I recently read an interesting article by Sarah Gaynes Levy “Learning to Love Yourself” Good Housekeeping July/August.

Ok- I’ll cut to the chase: the article was about how to love yourself.

Finer point- How do you learn to love yourself?

The suggestions in this article are simple. You need a journal and three different color pens. For my experiment I’m going with the two pen/two color method.

Say something is bothering you or you have a negative thought. In your journal you might write in BLUE:

“I stink at blogging”

in another color you would give a different spin,

RED- blogging isn’t about how well you write, it’s about getting something onto the page

you can let then say something else that is bothering you about blogging

BLUE- nothing happens in my life that is worth blogging about

RED- there is something to be learned in everything that we do. If you want to blog, just do it. The results might surprise you

Do you think this practice has any merit?

Do you think that changing your pen color to represent positive and negative emotions can really help you?

Pandemic has brought out the best and worst in people. I was texting my sister last night and she said that she has had way more time to focus on the past things in her life (especially the bad ones) and I think that many of us can understand exactly what my sister is saying. It’s very easy to be negative right now. It’s an easy trip down regret highway.

Is journaling the bad and the good, and being able to distinguish both sides, good for our mental health?

In theory, it’s like the whole look at the positive thing that the relentless positivity police have going on.

Look at how the glass is half full….

make lemonade…

remember, you could be dead…

Should we always try to balance out our negative thoughts with positive ones?


Should we allow ourselves an occasional pity party?

How introspective do we need to be?

Is it OK to be in a bad mood, or must we analyze it?

Is it healthier to admit that 2020 is a four letter word, or should we be trying to find that silver lining?


59 thoughts on “Change your Stripes

  1. Love the pens with different colors (where do you get them anymore??) Really don’t like the multi-colored journaling idea.. Way too much daily toothpaste on our bathroom mirror to indulge in that much introspection if you know what I mean..haha!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like this idea. A children’s therapist I know uses colour like this. She lets the child choose the colour to represent the emotions. Very clever.

    I think I may do this. I am currently in an extended pity party and could use the diversion.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I really like the idea particularly for a newbie in the world of journaling. Mine would end up in a rainbow mess but I would definitely have some fun. I think the color accentuates the stinkin’ thinkin’ which is great.

    I have really been working on my self-talk and being kinder to myself. Part of that process is not to dwell too much on the past because oftentimes what’s done is done with no opportunity for a do-over. When that’s the case, I try to absorb the lesson and move on. Great post!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I thought it was odd that I had this conversation with my sister last night knowing I was going to write this post today. In hindsight I should have suggested it to her

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t know. Sometimes I think we just need to wallow in self pity for a while and get it out. That’s not to say there isn’t always a positive side to consider. But sometimes you just need to let yourself feel bad before you can move on. Staying busy and finding some purpose helps. It’s when you’re not that the doubts creep in. Or maybe the doubts come first, making it tough to find a purpose. I’m back to I don’t know.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I just journal in whatever color appeals to me. Never thought about using different colors. Maybe I’ll try it. Although I am a pen whore, I have bought alot of fun.pens and markers for my drawing. Maybe I’ll try a fun fine tip marker or maybe I’ll draw my journal today. ❤😊

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I use the multicolor pen system all the time. Even in things like my work calendar and especially in my planners and journals. It most definitely is okay and normal to experience some negative feelings once in a while. That’s real life. But writing it down and sitting with it for a while helps to bring it into perspective. Definitely good for your mental health. Plus, the pages look pretty with the different colors 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Multi colour pens are a fun addition to journaling.
    My way to deal with a dark cloud or a need to check my attitude involves going outside. As I walk I pray out loud and that is in the form of a discussion, unless there is someone close by, and I find generally that my discussion circles around back to what I am grateful for. Nothing is fixed but I am seeing better, and my heart is lighter.
    I try to keep journals or a record to encourage exercise or to record thoughts that I want to return to and possibly blog about.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Nothing wrong with a pity party, just as long as you give it a time limit. I have pity parties, I invite myself to them with a start and end time. Yesterday I was having a really bad time, so I allowed myself from 2pm until 10am this morning to feel sorry for myself, then at 10am this morning, it was a case of OK you have had long enough, now get on with it.

    It drives me mad when all I want is to be a little bit down and have a feel sorry for myself hour or too to be told by some cheery sole to cheery up it can’t be that bad. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I think the idea of using different color pens could help one visually in organizing their thoughts but, to me, the most important aspect is to consciously balance our negative thoughts with positive. What we focus on will become what we start noticing all around us. If we sit around and watch the news, we’ll think our world is an absolute disaster (and parts of it may be) but if we start talking to people, we’ll see all of the good hearted people out there who are full of love and encouragement and humor. Life tends to be happier when we focus on the positive.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. You know, we are all only human and cannot be happy or joyful all the time. That’s just not realistic. Yes, I prefer to be positive. What helps me most is trying to find something to be grateful for in any given situation – and often that takes time – sometimes a lot of time! I don’t think we need to analyze every single emotion – that’s just crazy-making. In the end all that matters is that we try to be as kind and compassionate as possible and to forgive ourselves for those times when we are not.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I suppose this depends on the person and how far they would take it. I have never thought wallowing in self-pity or going over and over the wrongs of the time, but others can do this for almost a specified time and move on. I have always felt that once you write something down it cements in your brain, hence all the note taking in school so maybe writing down positive spins helps.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m of the mindset that you need to give yourself time to feel all of your emotions to then be able to get past them and move on. Sometimes this is so much easier said than done, but I just don’t see that it’s healthy to try and push off what you are feeling. At the same time, you do need to be able to take the time to see the positive things as well. It is like so many other things and it is a balancing act. I’ve been around those that simply cannot see the good things around them and only wallow in the bad or the negative and it is a horrible way to live. I’m all about feeling what you feel, acknowledging it and trying to move forward while also taking the time to appreciate the good and the beauty.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Balance is key. It’s ok if you can name your feelings, but to push aside the bad ones isn’t healthy either. And sometimes introspection is necessary to get to the next stage, but often, introspection can be draining

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I think this post hits on something I believe wholeheartedly. Growth is not comfortable or convenient, and it’s not supposed to be. To grow, you gotta hit on things that are going to hit you back. And yanno what? That’s okay because it’s growth.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. When I’m down, or feeling blue, I just want you to stand next to me and shut up. I don’t want to look on the bright side, or smile to make you feel better. I just want simple presence and no judgement. C

    Liked by 2 people

  15. I don’t know if I’d find that helpful right now, but when I was young and deciding whether or not I could be a writer, I did do something similar. I made a list of all the reasons I thought I could write, and all the reasons I thought I couldn’t. The “could” list was much longer, and that helped.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. I have always been a very introspective person. I look at it as being honest with myself. With the pandemic, it’s gone to a deeper level and it’s been a great way to discover truth–good and bad about myself. Not everything that’s “negative” has to be countered with something positive. Sometimes we just need to own up to the not-so-good parts of ourselves.

    Liked by 2 people

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