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Author Topic: book/journal to get rid of negative thoughts/attitudes/habits  (Read 6219 times)
elahrairah
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« Topic Start: September 14, 2009, 06:48:46 pm »

i was wondering if anyone had suggestions/ideas or experience with using a book or journal as a way to record and then release negativity in ones self.  i would like a specific area in which to write negative attitudes/ideas/actions etc that i want to rid myself of.  my feeling is that this would be a specific book that would only contain things in it that i wanted to change or rid myself of.  my thinking is that i could write out the things i want to change, the behaviours that i dislike or need to change in myself and then perform a ritual or meditation using the book which would be a way to bring those issues to my attention and allow me to begin to change these things in myself and rid myself of the negative attitudes and ideas which are in the book.  any suggestions or precautions regarding this idea would be much appreciated.

elah
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« Reply #1: September 14, 2009, 06:54:26 pm »

i was wondering if anyone had suggestions/ideas or experience with using a book or journal as a way to record and then release negativity in ones self.  i would like a specific area in which to write negative attitudes/ideas/actions etc that i want to rid myself of.  my feeling is that this would be a specific book that would only contain things in it that i wanted to change or rid myself of.  my thinking is that i could write out the things i want to change, the behaviours that i dislike or need to change in myself and then perform a ritual or meditation using the book which would be a way to bring those issues to my attention and allow me to begin to change these things in myself and rid myself of the negative attitudes and ideas which are in the book.  any suggestions or precautions regarding this idea would be much appreciated.

elah

From a psychology perspective - make sure you're not *rehearsing* your issues when writing them down.

There's apparently two ways people respond to doing this, depending on the person - sometime's it's a way to purge.  Sometimes you just end up rehearsing your anger (or whatever) over and over, and end up BUILDING it.

I don't have specific advice on how to deal with that, but I would try to talk to someone - maybe a therapist, or someone that just knows more about the subject, to make sure you're not just going to make it worse.
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« Reply #2: September 14, 2009, 08:25:46 pm »


I think that it can be very therapeutic for you. It is for me. I write down negative experiences, and things that I want to change about myself.  Then I try to work on them one at a time (change doesn't happen overnight) and I find that having them written down helps me focus on working on them better. I often go back when I resolve an issue and write on how I worked to change it and how I feel about the outcome. I don't do a ritual, but I do take and burn the pages after I feel that I can close the issue. It doesn't matter how big or small or even what the issue is, I find this very helpful. It helps me relieve stress and bring issues to a close. I hope this helps some.
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« Reply #3: September 15, 2009, 02:14:18 pm »

When I write down things to get rid of... I *BURN* them afterwards. For me anyway, keeping a record of negative influences would be a waste-of-space. I find that when I keep an object that has a negative connotation for me... When I re-discover it, I feel thoes negative feelings. If I need a *reminder* if I'm trying to change a habit, then I might leave myself a reminder of what I *want* to do. It could even be a note on the mirror I look at every day.

I Suggest you try something and see if it works for you, if it doens't work, try something else.
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elahrairah
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« Reply #4: September 16, 2009, 04:17:32 pm »

From a psychology perspective - make sure you're not *rehearsing* your issues when writing them down.

There's apparently two ways people respond to doing this, depending on the person - sometime's it's a way to purge.  Sometimes you just end up rehearsing your anger (or whatever) over and over, and end up BUILDING it.

that's a very good thing for me to keep in mind.  i will be sure to be aware of how i'm feeling while i'm writing things down and decipher whether it is making things worse or better.

When I write down things to get rid of... I *BURN* them afterwards. For me anyway, keeping a record of negative influences would be a waste-of-space. I find that when I keep an object that has a negative connotation for me... When I re-discover it, I feel thoes negative feelings. If I need a *reminder* if I'm trying to change a habit, then I might leave myself a reminder of what I *want* to do. It could even be a note on the mirror I look at every day.

I Suggest you try something and see if it works for you, if it doens't work, try something else.

i agree, this is what i had in mind when i was considering this idea.  i don't want to keep the ideas around but at the same time i want to write them down so i have something tangible to look at and then destroy so i can symbolically rid myself of those negative ideas.

thank you all for your comments and suggestions.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2009, 04:19:52 pm by elahrairah » Logged
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« Reply #5: September 19, 2009, 12:36:09 am »

I liked Browen"s reply. Writting can be a very objective way of looking at and understanding ourselves.  Negativity, unfortunately has a way of creeping in but once you understand the source it can be controlled.  A journal gives you the opportunity to compare incidences once you start trying to control it.  Keep your writting as long as you need to refer to it and then burn the pages that you no longer need.
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« Reply #6: September 19, 2009, 05:58:54 am »



Hi shadowolf

Please remeber that you have to quote the post you are replying to, so that there is  a link back. It lets people catch up on the thread of conversation you are following more easily (for example - i didn't know which reply you were refering to without re-reading the entire thread.)

