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How To Use Storytelling To Process Your Negative Emotions

by Fausat Abiola
How To Use Storytelling To Process Your Negative Emotions

Dealing with negative emotions is a part of our experiences as humans.

Particularly for writers, dealing with negative emotions such as anxiety, stress, doubt, or frustration, destabilizes us mentally and emotionally, which causes a shift in our creative productivity.

These feelings are inescapable because we live in an imperfect world, and there’ll come a time in your writing career when you’ll have to deal with one or a confluence of these negative feelings.

What Are Negative Emotions?

Negative emotions are unpleasant or uncomfortable feelings, such as anger, sadness, frustration, worry, guilt, shame, or despair that wreck our minds apart.

Personal experiences, disputes, or difficult situations might trigger these emotions in your life and affect your self-care and your mental and emotional well-being.

Common Cause Of Negative Emotions For Writers May Include-

Life Events

Personal experiences, such as losing a loved one, a breakup, a conflict, or a traumatic experience, can trigger negative emotions.

Creative Struggles

When your writing plan doesn’t follow through, or there’s a gap in your goals or expectations, it’s natural to feel frustrated, anxious, or disappointed.


Receiving rejection from publishers, agents, or readers can lead to feelings of disappointment and frustration.

Comparison To Others

It’s easy to compare yourself as a writer, especially a budding one, to others.

Comparing yourself to other successful writers or feeling envious of their success can lead to feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt.

Internal pressure

Putting pressure on yourself to complete a project on time or to a certain standard may lead to experiencing tension and anxiety.

How To Use Storytelling To Process Your Negative Emotions

How To Deal With Negative Emotions

Dealing with or processing negative emotions is extremely difficult, especially for burgeoning writers.

It takes several layers of self-acceptance, conviction, self-motivation, and sheer will to push through these feelings, including harnessing the one key ingredients you’re blessed with.


You may not know it, but writing is therapeutic, and you can use it to process emotions — negative, positive, or uncertain feelings.

There are many ways writing can help engage with your feelings, especially when you harness the power of storytelling.

Telling your story in any form you choose, is a powerful tool for self-expression and processing your negative emotions.

It allows you to make sense of your experiences, gain insight into your thoughts and feelings, and connect with yourself on a deeper level.

How To Use Storytelling To Process Negative Emotions

As a writer, you can use soul-writing in storytelling to process your negative emotions and better understand your feelings.

Processing your negative emotions through storytelling provides you with a rich source of emotional material and even gives you insight into the human experience and the intricacies of the human predicament.

7 Tips On How To Use Storytelling To Process Your Negative Emotions-

Narrate Your Experience

Narrating your experience helps clarify your thoughts and feelings.

I know it’s sometimes hard to get vulnerable on paper, but writing gives you a chance to express yourself in a safe and controlled environment.

It creates room for you to reflect on your experiences from the perspective of your pain or negative feelings.

Countless times in my life, I have used storytelling to sort through my feelings, and each time, it has helped me much.

Whenever I do this, I ask myself three questions. As my feelings surface in response to these three questions, I find my feeling flowing more easily through my story.

I ask myself these questions: How do I feel? How do I want to feel? How do I manifest through affirmation, cleaner, and healthier feelings?

If there is any leftover stagnant energy, this last question helps to deal with it.

Transform Your Story

Once you have written or shared your story, consider transforming it into something positive.

This involves re-framing your negative experiences, focusing on the lessons learned, and writing a new ending that represents your desired outcome.

Give Your Emotions To A Character

This is ideal for you as a writer. You can create a character and allow him/her to manifest your current emotions.

You can also describe the character’s traits, expressions, and feelings to mirror yours. In this manner, you are personifying your current feelings and releasing them.

Personifying your negative emotions enables you to detach yourself and separate your mind from the sensation by letting go.

Join A Storytelling Community

Joining a storytelling community, such as a writing group or therapy group, provides you with a safe and accepting space to share your story and make connections with people who have had similar experiences.

Also, a community makes you feel safe discussing your feelings because they have comparable experiences and you can trust them to help you feel heard and understood.

They can also create a safe environment in which you can process your feelings and gain new insights.

Write About Your Personal Growth

Explore the positive sides of how you’ve grown because of your struggles by documenting your thoughts and feelings in writing.

Putting your thoughts on paper can help you gain perspective, find optimism, and strengthen your resolve for positivity.

Explore Different Emotions In Third Person Form

When writing about your negative emotions, try to be specific about what you’re feeling. Write about anger, sadness, frustration, or any other relevant emotion.

This helps you get a better handle on your feelings and gives you a clearer picture of what you’re going through. There is a catch. You should do it in the third person.

By doing this, you detach yourself from your feelings and allow them to fill the space you are not a part of, as therapy.

Use Storytelling In Therapy

Therapy provides a safe and confidential space for you to explore your emotions and work through any negative experiences.

Agreeing to see a therapist helps you gain insight into your thoughts and feelings, and to develop new coping strategies for dealing with your negative emotions.


It’s important to note that you are different and your triggers are different, and so are your processes.

Not every tip listed here may help you effectively process your emotions, but some of them may be the right outlet for you.

By using storytelling to process your negative emotions, you can find a healthy outlet for your feelings and develop a deeper understanding of yourself.


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