Angry e-mails? Put them in your notebook instead.

Angry e-mails? Put them in your notebook instead.

Don’t write e-mails when you’re angry, suggests AOL Consumer Adviser Regina Lewis (link). Count to ten and clear your head before firing off an angry response. This is especially true when dealing with customers, but it can be just as risky with coworkers and bosses.

That’s a great policy, but it doesn’t really help you manage your emotions. Where do you direct all that internal fury? Here’s a suggestion.

Instead of possibly alienating a customer or jeopardizing your career, open a blank Word document and start venting. Write out exactly what’s irritating you — but don’t send it. “Stream of consciousness” is fine. Busted grammar, misspellings and typos are par for the course. It’s not about “writing” — it’s about releasing your feelings. Just get it down on the page. It’s great therapy, and can be very revealing. You may discover stuff you didn’t know you were suppressing.

If you’re interested in exploring your feelings through writing, you should try doing “morning pages,” suggested by Julia Cameron in her excellent book, The Artist’s Way. Morning pages are three pages of writing, performed daily, about anything at all. Whatever is on (or in) your mind. It’s supposed to overcome your internal censor and make writing natural and habitual. It works!

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