How to Record Your Emotions
Speaking of Diary, do you have such a stereotype that diary is only kept by children or those with profuse emotions? Or do you think that diary is only a way of showing off on social platforms?
These stereotypes somehow blur the true meaning of this word. As we grow up, the unspoken negative emotions such as anxiety, irritation, and fear are eroding our daily lives like a black hole.
Honestly, writing a diary is not what we thought. It is a ritual we can do every day. So what’s the connection between relieving your anxiety and writing a diary?
Why is it hard for us to get along with our negative emotions? Because our brains are sometimes so short-sighted that we only focus on ourselves. You may feel devastated when you break up for the first time. However, you can always find ways to comfort your friends when the same thing happens to them.
Getting along with negative emotions is not that difficult. It requires us to observe ourselves from a bystander’s view. If you see your life from a bigger picture, you may find that there is still a stable blue sky behind the emotional clouds.
I was worried about the growth of flomo the other day. I have done loads of things, which had no feedback at all. Out of the anxiety, I started to do more, looking forward to feedback. However, it brought a vicious circle. The more things I did without feedback, the more anxious I was. And then reaching a tipping point, I became interested in nothing.
In a morning, I opened WeChat and saw tons of red dots. I didn’t want to tap them at all, so I decided to take a walk near my home. I kept asking myself why I didn’t want to tap them, and then I wrote down my thoughts.
This is a surprising observation. I understood that the sense of failure and arrogance was gripping me. Each time when I ask for help, there is a chance of being refused. So I started to avoid business cooperation. Ridiculously, such a feeling of refusal was not triggered by the current cooperation. Years ago, I had ever submitted my resume to a lot of corporates, most of which turned me down. The avoidance I acquired was still influencing me. I just didn’t realize it.
But while walking, it suddenly happened to me that I didn’t need to be so worried. I have a lot of companions and users. The things I did were not wrong. There was no feedback temporarily. The cooperation I communicated the other day is now prospecting.
When I have no idea where to go, why not take a pause? So I write down another one.
After finishing these cards, I felt so relieved. I stopped sitting there and waiting for feedback, and I started another user research, trying to make myself focused.
Different from the traditional diary, writing cards on flomo is a conversation with yourself. You are creating a space for you to slow down and observe yourself from another perspective. When the hidden emotions are observed, they can be reassured, and the solutions might emerge naturally. Sometimes, you don’t need a solution at all. Your emotions may be dealt with simply by being observed.
We may not have so many opportunities to communicate with ourselves in daily life. There are a lot of higher priorities such as taking care of kids, working, throwing a party, or traveling. We are so busy working and playing that we can easily give up time with ourselves.
In Müdigkeitsgesellschaft written by Byung-Chul Han, he pointed out that being busy could not generate something new but only repeat something already existing. Sparing no efforts to pursue effectiveness will block our hearts. The inner battle could not be solved by simply increasing or decreasing our working effectiveness. We need a few pauses to listen to ourselves.
Besides, we can’t keep a diary mostly because we lack a system, a rule, and a ritual to do so. There is a tag on my flomo #ExamineMyself, which I use in several scenarios.
- Normally I will have one or two times being alone at night (about half an hour each time). I will check my recent condition and make sure I keep it consistently.
- If I experience some strong emotions, no matter they are positive or negative, I will try to calm down and write down the emotions and sensations. I won’t make any decisions before I finish writing them down.
- Each time when I pick up the phone and see the MEMOs under this tag on the widget, I will write down my thoughts if there is anything new.
- I will spend one or two hours reviewing the MEMOs under this tag every month. I will pay attention to those things making me feel happy or sentimental without any judgments.
Besides the routine, I also require myself to avoid these characteristics:
Dishonest: It is easy to cheat yourself. When I reviewed the previous MEMOs, I could find myself blaming others, or feeling unfair. But from today’s perspective, I just refused to admit that it was my fault. One should be honest with himself or herself no matter what the environment is. Being honest is not being stubborn. It is an attitude of knowing what the idea in the bottom of my heart. Recognize, accept, and act. If you are not honest with yourself, the emotions will hide in your heart, which may later cause conflicts with others.
Judgments: There was a time when I liked to grade my diary. Since the scores of my diary went down, I felt so shameful and stopped writing it. But now I understand that it is meaningless to judge myself. Because each time when I make a judgment, there is a certain situation. When we feel cold, fire is good to us. While we are burned, then fire is harmful. But fire remains to be the same. It is our hearts changing.
No observation: Habits are powerful. If you want to avoid a habit, the first thing to do is to observe. When you treat something as a problem, it makes you short-sighted. But when you treat the same thing as “existence is reasonable”, then your view might be broader. Take climbing mountains as an example, if you treat the winding path ahead as a problem, then all of your attention might be paid to finding a flat path. While if you reckon the winding path is only an objective situation rather than a problem, you may start to enjoy the scenery along the way.
So each time when I realize my emotions, I will pick up my phone and write down a few cards, which allow me to capture my true self instead of spreading my emotions to others.
Your diary is somehow a mental copy of life river. When you constantly observe the flow of this river, you can know where it goes.
I thought not so many people use flomo to record their emotions. However, I received feedback that inspired me to write down this article.
Dr. Deng Xiuling, a medical Ph.D. from Heidelberg University, pointed out that:
“I always suggest my visitors write down their feelings, sensations, thoughts on a certain event on flomo. This is a method of materializing details advocated not only by CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy) but by all therapists. They should write down their thoughts on flomo as well. Normally, there are four basic emotions: happy, angry, sad, and terrified. Observe them without judgment. This is mindfulness. The more you write down, the more possible you see a change.
Huang Yimen, another user of flomo, also sent his appreciation.
“At dusk on October 30th, which was my birthday, I received a Daily Review MEMO of June 30th. At that time, something happened to me. It felt like I was caught in the rain, or I was drowning in a dark blue ocean. I was at a loss. Four months passed, and I was relieved. It was a fresh moment when I could surface for air. This MEMO was a rope I threw to my future self for help. I knew after a few moments, I would enjoy the breeze on the mountain and get rid of the restlessness at this time. This Daily Review is somehow a certificate for these four months, dropping to my arms. The linear time may make us short-sighted, believing that the present emotion may remain. While Daily Review breaks such an illusion and sent me my growth by a time capsule. Thanks!
I also like to recommend a few books, which accompany me through those ups and downs. I hope they could offer some help to you in the pursuit of inner peace.