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What is Expressive Journaling?

What is Expressive Journaling?

Expressive journaling can be your road to de-stressing and re-energizing your mind. It can help you declutter your brain and your soul, and help you get feelings out on paper where they can be examined and interpreted. Today’s discussion is all about What is Expressive Journaling?

Do you even know what it is? Journaling like this can help you live more of your life in the moment, as you deal with the past and future in your journal. You’ll feel more secure in your daily life without all that hanging around in your brain, and you’ll find yourself enjoying your days with less worry and pressure.

 

Here are lots of different types of expressive journals, and each of them can be used exclusively. Or you can mix and match what you want when you want it. We’ll talk about several of the most common types of expressive journals in this article.

 

  1. Art Journal – Whether or not you are artistically talented, an art journal is an excellent idea if you love to doodle and sketch. What are you feeling? Turn that into a sketch. Draw an outline and then color it in with colored pencils or gel pens. If getting better at art is your goal, make the page opposite your creation where you write about how you feel about what you’ve created and how your progress is coming along.
  2. Gratitude Journal – There’s no better way to increase positive feelings in your life than with a gratitude journal. Each day, reflect on your experiences, what you’re thankful for, and lessons that you want to remember for the future. And then take it a step further and let the people you’re thankful for know about it!
  3. Dream Journal – Each morning, grab your dream journal and write down your dreams from the night before. Leave room after each dream, in case you come back with different insights later on, and you want to record them. Your dreams can tell you a lot about your waking life when they’re interpreted correctly!
  4. Creative Writing Journal – If stories are your thing, try a creative writing journal. Write a short story every day, or challenge yourself to write a short story in just 100, 200, or 300 words. Challenge yourself and hone your skills!
  5. Positivity Journal – Each day, pick something positive that happened that really inspired you. Write about what happened, the people involved, and how it made you feel. This can help you see more positive things in life overall, and helps decrease negativity.

 

So, don’t overthink your journaling – just get started and try!

 

We are now beginning our series on the topic of journaling. There will be several articles on the whys and the hows so this will be really interesting You might want to read these all at the same time or even save them in a file you can go back to and read from time to time.

At any rate, this is a topic of discussion and you’ll be happy to know that even the most famous people write in a journal. Try it, you might even like it!

Laying the Groundwork for Self-Expression

Laying the Groundwork for Self-Expression

Being able to adequately express yourself isn’t something that comes naturally to some, or even most of us. But it’s important for you to be able to express yourself and express your wants, needs, and desires, as well as express things you don’t like. Being able to express yourself is necessary to live an authentic, fulfilling, and healthy life, and to help you create the life of your dreams! Today we’re discussing all about Laying the Groundwork of Self-Expression.

 

There are three (3) main steps involved in learning to express yourself. These steps may not feel natural at first because they are new, but stick with it! You’ll soon find yourself better able to express yourself to those around you with confidence.

 

1). Learn to listen to yourself, your emotions, and your intuition. Too often, early in life, we are taught (directly or indirectly) to hide our emotions, and put on a smiling face even when we don’t feel like it. It’s time to unlearn all of that. So, the first step is to begin to really feel the emotions that are inside you. Your first instinct may be to mentally run away from those feelings but try not to do that. Feel each emotion, no matter what it is, without any self-judgment. Your emotions are simply what they are, and there aren’t any wrong emotions, only wrong ways that we’ve learned to react to them. So, quiet yourself and allow yourself to feel because you can’t express yourself if you don’t know what you’re feeling.

 

2. Acknowledge whatever you are feeling. Honor those feelings, again with no judgment. By self-validating your feelings, you learn to seek answers from within yourself, rather than always looking outside yourself for solutions. In reality, all we need we already have inside of us. Acknowledging your feelings might seem very frightening at first because you feel vulnerable. That’s okay. That feeling of vulnerability will go away once your mind realizes there isn’t really any need for fear.

 

3. Tune in to how your body reacts to the emotions you are now experiencing. Body awareness is very important in learning to express yourself, as it is one of the best ways to gauge your comfort level. If you tense up in response to an emotion, show your body and brain that everything is going to be okay by doing some deep breathing. Close your eyes, acknowledge the feeling, and then let it go. If a part of your body tenses up, consciously relax it. Use your new awareness to find what works for you in terms of expressing yourself, both emotionally and physically.

