There are many different methods that you can use on your own to help in your treatment for hair and eyelash pulling. Every person is different, so methods will have differing results depending on the person, so we recommend you try different methods to see which one works for you.
Journaling is one of many methods to treat hair pulling
There are many methods such as visualization, journaling, and mediation. All of these methods have their merits, and the best option to stop hair pulling, in my opinion, is to have a mix of methods. Personally, I find keeping a journal extremely helpful activity. Not only did it help me while treating my trichotillomania, but I go back to it whenever I feel I need some clarity or control in my life. Something about getting ‘it’ out, on paper is extremely therapeutic.
Why use a journal for your trichotillomania
A journal is a first step to self-awareness. It will assist you in being in touch with both your mental and physical state and how it correlates to your hair or eyelash pulling.
Keeping a daily journal can be effective to pinpoint times when the urges to pull your hair out seem more frequent or intense. For example, you may find that these times are related to fluctuating hormone levels, or on days off when you are bored. If this is the case then you can prepare yourself for periods where you tend to be weaker. Forewarned is forearmed.
It can also be a powerful way to let go of pent up emotions and thoughts that can be hurting or blocking you. Anyone who has ever tried ‘The Artist’s Way’ by Julia Cameron (and I strongly recommend this if you are struggling to get more creativity in your life) knows that journaling can be a cathartic activity that opens up your soul.
Types of journals that are effective
There are different types of journals that you can keep, with different objectives.
- Keep a journal or a chart of your hair-pulling episodes. Through writing you can get a good idea of the times, the triggers, and the impact of your hair pulling. Record the date, time, location, and number of hairs you pull and what you used to pull them. Write down your thoughts or feelings when you pull as well. This is a good way of relieving yourself of the guilt and shame, and of expressing how the hair pulling is impacting your life in general. You will begin to identify your weak moments and mental states. By being more aware of these moments and feelings you will begin to master them. You may be surprised to see how much hair you have pulled or how much time you have spent doing so. You may also be surprised to find times that you pull that you were not aware of, or feelings that reoccur.
- You can also keep a ‘morning pages’ type of journal, where you set aside 20 minutes every morning to just write in a stream of consciousness. It doesn’t matter what you write, just keep writing without stopping. After you are done you can tear up the pages. This is a method to free your mind from concerns that are blocking you and allow you to heal freely.
How to use a journal for hair pulling
A journal can be used in many ways, and here I mention just some. However, as with any hair pulling treatment in general, this is a personal journey, so you will need to find what works best for you. There are no right or wrong ways to use a journal.
- Use a journal to express your emotions. Write out a list of the consequences you’ve experienced as a result of the hair pulling. It might include comments from people you have endured, having to go to great lengths with eyeliner or head coverings. It should also include the relationship consequences, such as not going on a date or to spending time with people because you’re afraid they will find out about your hair pulling.
- Write down your mistakes in your journal, try to understand why they occurred and suggest to yourself possible solutions. Use these slips as a chance to learn more about your own personal condition. Remember, true success is having control over your behaviors that will lead to less and less hair pulling episodes.
- Use the journal as distraction. Get into the habit of writing in your journal when you get the urge to pull. Distraction isn’t just about doing something else, it’s about retraining the brain to the point where it starts to feel more natural not to pull in response to your trigger times.
- Write in your journal for 2 pages, without stopping. Don’t worry about what you have written, just use it as a way of emptying your mind.
Journaling can be addictive!
Whether you use blank paper, or a set structure like the one you will find in the Trich Stop Kit’s Hair Pulling Manual, or ‘How to Stop Pulling Out Your Hair’ we strongly recommend you try journaling as a method for coping with hair pulling. Give it a month and see how you feel. While we know that it is hard to get started, you might just find that it’s addictive!