Sometimes we may feel a strong need to talk. However, we may not have someone to talk to. Perhaps they are needing quiet time. Or our talking needs exceed their available time. Or we live alone.

Whatever the reason for not having someone to talk to, there is a very helpful writing process that can help. This process makes it so we can communicate at any time and share all our thoughts, for as long as we want.

Mental Noting Experiences

While the first part only referred to noting your thoughts, this part will refer to noting your thoughts, emotions, observations, physical sensations and thoughts about events. Basically, you will mentally note any experience that may arise in you (1).

Take a piece of paper, and set a timer for 10 minutes. Don’t analyze or judge your experiences. You are simply describing them as an objective observer.

Instead of saying: I can’t believe how depressed I feel! Another day where I won’t be able to do anything useful.
try: I can notice sadness and depressed mood inside me. I also feel unmotivated and tired to do anything.

Instead of saying: I don’t know how I’m going to make ends meet this month. I don’t how I’ll manage, everything is just going to be worse.
try: I am thinking about not having enough money. I feel hopeless, and I keep thinking negative things about the future (1).

You can notice that by describing the experiences (emotions, thoughts, events), instead of analyzing or judging them, you peel of a layer of unnecessary and useless suffering. Maybe you do have an objective problem, a negative feeling or thought, or an inconvenient event, but if you are being overly reactive to it, you make the whole situation even more difficult for you! This is why mental noting can bring some clarity and calmness (1).

Listen to Clark Kegley show why this is helpful to men, ‘dudes’.

There are several useful forms that you can use when mentally noting your experiences:

I feel the emotion X.
I am thinking about Y.
When I think about X, the emotion Y occurs in me.
When the event X happens, I feel Y and my thoughts are Z.
Some other useful examples that can show you how exactly you should note your experiences are:

Examples:

I feel anxious when I’m thinking about finding a parking space tomorrow.
When I’m having an argument with my boyfriend (event), I feel extremely angry.
I am thinking about how hard it is for me to meet new people, and that makes me feel sad.
I feel irritable, and that makes me feel like arguing with my family.
After my retirement (event), I feel very lonely (1).

If you struggle to find someone with whom to talk, you can try mental noting. Also, bullet jounal.

Citations:

(1) Mental Noting, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, https://dialecticalbehaviortherapy.com/mindfulness/mental-noting/