Archive for July 17th, 2009

On my blog entry entitled Other Forms of Free Association Writing, a reader posted the following comment:

hi faith, your blog is so helpful and i have learnt a lot from you. thank you. my comment today is this : if i wrote down all the thoughts and things said in my head i would be writing constantly – i cannot even comprehend how someone could write down all the noise in their head. maybe i am misinterpreting you ?? can you explain further please ? ~ Gracie

Gracie – I am sorry that you had to wait for me to get through my personal crisis to get your answer. :0)

My thoughts are constantly spinning as well. Through yoga and meditation, I have learned how to silence my inner chatter, although I confess that I am still not always very good at it, especially when I am under stress.

No, you do not need to write down every thought you ever have in your head. The idea is to set aside 10 or 15 minutes to access one thing in your subconscious that is brewing beneath the surface. For example, let’s say that you have been anxious but are not really sure why. If you do free association writing for a few minutes, you might wind up writing about what is really bothering you. It is a great way to get out feelings and emotions that you are having trouble purging.

I did this with my free association writing in this blog entry. I was feeling an enormous amount of anxiety for weeks. It took me about five minutes to type out those words from my subconscious. Once they were out, I knew what was bothering me and how to comfort myself. The next day, I felt much better.

In one of Dr. Phil’s books, he recommends writing down all of your internal chatter for one day so you can get an idea about how you talk to yourself (whether positively or negatively). While that exercise was insightful, I found it exhausting because my mind pretty much never shuts down. I about got a hand cramp trying to keep up!

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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