There is significant power in writing stuff down. It sounds simple but organising your busy thoughts on paper can help you to understand them and comprehend feelings that you might not have been able to put your finger on before.
When you write things down in a journal or on your laptop, you focus solely on those words and therefore get a clearer picture of what it is that you’re feeling.
Writing a letter to yourself is a great opportunity to send a clear and thoughtful message to your future self, that you can return to when you’re feeling confused or low. It’s also an effective way of giving yourself some reassurance that things get better when you are doubting your progress or feeling ‘stuck’- it will feel true, authentic and hopeful when it comes from yourself.
It might feel a little strange at first writing a letter to yourself, so here are some useful pointers to help start your paragraphs:
(Tip: it might be helpful to write in the third person, studies show talking to yourself in the third person can calm us. E.g Dear Alice…).
Focus on a positive goal you want to achieve:
“Something that you really enjoyed doing this year and would like to do more of next year is …. You will do this by….”
Tell your future self how proud you are!
“I am proud of you for … “
Give yourself some self-love
“I love the way you…./ I think it’s really cool that you… “
Remind yourself what makes you feel good
“You feel at your best when…/This hobby or practise makes me feel good about myself…”
You can also prompt yourself by asking yourself thoughtful questions. Here are a few to start you off:
- What helps you get out of bed in the morning?
- What is your favourite way to spend the day?
- What’s on your reading list?
- What are you most grateful for at the moment?
- Who do you look up to?
- What are you really good at?
- What’s the greatest gift you could give to your future self?
There are plenty of websites you can use to send a letter to yourself. The one we recommend is Future Me as you can choose a particular date you’d like to receive the letter on. Many users say it helped them realise long and short term goals and to let go of emotions that were holding them back.
Credit: Charly Brown