I have been thinking and working a lot with productivity lately. One of the aspects of this learning process for me has been the benefits of externalization.
What I mean is this: I by nature keep everything inside. I let things root around in my head, create a life of their own, and become monsters that are way larger and more scary than they really should be.
Any good counselor or psychologist will do this. If you can get something written down on paper so that you can look at it with some level of objectivity, you can see it for what it is and not let the voices in your head make it into a monster.
This happens in the Psalms all the time. In Psalm 88, for example, the Psalmist is hurt and angry with God because he is near death and it appears like God has cast him away (v. 14). His words are hard and bitter, and they free him (and us) to be straight up with God and not afraid of the consequences. God is a God of mercy, not wrath.
So when something is eating at you, write it down. Tell someone else. Get it out of your head so that you can look at it for real. Take it to God in prayer. This process will be helpful to you, whether you are talking about the big things of life or the nagging thought that you need to call and make a dentist appointment.
Be at peace, friends. Let it out!
7 thoughts on “Getting it outside your head”
Way to demonstrate. And thanks for making your externalizations interesting and edifying for others to read.
That is helpful. I just go through the crazy times every once in awhile….but the things that go on in my head are a little nutty. I can't talk about it….until I am ready and that can take a few days. I think I could write it down….not it an email, though….somewhere you could look at it, ponder and then decide if you want it our there to share with some you love and trust. When I finally do talk about it usually helps GREATLY!
I was told talk about it, talk, talk, talk…it's not that they need to hear it but that you need to say it. I had good friends back home that realized that all the junk just needed to come out and then I'd get back to right thinking and I, in turn, let them talk and was their listening presence. It's much harder being a Pastor's wife in a small town. For years I didn't know who I could trust to talk to and have only found one person that I feel I can totally trust. We are friends of the heart and will remain close for the rest of my life but I hate burdening her (or my husband) with having to listen to me whine all the time. I journal more now. Not as effective, I think, but easier on the loved ones.
I drive my husband crazy with my need to talk a subject into the ground, and then talk about it some more. Perhaps I should try the journaling route more.
I've done both. Journaling is not enough. I ask for help, confess my struggles, and people's eyes glaze over and they shrug. Or they ignore me. That's not helpful. I have one or two people who actually understand what depression is like– go figure, they suffer from it themselves!