Emotional Alchemy: 3 Simple Techniques to Convert Toxic Emotions, Pain, and Trauma into Creative Offerings

In 2 previous posts (HERE and HERE), I shared quotes that testify to what has been true for me, personally. Our mess can be our message, and the pain we can’t get rid of can become our creative offerings to others.

In this post, I want to talk about 3 techniques that have helped me convert toxic emotions, residual pain, and the trauma I’ve experienced into healthy outlets that are both therapeutic and of value to others.

This is the heart of emotional alchemy – looking for creative ways to take what seems to be a net negative and transmute it into something more positive, helpful, and beautiful. An ability to take dark energy and expose it to the light.

Technique 1: Energy Transference

When an artist’s sadness is converted into blue paint on an empty canvas… When one man’s pain becomes another man’s poetry… When a little girl’s abusive childhood becomes a memoir that others draw inspiration from…

… These are all examples of energy transference. A process where energy stored in one persons body is transfered to others through a creative medium. This is extremely therapeutic!

For me, this personal blog is an energy transference project. It’s a means for me to mind my own madness. And as I like to say, these aren’t blank pages… they’re wound dressings!

If you’re dealing with toxic emotions, residual pain, bitterness, or resentment I want you to try an exercise and let me know how you feel in the comments below afterwards.

Write everything down in explicit detail. Whatever it is that is weighing on your mind or causing you pain. Get all that negative energy stored in you mind/body out on paper. After you’ve done that, take it to a safe place that you can set it on fire. Once you have a safe place, read what you’ve written down out loud and then set it on fire and watch it burn.

As you watch the pain, toxic emotions, and traumatic experiences burn in the flames and become smoke, let go.

Technique 2: Turn Ailments into Abstractions

I previously wrote a post about this abstraction technique. I first became aware of its power after watching the movie Collateral Beauty starring Will Smith. If you’d like to know more about the movie, I recommended it in one of my previous Watch This: Movie of the Week posts.

This is how the abstraction technique works and some practical ways to use it in your life.

Take your ailment and turn it into a noun: person (other than you), place, or thing. As someone who’s bipolar, I have turned my mental illness into a bi-polar bear as an abstraction that I then use as a character to write what I call primal poetry.

Last Christmas, my daughter gifted me a beauty and the beast journal as a gift. With all my journals, I like to give them themes or concepts I can work from. For this journal, I thought to use it to express my primal nature while in pursuit of the divine. As I wrote in the opening binding, what better way to do that than in a beauty and the beast journal.

In my personal experience, I’ve found that it’s best to turn your ailment into a noun that needs to be fixed. For instance:

  • Anger can be a broken furnance that needs to be repaired.
  • Sadness can be a slouching sunflower that needs to be watered.
  • Self-confidence can be a malnourished puppy that needs a home, etc.

The key is to find an abstraction that allows you to project your internal conflict outward and help it heal.

Technique 3: Using Inversion Thinking as a Form of Exposure Therapy

I’ve written a 3-Part Series on Inversion thinking, so I won’t rehash all that here. The only unique contribution I will make in this post is to try and solidify it in a more therapeutic setting.

Using inversion thinking as a form of exposure therapy to the things that cause us angst, anxiety, and fear is a powerful technique when deployed properly. As someone who has learned to live with combat related PTSD and bipolar disorder, inversion thinking is one of my favorite techniques.

In dealing with PTSD, I’ve had to learn to walk around various environmental triggers like landmines. Early on in my therapy, I made the mistake of practicing blind avoidance rather than trying to expose myself to those “landmines” in controlled environments.

Inversion therapy is where we carefully turn our emotional and environmental triggers upside down and reverse engineer the outcomes we want to experience in a controlled environment. This allows us to premeditate or expose ourselves to those things that may cause us anxiety, induce fear, or create uncomfortable situations before we leave the house.

This kind of exposure therapy, softens the blow of anything we may experience before we have to face those situations. It’s a win, win, because with time, what used to cause us emotional turmoil becomes tolerable and even when things don’t go exactly as planned, we’re still prepared.

Let me know what other techniques you’ve used to help turn toxic emotions, pain, and trauma into more tolerable experiences/creative offerings.

Subscribe to receive more content like this delivered directly to your inbox. I’d love to hear from you! If you have questions or want to make content recommendations/share constructive feedback, feel free to reach out to me at info@danielfortune.blog.

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7 responses to “Emotional Alchemy: 3 Simple Techniques to Convert Toxic Emotions, Pain, and Trauma into Creative Offerings”

  1. […] Emotional Alchemy: 3 Simple Techniques to Convert Toxic Emotions, Pain, and Trauma into Creative Of… […]


  2. […] Emotional Alchemy: 3 Simple Techniques to Convert Toxic Emotions, Pain, and Trauma into Creative Of… […]


  3. […] Emotional Alchemy: 3 Simple Techniques to Convert Toxic Emotions, Pain, and Trauma into Creative Of… […]


  4. […] Emotional Alchemy: 3 Simple Techniques to Convert Toxic Emotions, Pain, and Trauma into Creative Of… […]


  5. […] I talked about how emotions cannot be destroyed, but must be transformed. This is the heart of emotional alchemy. This is why I use/teach people how to use energy transference to deal with toxic emotions and […]


  6. […] my previous post on emotional alchemy, I shared 3 techniques to convert toxic emotions, pain, and trauma into […]


  7. […] This form of energy transference comes with a plethora of positive benefits. To explore some of those benefits in greater detail, Check This Out! […]


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