Frustration, annoyance, rage — there’s a writing exercise for stress of every kind. The kind where you need to get things done but are so upset that you just want to scream, or curl up into a ball and hide? Here’s an idea for that and it includes your best friend.
Let’s just be honest: feelings aren’t evil and they’re not here to make you suffer. They’re part of this built-in navigation system. It’s safe to give yourself permission to feel your feelings — they’re signaling what’s working and, in the case of this post, what’s not working.
If you’re having a bad day (or a bad week) and something's just... bothering you, keeping you from moving forward, try this: pretend you’re telling your best friend how to handle the situation.
Try this exercise to turn a bad day (or week) around:
- Imagine you're talking to your best friend. If they were going through exactly what you’re going through right now, what kinds of things would you say to them? What next step would you advise them to take?
- Pretend you’re now that best friend, saying those same or similar things to yourself.
- Get out a piece of paper and a pen or a computer and write a letter channeling your best friend: written from their perspective, offering you advice on what to do next in your situation.
If you're in a funk, pretend your best friend is in the same funk. What would you say to them? Say those things to yourself.
Here’s my sample letter from my best friend to me, written by me (and even though she didn’t know about it, her advice really helped me).
Best friends have a way of making things better.
Think like your best friend. Then be that best friend to yourself.
A Writing Exercise for Stress Relief: My Sample Letter That I Wrote to Myself, “from” My Best Friend
That’s really frustrating. I’m so sorry you’re having such a rough time with this project — I feel like you’ve worked so hard already!
I love you.
Are you by the lake today? Maybe you can go wash it all off. I don’t need to tell you how healing that is. You know.
Do some more yoga. Shake it off. Sweat is good for the soul too.
I know you can do this. I’ve seen you get through so much worse — that doesn’t make this any less frustrating, I know, but I know you can do this. If anybody can, it’s you!
Just get all the ick out of your system before you work on anything and when you do, it’ll probably be a million times easier.
Remember the line? “Just add love.”
When you’re finished, let me know and we can sneak out of the house and celebrate with a drink.
Love you forever and ever, my person.
. . .
If your best friend was going through what you’re going through, what would you say to them?
Tell me in the comments. I ready every single one, and I'd love to know!
Be a best friend to yourself.
P.S. Tell yourself the things you need to hear, every day. Get my book Morning Affirmations for light first thing. Get my book Sleep Affirmations for peace right when you need it most, so you can get some rest.