I took to writing in school and have been writing …God only knows how I write but I just write because I love to…I took to blogging so that I could have a medium to write but somehow the clickety clack is just not the same as the swishing of the pen against the paper..( you could call me technologically challenged..but the enjoyment is higher when its the paper and the pen!) Hence, I have decided to write in my style and then painfully translate in the soft copy and post on the blog!
A lot has happened since I put my thoughts together to actually write it. The monotony of routine, the excitement of a holiday, the happiness of meeting family, the feeling of success…lots of emotions and lots of reactions…
I recently read about how writing is theraupatic and can do wonders to one’s state of mind. I did not think it to be very effective, till I actually did it. I started talking to a lot of people who are connected to the subject and was flabbergasted at the depth of the techniqe. Most of us react to a situation giving in to our emotions that are triggered by the beliefs that we carry. The reactions on hind sight may then leave us guilty and with a feeling of “my god!..why did i ever behave in that manner!!” Simple, because we are so engrossed in our own “self talk” that seldom do we realise the consequences of an impulsive reaction. This causes us more harm than the person who we react to. It was here that I was introduced to the use of a cognitive diary.
I began on the day when I was utterly disappointed with a deal not coming through. We had put in a lot of effort and in my opinion, the prospective client was just “using” us new bees!!!…I spoke to a colleague who suggested I write EXACTLY what I was feeling. I took a paper and pen and began and suprisingly enough, though I had written almost a page and a half, I was not feeling as bad as before!!! In fact, I felt amused at myself that I could be so featherbrained!!! Sure enough, soon I was laughing at the whole episode, picking up from where we had lost and believe me, the client did call back promising to work with us in the “near future”(fingers crossed!!)
The point I am trying to make is, we cannot change situations and the complexities that come with it, what we can do is work on what is in our control. A cognitive diary does help in this regard. So what exactly is a Cognitive Diary? Its a way of writing out (read venting out) all that we feel – emotionally, physically and mentally whenever we go through spikes of emotions – a high or a low. Generally used as a theraupatic approach to help solve problems in the area of negative emotions and depression, cognitive diary can also be used to help us come closer to our own selves and be more aware of our emotions and our behaviour.
Maintaining a cognitive diary is a method to release one’s tensions, trauma and all ill feelings without having to worry about confidentiality or the search for a “trustworthy” friend / confidate. One can begin when one is faced with a challenge that is causing a lot of discomfort mentally and you just “need” to talk to someone. The safest would be to talk to yourself. Write down what you feel and what is bothering you. Do not deny any emotions and see that you clearly write them. Once you have done that, take a walk and come back. Read what you have written and you will be astonished to note that you no longer harbor the negative feelings that you have so vehemently put it in black and white. It may take a while till you actually feel comfortable doing this. Donot fret, for doing the most uncomfortable thing helps you get comfortable with it!
There is a second level to use your writing to correct oneself or what we call “regulate” our emotions. This is something that people across use it as therapy. Well! I for one have not ventured into it.
Until then, I swear by the cognitive diary that has helped me see a lot of changes in myself. I am sure most of my friends who read this blog will agree!!