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« Reply #7: September 19, 2009, 06:12:53 am »

I liked Browen"s reply. Writting can be a very objective way of looking at and understanding ourselves.

On the contrary, writing is still subjective.  That doesn't make it without value, but it isn't objective.
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« Reply #8: September 19, 2009, 10:08:10 am »

i was wondering if anyone had suggestions/ideas or experience with using a book or journal as a way to record and then release negativity in ones self.  i would like a specific area in which to write negative attitudes/ideas/actions etc that i want to rid myself of.  my feeling is that this would be a specific book that would only contain things in it that i wanted to change or rid myself of.  
elah

I agree with Heartshadow.....you do need to be careful that you're not reinforcing the very thoughts, behaviors, etc. that you're trying to change.   I suspect it all boils down to intention and perhaps the ritual of writing down what you would like to change and then burning it  would work.  If I were doing it this way, I would write down only one item, burn it, and then list precisely what I'd need to do to manifest this change, spending considerable time visualizing myself w/the changed behaviors.  (It might be this list of changes I would journal as a sort of checklist).  Then I'd begin implementing those changes.  I wouldn't try to change everything at once, for--IMO--trying to change many things swiftly dooms one to failure.    Good luck...changing ourselves is the hardest thing to do, but it is doable.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2009, 10:25:49 am by silvercrone » Logged
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« Reply #9: September 20, 2009, 05:48:53 pm »

I agree with Heartshadow.....you do need to be careful that you're not reinforcing the very thoughts, behaviors, etc. that you're trying to change.   I suspect it all boils down to intention and perhaps the ritual of writing down what you would like to change and then burning it  would work.  If I were doing it this way, I would write down only one item, burn it, and then list precisely what I'd need to do to manifest this change, spending considerable time visualizing myself w/the changed behaviors.  (It might be this list of changes I would journal as a sort of checklist).  Then I'd begin implementing those changes.  I wouldn't try to change everything at once, for--IMO--trying to change many things swiftly dooms one to failure.    Good luck...changing ourselves is the hardest thing to do, but it is doable.

I think this is a very good idea and would work well for me.  When I came up with this idea my intention was to have a way of making the things I wanted to change about myself tangible so I could physically get rid of them; which I felt would help me start on the journey to actually getting rid of them.  I really like the idea of writing a plan on how to get rid of the negativity once I've already identified it.  Thank you also, for the reminder on not trying to change too much at once.  I have a tendency to do that and then get overwhelmed and chuck the whole idea when, instead, I should be practicing patience and diligence and focusing on one issue at a time.

Thank you all for the insights.

elah
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« Reply #10: September 21, 2009, 05:14:29 pm »

I'm going to add another bit of advice.  It's possible you won't like it very much, but it's been itching at me since you started the thread.

I see the word "negativity" a lot in Pagandom, usually used very loosely and vaguely, and often with an implication that anything that makes the person using the word uncomfortable is Really Bad.  As a result, I get a bit growly whenever I see the word.

Give some thought to just what it is you want to change.  Something that's a personal characteristic isn't something you can just banish.  Take, for example, stubbornness - I heard a lot, when I was a kid, a teen, and a young adult, about how I was too stubborn (which is why I'm using it as an example; I know the territory well).  But stubbornness isn't just a "bad" trait; it can be useful.  Sometimes, what people meant was that I was applying my stubbornness in unproductive ways (and they were right, I was); other times, what they meant was that I wasn't complying with what they wanted - so, from their viewpoint, my stubbornness was a negative trait, but from my viewpoint, it was a positive trait, as it helped keep me from being pushed around for others' convenience.

So, often, it's not about getting rid of a trait - which is usually unsuccessful, but if successful could be very detrimental - but about changing behavior, how you apply the trait.  I'd suggest that one of the things you do in this process be to consider both what's negative and what's positive about anything you're thinking of getting rid of; it may be that it's not that thing itself, but how it affects your behavior, that you need to change.

Also, I'm wondering - based on some of the phrasings in this thread, not all of which are yours so I could be a bit off-base - if you're talking about "negativity" in a different sense:  to refer to low self-esteem, feelings of hopelessness, negative self-talk, etc.  If that's the case, it could be an indication of a deeper problem.  The kind of "magical" (quotes because some people wouldn't consider it to count as magic at all, though I do) work you propose with the journalling idea can be useful for kickstarting, and reinforcing, your sense of being able to rise above that, but magic (of whatever sort) won't just make it go away.  If that's the issue, it'll probably take quite a long time, and a lot of work, to root it out (and could, depending just what's involved, benefit from professional assistance).

Sunflower
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« Reply #11: September 21, 2009, 08:48:19 pm »

I'm going to add another bit of advice.  It's possible you won't like it very much, but it's been itching at me since you started the thread.

