Sometimes life’s issues can really get the better of you. From making important decisions to dealing with unpleasant people and situations; when your emotions start running wild you’re left with your brain in a knot and no solution to your problem. But rest assured: A piece of paper (or your favorite text editor) can be the only thing you need to get your thoughts back on track. I’ll share my favorite tips to order your thoughts, so you can focus on the easier things in life!
1: Write down your feelings
Saying everything that comes to mind is widely considered extremely liberating. Yet when we’re stuck on our thoughts, we’re often limited by our doubts and emotions. You don’t want to say them out loud because you feel you might be too angry, sad or confused to make sense.
The advantage of writing your feelings down privately is that they don’t have to make sense. You can pen down anything you want, from your deepest fears and your most hateful remarks to your most cherished hopes and dreams. Write like nobody has to puzzle out what your story means when you’re done, including you. Once you got all the snippets out of your head you’ll feel liberated, and odds are your emotions are a lot more manageable.
2: Write down your solution to a reoccurring problem
Do you often run into the same problem with it’s familiar spectrum of emotions? There’s a probability this issue clouds your ability to constructively look for a solution at that particular moment. Make yourself a written reminder for exactly these situations. This can consist out of a couple of keywords or sentences, but you can also write down a personal mantra or manifesto, simply to nudge yourself in the direction of feeling well again.
3: Make a pro’s and con’s list
Do you have a tough decision to make? Consider writing down the advantages and disadvantages of your choice. Grab a sheet of paper and draw a line through the middle, marking each table accordingly. If one of your lists ends up significantly longer than the other, your choice might very well be clear by the time you finish!
4: Draw a mindmap
Mindmapping was the next big thing when I attended college. Everyone carried around a sketchbook just for the occasion, and my room was wallpapered with yellow sticky-notes in intricate patterns. I still use them to date, and for the more abstract dilemma’s that can cross our path it’s an excellent way to order your thoughts.
Put your problem in a bubble in the middle of the paper. All around, write down keywords that are related to the issue. Don’t be shy and approach mindmapping like brainstorming; there are no wrong answers. Connect the words with one another, or grab one of these separate keywords and work from there. You will end up with a paper with a lot of scribbles and lines, but the creative approach probably left you with more space to come up with keywords or solutions you wouldn’t have thought of before.
5: Keep a journal
I haven’t kept a day-by-day diary since I was in pre-school, but during my latest challenge I rediscovered the advantages of journaling. When you regularly write down what you’re experiencing, it helps you determine a pattern in your life. When you can easily pin-point the issues and emotions you regularly run into, it will be easier to form a helpful solution.
Do you order your thoughts on paper? And what are your favorites ways to do that?