Have you ever felt emotional, but couldn’t pinpoint why? Labeling your emotions is an important first step in dealing with them. Research has shown that people who write about emotionally charged episodes experience a marked increase in their physical and mental well-being. When you’re going through a tough time or a big transition, try this exercise: Set a timer for 20 minutes. Write down (on paper or on your computer) your emotional experiences from the past week, month, or year. Don’t worry about making it perfect or readable; allow your mind to let go. Use phrases such as “I have learned,” “it struck me that,” “the reason that,” “I now realize,” and “I understand.” These phrases help you contextualize your emotions and gain perspective on why you’re feeling a certain way. You don’t have to save the document; the point is that the thoughts are now out of you and on the page.

Authored by : Dr Aniruddha Malpani, MD and reviewed by Dr Anjali Malpani.

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