How To Make An Emotions Diary, Step By Step And With Examples

How to make an emotions diary

Every day and every hour we feel emotions. Some positive, some negative, some intense, others milder and their duration also varies.

There is no doubt that people feel emotions, but do we know how to identify them? Are we aware that we feel them? Emotion diaries can help us be more aware of the feelings we experience throughout the day, in addition to recognizing what situations have triggered them and also allow us to reflect on what to do.

Next Let’s see some steps to learn how to make an emotions diary in addition to commenting on some advantages of this type of records and how useful they are for developing our emotional intelligence and artistic skills.

How to make an emotions diary and benefit from it?

We can define an emotional diary as any type of record we make in which we put how we feel each day or, also, noting only those days in which an emotion, positive or negative, has taken on a lot of importance because it is very intense. These types of diaries are widely used in psychotherapy to help the patient acquire better management of their feelings that is, develop more emotional intelligence, although it is recommended for anyone.

People don’t feel the same throughout the day. Our mood changes as the hours and days go by, with several factors influencing our emotions. The people we interact with, the situations we have to face and our own way of being make us manifest all types of emotions, all of them adaptive as long as they are within a healthy range and do not involve too high a level of alteration. for our daily lives.

Nevertheless, Living emotions is not the same as knowing how to detect and manage them It is very difficult to “analyze” an emotion at the moment it is experienced, but it is possible to do it more objectively once we have calmed down and seen it with the broadest possible perspective, this being the main objective of emotion diaries. . Being calm we can reflect on how we have felt, in what situation the emotion has appeared, what response we have made to the problematic situation and what we can do in the future to prevent it from being too intense or harmful.

Tips for making an emotional journal

An emotional diary can be made simply by writing down the emotions as we feel them on any piece of paper. It is enough to take a notebook and, in a schematic way, begin to manage our own emotions by writing them down in it. We can write down how we feel each day or simply do it in those in which the emotions have been very intense. The ideal is to write down each day, including both positive emotions, such as happiness, joy or euphoria, and negative ones, such as sadness, anger, anxiety or anger.

The way we record our emotions is quite free and is beneficial as long as it allows us to find some emotional pattern that is repeated and what emotions specific situations provoke in us, promoting the development of emotional intelligence There may be people who do well to write down how they felt in a very free way, although it must be said that disorder can be a bit chaotic and more than helping us manage our emotions and bringing us well-being, what it can do is make us feel frustrated. and overwhelmed.

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To get the most out of our emotions diary, it is advisable to follow the following points.

1. Use a notebook

To make a diary of emotions, it is best to use a paper notebook rather than using the notepad on your mobile phone or using a word processor on your PC. One of the reasons why a notebook is preferable to any other format is that it is easy to carry around and write in it whenever we feel inspired.

Furthermore, this diary is not only used for writing, since On many occasions, to clearly represent and explain how we feel, we need to make drawings, diagrams, diagrams, or even collages A physical notebook is a very format that allows us to interact with total artistic freedom, something that is directly related to emotions.

2. Choose a fixed time to write

As we have mentioned, there are those who prefer to write down how they have felt each day, while others prefer to do so only on those days in which an intense emotion has overwhelmed them, both good and bad. Although writing down in this diary is something that we can do at any time of the day, it is advisable to establish a fixed time each day to write down or, at least, review it.

A good idea is to write (or draw) in this journal at night, either right at the end of the day but not necessarily before going to sleep It is at that time when there is least chance of our mood changing, since little else is going to happen to us in the little that remains of the day. Furthermore, at night is the time when we tend to be calmest, with the nighttime hours being the most appropriate time to reflect on how we have felt throughout the day.

3. Use a grid

Although we can use any artistic resource to express and describe our emotions, It is appropriate that within this freedom we use a minimum of order and using a grid is a good way to achieve it This grid made with rows and columns can help us have a very precise outline of the emotional events that we have experienced throughout the day.

We can put several categories in each column: situation, thought, emotion, response and suggestions or alternatives to our response, as well as questions.

3.1. Situation

In “situation” we can what has happened to us during the day that has awakened a specific emotion in us We must be as specific as possible, specifying all kinds of details and people involved in the situation. It can also be a future situation that, although it has not happened to us yet, awakens emotions in us, both positive and negative. Some examples could be:

“Tomorrow I have an exam in which I risk 60% of the grade for a subject that is very difficult for me to understand.”

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“Today my colleague Caterina told me that I am totally useless at doing group work.”

“This summer I will go to Tenerife.”

