ASK COLETTE: Allergic to Gloom

Straight up with a chaser of truth and a pinch of cheeky! Here Zoomer guru Colette Baron-Reid on productive ways to work through challenges through journaling.


Dear Colette,

For years, I used journaling to sort out my feelings and work through my challenges. I stopped last year because I felt like all I did was use the pages to complain and worry. I miss the habit of writing but I want it to be more productive, without simply keeping a gratitude journal. Any suggestions?  —Allergic to Gloom


Dear Allergic to Gloom,

As you mentioned in your first sentence, journaling is a great way to put things in perspective and give order to the thoughts that are often swirling around in our minds.  I can also understand your desire to stop the complaining without missing out on a comforting habit.

What if you were to approach journaling as a way to learn from your experience, rather than just release your junk?  Let me explain.

As you sort through your emotions and write out your struggles, you generate a lot of trash – those thoughts and feelings that don’t serve your well-being but, instead, keep alive your negative beliefs and painful emotions from the past. It’s human nature to want to get out all of our anger, sadness and fear and speak our truth, however ugly it may be.

It’s important to let go of the harsh feelings and judgments and focus on what you have learned and how you’ve grown. Set an easy schedule for yourself, such as once a week or once a month to Dump the Garbage. As you read your journal entries, use a coloured highlighter to mark any passages that are “gems”: insights that have value and can serve you in the future.

If you keep a separate gratitude journal or, what I recommend in my Weight Loss for People Who Feel Too Much program, a Solutions and Insights journal, write about your insights and the treasure you’ve found in your lesson. This will help you track your real growth and progress, and you won’t feel like you are just hearing yourself complain.

As you reread what you wrote when you had negative thoughts and emotions, think about how much weight you gave them in the moment and how much they have right now.  Does it seem like a lot of drama about something minor? Did you invest emotional energy in a situation or a thought or emotion that you now see really wasn’t important?

Now, as you look at these passages, say aloud, I release these thoughts and feelings with love and compassion for myself and everyone. Imagine they are being taken to a garbage dump to fertilize something better.  Take a moment to feel a sense of relief at having dumped the garbage.

For more information about keeping a Solutions and Insights journal as well as a Dumping Ground journal, check out my book, Weight Loss for People Who Feel Too Much or sign up for my free Jump Start program.

Love and blessings,
Colette Baron-Reid
Intuitive Counselor

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