I see the word "negativity" a lot in Pagandom, usually used very loosely and vaguely, and often with an implication that anything that makes the person using the word uncomfortable is Really Bad.  As a result, I get a bit growly whenever I see the word.

Give some thought to just what it is you want to change.  Something that's a personal characteristic isn't something you can just banish.  Take, for example, stubbornness - I heard a lot, when I was a kid, a teen, and a young adult, about how I was too stubborn (which is why I'm using it as an example; I know the territory well).  But stubbornness isn't just a "bad" trait; it can be useful.  Sometimes, what people meant was that I was applying my stubbornness in unproductive ways (and they were right, I was); other times, what they meant was that I wasn't complying with what they wanted - so, from their viewpoint, my stubbornness was a negative trait, but from my viewpoint, it was a positive trait, as it helped keep me from being pushed around for others' convenience.

So, often, it's not about getting rid of a trait - which is usually unsuccessful, but if successful could be very detrimental - but about changing behavior, how you apply the trait.  I'd suggest that one of the things you do in this process be to consider both what's negative and what's positive about anything you're thinking of getting rid of; it may be that it's not that thing itself, but how it affects your behavior, that you need to change.

Also, I'm wondering - based on some of the phrasings in this thread, not all of which are yours so I could be a bit off-base - if you're talking about "negativity" in a different sense:  to refer to low self-esteem, feelings of hopelessness, negative self-talk, etc.  If that's the case, it could be an indication of a deeper problem.  The kind of "magical" (quotes because some people wouldn't consider it to count as magic at all, though I do) work you propose with the journalling idea can be useful for kickstarting, and reinforcing, your sense of being able to rise above that, but magic (of whatever sort) won't just make it go away.  If that's the issue, it'll probably take quite a long time, and a lot of work, to root it out (and could, depending just what's involved, benefit from professional assistance).

Sunflower

thank you very much for this advice.  you are spot on in regard to both uses of the word "negativity", at least for myself.  there are traits about myself which i do not like and would like to change, but i agree very much with what you've said, that these traits may not be bad and that i should take the positive aspect of these traits into consideration as well.  instead i should look at behaviours rather than traits.  this is a very good reminder for me because i do tend to look at the negative and not the positive, especially with regard to myself.  which brings me to the "negativity" as in low-self esteem etc.  and those types of things are also what i would like to work on as well.  i know that professional assistance is ultimately what would benefit me most is regards to many of these issues, but unfortunately money is a major factor for me and therefore professional help is out for now.  i have had professional help in the past, and will again, once i'm back on me feet financially speaking.  however, until that time i know that the issues i started working on while in therapy need my continued attention and i wanted an avenue to focus my energy and attention more efficiently.

i'm not looking for a quick solution to my issues but rather a way to focus my time and energy and a way to symbolically mark my efforts to make the changes i need to in these areas that incorporates my beliefs and spirituality; because i'll need all the help i can get. Smiley

thank you all again for your advice.  i value very much the wisdom and opinions of the people here and i am thankful that whenever i make a post asking a question that i will receive thoughtful and objective answers.
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« Reply #12: September 22, 2009, 05:22:07 pm »

i was wondering if anyone had suggestions/ideas or experience with using a book or journal as a way to record and then release negativity in ones self.  i would like a specific area in which to write negative attitudes/ideas/actions etc that i want to rid myself of.  my feeling is that this would be a specific book that would only contain things in it that i wanted to change or rid myself of.  my thinking is that i could write out the things i want to change, the behaviours that i dislike or need to change in myself and then perform a ritual or meditation using the book which would be a way to bring those issues to my attention and allow me to begin to change these things in myself and rid myself of the negative attitudes and ideas which are in the book.  any suggestions or precautions regarding this idea would be much appreciated.

Well, I'm not entirely sure about the idea of making a journal full of nasty things you don't like about yourself, but I DO think writing can be an excellent tool for self examination and improvement. As Sunflower suggested, keepinmg track of both positive and negative can be really useful. And writing can feel really safe - you don't have to show it to anyone, you can spew out whatever you want to on the page. 'Negative' thoughts are not easily banished, and personally I think that sometimes we need to really look at why we feel so badly about certain subjects instead of just trying to get rid of what makes us uncomfortable. Understanding the why can sometimes help us shift our behaviour.

Making the decision to change our behaviour certainly can be helped along with accompanying rituals, but I think the writing process might be best suited to helping you to figure out what exactly - if anything - it is that you want to change. It helps pin down specifics.

I'm not the world's greatest writer, and my journaling is sadly neglected these days, but when I was eighteen my father gave me two books. One was Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg, and the other was The Right to Write by Julia Cameron. If you have the time, you might want to check them out at the library as they are far more eloquent than I am when dealing with the subject of writing and how it can help a person. The latter has, if I recall correctly, exercises especially suitable to journal writing.
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