3.2. Thoughts

In the “thoughts” column We will put the ideas that happened to us (or are happening to us) in our heads that are related to that situation These thoughts, if they are anticipatory of a situation that has not yet occurred, can be exaggerated, both catastrophic and overly optimistic. It is by writing them in the diary that we can detect whether or not they are realistic and proportionate to the situation:

“I’m going to fail the exam because I barely understand the subject and, even though I have studied a lot and gone to all the classes, I still don’t understand anything.”

“I think he made that comment to me because he doesn’t like me, because my part of the work is well done and the teacher gave us a good grade anyway.”

“Every day we are going to go to the beach in Tenerife, I am going to meet new people, I am going to get tanned and it is going to be an unforgettable vacation.”

3.3. Emotions

In the “emotions” part we put how we feel. It may seem like the easiest part, but curiously it is the most difficult. It is easy to know how to identify our thoughts, but not so much our emotions Specifying and labeling how we feel, explaining it in the best way with words is a real feat, plus we have to do considerable introspection and recognize emotions that perhaps we do not want to say that we feel:

“I’m very nervous, I’m going up the walls. I can’t concentrate because the idea that I’m going to fail is constantly in my head and it overwhelms me even more.”

“Even though I know that girl is not right, she made me feel very bad. I feel that I am worth absolutely nothing, that I cannot have good friends and that the few people I interact with are not capable of appreciating me for who I am.”

“I’m going to have a really good time. I’m going to be happier than ever. “Nothing is going to go wrong.”

3.4. Physical sensations

We can put a category for physical sensations, although they can also be described in the emotions column as a result of them We must specify if the sensations change or are permanent, if they make it impossible for us to do normal tasks or if they give us pleasure. Some of these sensations may be the following, all of which may be caused by both positive and negative emotions: tachycardia, sweating, rapid breathing, numbness, tremors…

3.5. Answer

We can analyze the behavior or response we have made to the situation, also seeing if it is appropriate or not for the type of context and emotion we have experienced:

“I am so overwhelmed that I am not able to study, which is bad because only by studying will I have a minimal chance of passing.”

“I have told her that she is totally useless at many other things, such as being able to read a paragraph out loud in class without getting confused.”

“I’ve started making plans to make sure everything goes well for the trip. I have found out if it is necessary for me to be vaccinated and if I cannot bring certain foods or vegetables to the island.”

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3.6. Suggestions

Finally, We can put what this emotion suggests to us or what alternative we can make to the response we have already made.

“I should calm down. I may not pass the exam but the best thing I can do is calm down now and try to see if the contents fit me. It is not worth being nervous in the exam because, if so, it is certain that I will not understand the questions and I will not be able to remember what I have studied.”

“The best thing I can do about her comments is ignore her. Surely she has some problem or she is on edge because something has happened to her. Since I’ve done my part well, I have no rational reason to feel bad about what she tells me. It is true that I would like to please everyone, but that is simply not possible and, sometimes, there are people who pick on others for the simple pleasure of it.”

“Although I am excited because I am going to travel to Tenerife, I should calm down a little and be proactive. It’s not putting yourself in the worst situation, but it is being a little realistic. Maybe if I go too happy and confident around the island they end up robbing me because I’m not watching my belongings or not keeping an eye on how expensive the restaurants, hotels and nightclubs are. I must have a good time, but with reason.”

Advantages of writing an emotional diary

There are many advantages of writing an emotions diary. When it comes to expressing how we have felt during the day, this type of diary allows us being aware of those emotions, what situations have triggered them, how we have behaved, how we have anticipated that they would get better or worse and, in addition, it allows us to reflect and find ways to better manage those feelings. In other words, it helps us develop our emotional intelligence and, consequently, brings us greater well-being.

For example, this type of diary It is perfect for people who have many obsessive thoughts, thoughts that can be very limiting when doing work or studying Through the diary of emotions and writing them down on the days or in the moments and contexts in which they occur, we can see what the triggers are that cause us to have these types of thoughts and, thus, put a stop to them by avoiding them or directly getting rid of them. they.

Emotions turned into art

Emotion diaries are not only a good tool to bring emotional well-being to our lives, but they are also an authentic exercise in self-knowledge and development of our artistic skills. As we have commented, There are those who prefer to explain their emotions through written text, but this does not mean that we write in a dry and cold way how we feel We can use metaphors, comparisons, say that emotions have colors and tones or describe them by saying that they evoke a certain melody or song.

However, if we are more visual people, the diary of emotions can be very useful for us to put many painting skills into practice. We can paint, draw, make diagrams, represent with abstract figures how we feel… The emotions diary It can be a true artistic work, a work of art made with our own lives, experiences, emotions, thoughts and feelings It is turning our emotions into art.