Stop writing about your problems

Journalling advice is dangerous.

Be careful of people who tell you to write about your problems. It's usually well-intentioned, but there is a hidden result that often bites you in the ass if you follow it.

By writing about your problems, you're solidifying them, reinforcing them in your brain. And you rarely find any solutions.

What usually happens is that you start writing in circles, finding more and more details about the problem that you didn't notice before; it may feel "productive" or "helpful," but it doesn't do anything.

It just keeps your problems going. Writing about your problems gives you more of the same problems.

It's a self-fulfilling prophecy. By writing about them and feeling the negative emotions associated with them, you are just telling your brain that this "problem" is important. There is not a lot of processing happening at all. No healing whatsoever. Which means there is no resolution.

Instead, write about what you want.

If you have a problem and want to resolve it, don't waste your time writing about it; instead, write about its resolution.

This will tell your brain that resolving the problem is important and will bring you closer to a resolution.

Some tips for doing this:

  • Avoid negative language (stuff like "I can't do this", or "It's way too hard to do this")
  • Use positive language instead ("I want to feel relief from this situation," "I can't wait to figure this out."
  • Have compassion for yourself (everyone has problems; beating yourself up just creates tension in your body)
  • Write until you feel a release (keep writing until you feel your emotions shift)