27 Feb 2021


You must be well aware of the concept of "Burn Book" if you have seen the famous Hollywood movie "Mean Girl". It’s a secret notebook in which someone writes their weirdest and most honest thoughts, opinions, feelings, emotions, and incidents. These days "Burn Books" are becoming very popular as a part of mental health therapy.

Here I am giving you an idea of your personalized burn book for building EMOTIONAL AWARENESS.

Emotional awareness means to be aware of what someone is feeling. People growing up or living in dysfunctional families have a severe issue with identifying their feelings as it is a norm in dysfunctional families to "not feel" what you "are feeling" because the feelings and emotions prevailing in dysfunctional or abusive households are too painful to acknowledge and also portray a bad image of the family.

We need to be mindful of our own emotions so that we can understand ourselves and our relationship with others. Every emotion is there for a reason. If we are not mindful of them then we may react inappropriately to it. However, if we are able to recognize them then we can respond to them and facilitate their existence in our life making it a compliment rather than a disturbing agent.

Some emotions are strong and difficult to face, therefore when left unattended or unrecognize can cause havoc to our life and relationships.

Here is an exercise that can be done on regular basis to increase your emotional awareness of yourself. Do this exercise in the diary and keep it secured with a lock and key until it is full. Then burn it. If it's not safe for you to keep the diary then do this exercise every time on paper and then burn them immediately. Just be safe. This writing is meant for you to read and nobody else.

To make it clear, emotion is a complex chain of loosely connected events that begins with a stimulus and includes feelings, psychological changes, impulses to action, and specific goal-directed behavior. Whereas feeling is a person's private emotional experience or self-perception of a specific emotion

So, whenever you feel a strong surge of emotions, write down the answers to these questions in as much detail as you can to get clarity about emotional experiences.

Q1. What is this feeling? (Try to identify and name the feeling. Three types of feelings are pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral)

Q2. What is this feeling telling me about this situation?

Q3. Why is this feeling happening now?

Q4. What are the automatic physical changes that are happening in my body in reaction to this emotion?

Q5. How am I expressing my emotions through body movements, posture, tone of voice, etc?

Every time you answer these questions you get an insight into what's going on in your conscious and subconscious and how the particular situation is affecting you. Becoming aware of one's emotions helps in positive adjustment and decreases stress. It also helps in establishing and maintaining meaningful relations because of awareness about personal and social life. It also helps an individual transition from one stage of growth to another.

Keep writing, keep healing, keep evolving.

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