 

What do you think about writing in your journal like this? Have you thought about what you might write about and how it might be different? Let me know in the comments below.

How to Use Writing to Achieve Emotional Balance

How to Use Writing to Achieve Emotional Balance

Today we’re talking about How to Use Writing to Achieve Emotional Balance. You are well aware of the power of your emotions. You probably also understand how sometimes they can seem out of control and unmanageable. If you’d like to achieve emotional balance, greater control over your emotions, and better health, the following information will prove invaluable.

 

There are certain skills for managing emotions.

 

These include:

 

Definition:

Defining the emotion in your own terms and from your own understanding.

 

Distance:

It is important to gain some distance from your emotions. This will help you gain a clearer understanding of your feelings and how they are impacting you. When you are in the middle of the situation dealing with the emotions in the here and now everything will seem muddled and you will struggle to see what is happening as well as the bigger picture.

 

Release:

By understanding and recognizing the emotion as well as achieving distance you will be able to begin releasing the negativity surrounding it.

 

Focus:

Through focusing on the emotions and the attendant triggers, feelings, and behaviors you can gain clarity and create change.

 

Regrouping:

By following through the previous skills you will be able to regroup your thoughts, feelings, and attitudes. Creating a new set of behaviors when dealing with difficult situations will help you to cope in the future.

 

Maintenance:

Like all habits practice makes perfect and you will need to constantly remind yourself of the positive changes you have made with regard to your emotions and their impact on your life. What will you do to remind yourself how to remain positive, calm, and balanced?

 

Writing can help you to achieve emotional balance as it will take you through all the skills above.

 

How does it work?

 

If you are suffering from emotion, such as sorrow then everything you think, feel, and do will be tainted by it. It will have a negative effect on you and your actions. No one wants to live in sorrow for long.

 

By taking a piece of paper and a pen you can write yourself into a more emotionally balanced state.

 

Start by writing a really happy memory of a time when you were not experiencing any sorrow or any other negative emotions. Make your writing really descriptive so that you can see the scene clearly, make it colorful, add sounds, smells, and things you can touch as well as taste. Write down how you felt and why you felt so positive and happy.

Try and include the following:

 

When?

Where?

What?

Who?

How?

Why?

 

This positive memory will become an anchor. You can display it somewhere prominent or keep it safely hidden for use when needed. It is designed for use when you are feeling anxious, stressed, sorrowful, angry, or any other negative emotion. If you have a bad day you can refer to it and be reminded of a happier positive time.

 

Next, follow each step from defining the negative emotion you are feeling to maintenance. Again include the when, where, what, who, how, and why as this will really help you understand the emotion as well as any triggers and resulting behaviors.

 

By writing your thoughts and feelings at each stage, as well as identifying the triggers, you can not only understand the emotion better but yourself and your reaction to it. By having this written insight into yourself you are learning how to take control of your emotions and achieve balance. You will be able to refer to it to remind yourself how to cope with difficult situations or simply how much you’ve achieved and grown.

And you thought journaling was just about writing! I hope you’re learning a thing or two. Writing about your thoughts can be complicated, but if you have a plan, it can be very rewarding.

 

Next up, we’re discussing Laying the Groundwork for Self-Expression. You’ll want to catch this one as we are almost done with the Journaling Series. 

 

An Introduction to Journaling for Those Who Hate to Write

An Introduction to Journaling for Those Who Hate to Write

Today we’re going to discuss journaling. So to get clear, this is An Introduction to Journaling for Those Who Hate to Write. Is this you? If it is, then stay tuned because this is going to be several discussions around journaling and why you want to start.

Journaling is a powerful self-help tool that is gaining popularity. You can purchase a variety of journals online from stores such as Amazon as well as in bookshops. Coaches and therapists also use journaling to help clients. It is also incredibly easy to journal on your own in just a plain notebook. However, all journaling has one thing in common and that is writing.

 

So how can you journal if you hate writing? Ha…now that’s a good one!

 

Draw Pictures

From simple to elaborate, any kind of picture that expresses your emotions and situation will help. After you’ve drawn the picture you can label and annotate it. If you leave a blank page opposite your drawing then you can come back and review it at a later date and jot down any additional thoughts, emotions, and responses. Quite often this simple method will actually get you writing quickly. Try it, I bet you’ll be writing in no time.

