You made it to week 3! Please take a moment to thank yourself for showing up because that takes dedication and courage. We’re so glad to have you here again and hope you’re ready to take on this week’s journal prompt. Last week, you said goodbye to your eating disorder, negative thoughts and views of your body, and insecurities with food. You dared to recognize and acknowledge actions, thoughts, and behaviors that were no longer serving you through a written letter. The purpose of this was to make a conscious decision to label your enemy and commit to fighting back. You did this by honoring and releasing parts of yourself, so you feel ready to move forward. Know that this was a HUGE and important step in moving towards a healthier relationship with yourself, so be proud! This was not an easy task, and we know that even though you might have said goodbye, relapses may have occurred since the last prompt. THAT’S OKAY. Saying goodbye does not mean you can expect your actions, thoughts, and behaviors to change immediately. However, you’ve already done the work of committing yourself to change, which means you know you have the power to continually say, “Goodbye,” and give yourself permission to move forward from now on.
This week, you’ll be introduced to a coping skill that will help you identify negative thoughts, behaviors, and actions so you can start to make actual changes. I call this “THE BRAIN DUMP”. When we feel negative emotions, like sadness, anger, and stress, it can be hard to process them mentally. Often, instead of taking the time to identify our real needs and unpack our emotions, we take them out on ourselves through self-detrimental talk, restriction, or over-exercising. The brain dump is a tool to label and express your emotions in an attempt to prevent rumination and unhelpful behaviors. It gives you a chance to process emotions instead of pushing them away, learn your actual needs, and potentially put situations and emotions into perspective. By now, you’re probably eager to get started! Today, you‘ll be learning how to do this so you can add it to your toolbox for future use.
Prompt: Take a moment to think about how you’re currently feeling. Maybe you’re feeling stressed, sad, or angry. Maybe you’re not. Either feeling is okay. Now, write everything that comes to mind. Use as much space as you need to express any of these thoughts and feelings that have come to mind.
A few tips for this task:
Focus on labeling your emotions to the best of your ability (utilizing emotion word lists or charts can be useful)
See if you can determine where these emotions are originating from
Can you identify any needs that you would have to help “put down” or “let go” these emotions at the moment?
As you move forward, especially this next week, we hope that when you feel an urge or trigger, you can use a Brain Dump as a healthy way to release emotions and to slow down so you can listen to what your mind and body are telling you. Remember, your actual needs are worth fulfilling, and you deserve to treat yourself with kindness.