In my last post I talked about living authentically, and how journaling really helps us connect with who we are. It helps us to unhook from our overwhelm and come back into the present, and realign with our core values.
Not only does journaling provide an outlet for our overwhelm, it also helps us promote a sense of calmness within. It helps us find solutions – we all carry the answers inside of ourselves, and journaling can help make space for those answers to come forward. It helps us to gain perspective. Keeps us accountable by helping us track our obstacles and remember our goals. And, it also helps us to identify our triggers or patterns, which helps us start to recognise what we need to do when we are starting to feel overwhelmed.
Although there is no right or wrong way to journal, it doesn’t come naturally for some people. So, I created a little handout that I give to my clients with some journaling prompts:
- Write about a difficult time in your life that you overcame
- What is one skill you wish you had, and how could you learn it?
- What is one thing you need to let go of?
- List 5 good things about today
- Interview your past and future self
- Write out your emotions like a shopping list
- Describe exactly how you are feeling. Name the emotions, describe how they feel in your body
- Name 10 self-care activities you could do
- What do you wish most people knew about you and why?
- Today my victories are
- 10 things I am grateful for
- When times get tough I want to remember…
- Name 3 time when you were incredibly happy
- Draw a picture of something that makes you happy
There is also what is known as freestyle journalling. Freestyle journaling is one of the best ways to reduce the mental clutter – it is a stream of consciousness writing, with intention.
- Write by hand with a pen and paper
- Don’t censor or edit what you are writing – just let it flow. Even if it doesn’t seem to make sense. Remember, there is no judgement here. This isn for No one except you. If you can’t think of what to write, literally write ‘I can’t think of what to write…blah blah…’ eventually it will flow again.
- Write without stopping or lifting your pen from the page. Do this for a set amount of time, say 10 minutes, or for a set number of pages.
- Don’t share your writing. This is for your eyes only.
- Date your entries
- Read back over old entries and reflect on them
- Remember, this is for your eyes only, so don’t censor.