We have all heard about the idea of keeping a journal. When I suggest to an Orlando Life Coaching client that they begin this practice they often want more clarity on how this will help them on their journey. The simplest way to explain this is to say that journaling can help us become better acquainted with how we are thinking and feeling. Life can be busy and often we are on autopilot, preventing us from truly reflecting on what we are experiencing. As we sit with a blank page in front of us we are challenged to get more deeply in touch with who we are, how we feel, and the meaning we assign to events that may cause us distress. Whether a client is experiencing stress, anxiety, depression, relationship challenges, or just seeking personal growth, writing in a journal can have an significant impact in the healing and growth process.
You may be wondering if there is any scientific evidence to support writing about yourself. Writing accesses the analytical left brain leaving the right brain free to do its creative work, to access intuition and feelings. The result is that mental blocks are eliminated and the entire brain is used to increase understanding of yourself, others, and the environment in which you live.
I read a number of articles about journaling on the website Tiny Buddha and found 10 Journaling Tips to Help Heal, Grow, and Thrive by Loran Hill to have some excellent examples of a variety of ways we can use journaling.
1. Start writing about where you are in your life at this moment.
Describe your living situation, your work, and your relationships. Are you right where you want to be?
2. For five to ten minutes just start writing in a “stream of consciousness.”
Don’t edit your thoughts or feelings and don’t correct your grammar. Don’t censor your thoughts.
3. Start a dialogue with your inner child by writing in your subdominant hand.
Answer with your dominant hand. What issues emerge?
4. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude by maintaining a daily list of things you appreciate, including uplifting quotes.
Keep it in one journal or in a separate section so that you can read through it all at once. When you feel down you can read through it for a boost of gratitude and happiness.
5. Start a journal of self-portraits.
You can take pictures, draw colors or shapes or collage images. Learn to love and accept yourself just the way you are today.
6. Keep a nature diary to connect with the natural world.
The world we live in is a magical and mysterious place. Record the things you notice about the sky, the weather, and the seasons.
7. Maintain a log of successes.
Begin by writing the big ones you remember then regularly jot down small successes that occur during the week. As you pay attention, your list will grow and inspire you.
8. Keep a log or playlist of your favorite songs.
Write about the moods they evoke. When you hear a song that triggers a strong memory, write down how you feel and explore that time and space of your life.
9. If there’s something you are struggling with or an event that’s disturbing you, write about it in the third person.
This will give you distance and provide a new perspective. Write down what you learned about yourself.
10. Develop your intuition.
Write down questions or concerns then take a deep breath and listen for a response from your Higher Self. Let yourself write automatically. If you don’t get an answer right away, look for signs during the day. (republished with permission)
So as you can see there are many different ways to get started opening up to yourself. I suggest that you use this list as a jumping off point in determining which style of journaling suits you at this moment in your life. Happy writing.
Are you interested in talking to someone about things going on in your life and how journaling might fit into your plan for healing? Sometimes having a partner in your journey can help. Give us a call to set up a free phone consultation at Life Skills Resource Group Orlando at 407-355-7378, and one of our Orlando Individual Counselors, Orlando Life Coaches, Orlando Teen Counselors, and Orlando Child counselors would be more than happy to help you, a family member, or a friend work on changing your life.