Emotional Detoxification

I came across an excellent article on the Chopra Center website, called “9 Practices for Seasonal Detoxification.” One of the practices is to keep a journal (hooray!) It says:

Writing is an extremely useful tool for self-reflection and emotional detoxification. Take time each evening to write about what you have been feeling both physically and emotionally. Note what you are grateful for, and then try to identify things in your life that you would like to eliminate.

As I’ve tried to be more honest with myself in my own journal, I’m learning to face difficult emotions rather than flee from them. (Still have a long way to go on that). One of my favorite writing prompts came about quite accidentally when I was in an emotional hurricane with a pen in hand. I started scribbling (because who has nice handwriting when they’re upset?) a series of “I hate…” and “I love…” sentences. A simple, detoxifying exercise.

Throwing a few “I loves” in here and there keeps me from spiraling too deeply into wallowing, but the “I hates” help me acknowledge rather than surpress negative emotions. Acknowledge, but not engage. This helps the negativity flow through me rather than getting lodged in a knot in that spot below my left shoulder blade.

Try it out sometime, in a notebook or a computer document. Write quickly—so quickly that your inner critic can’t keep up with you.