are thankful for (if you can – think of up to 5 things).
Lastly, walk away. The emotion may not be gone (if you wanted it to) or it may quickly come back. However, now you know what the emotion is. You won’t be ignoring it. It doesn’t own you. A little bit of that amazing thing called choice is back in your field of vision.