 

Here’s a trick: why not try using different types of pens or pencils to make your journaling more interesting and exciting? Try different colors to make things interesting.

 

Diagrams

If you are journaling about a problem, then you might consider using a diagram such as a mind map or decision tree. Diagrams are powerful because they are visual and help you to see patterns and connections more easily. If you are trying to make a decision, then you can illustrate the different outcomes and results to help you formulate the best decision. Adding in color not only makes them more attractive but can highlight connections.

 

Use Prompts

Using a simple prompt such as a word or question can help break the blank page syndrome and inspire you to unburden yourself onto the empty page in front of you. It’s important that you don’t feel that you have to write a lot or even in full sentences. The journal and act of journaling have to relate to your needs at that moment in time and this will vary day-to-day.

 

You could consider purchasing a journal designed for the specific use you need. There are lots of weight loss, gratitude, happiness, and other journals available. Many of these will include prompts and recording methods that don’t require lots of writing.

 

Create a Collage

Get some magazines or newspapers and cut out words, phrases, paragraphs, or even articles that relate to your situation or emotions at that particular point. Add in pictures that you find that could demonstrate how you are feeling or want to feel. Again you can annotate it to make it truly personal. Leave a blank page so that you can revisit and review at a later time and add in additional journaling.

 

Speak It

While writing using a pen and paper is probably the most powerful method of journaling you can also use dictation software such as Dragon. You’ll need the software and a computer with a microphone to use this method. It may be easier to start your journaling journey by speaking to the computer and imagining you are talking to a friend or just yourself. The software will ‘write’ what you say and you can save the document so that you can review it later.

 

You may decide to keep your journal electronically in which case you can review it and add in later thoughts and feelings by typing or dictating through the speech recognition software. Or you may decide to print it out and keep it in a binder. If you do print it out, then you have the opportunity to embellish it or make additional notes on the hard copy. One way to do this is to use One Note for Microsoft Office. It’s convenient and you can keep your thoughts by writing day-by-day.

 

Be Flexible

Journaling does not have to be undertaken every day for a set period of time if that does not suit you. Many people journal every day for 20 minutes as that is the method that suits them best. However, it may be that once a week is enough.

 

Alternatively, you may decide that you will journal when you feel you need it. Some days it may be that you choose to use a prompt or picture to kick-start your writing. Other days you may find that the words flow and you can write without stopping.

 

The important points to remember are that the journal is a personal document designed to help you and that it is designed to be used and revised. It’s a living document and there is no right or wrong way to create or use it.

 

Stay tuned for the next article on journaling. You’re not going to want to miss it!

 

Why Writing Down Your Goals Boosts Your Chances of Success

Why Writing Down Your Goals Boosts Your Chances of Success

Today we’re discussing Why Writing Down Your Goals Boosts Your Chances of Success. Setting goals is an important part of life. Without them, you won’t know how to recognize success or achievement. By knowing your goals, it tells you what you want to achieve and why it’s important to you. While not all goals are equal they do all deserve the best chance of achievement.

What’s in a Dream?

In life we all have dreams, ambitions we want to achieve. However, it is entirely in your power whether they remain dreams or whether you will actually set out to make them a reality. If you think of a dream, then it is more like a hope; a wish not yet fulfilled. Perhaps your ambition is to be promoted to director in your company. That’s great but just having that dream won’t actually help you achieve it.

Writing it Down

Writing your dream down can help increase the chance of it becoming a reality. The very act of committing it to paper makes it more real and concrete. You can see it. In black & white! However, there is more to making your dreams turn into reality than merely writing it down. You actually need to flesh it out. You need to give it substance and to create a goal. By turning your dream into a goal you are further committing to its ultimate achievement.

Your Focus

Your goal is the end-point. It is what you want to achieve and how you will know you have been successful. The key to success is to write down the steps you will take to get there. How you will turn that goal into a reality. What do you need to focus on to create it? It is important to know why that goal is one you want to achieve. So you need to write down what achieving it will look and feel like to you. How will your life change? By making your visualization of your success as descriptive as possible and by writing it in the present tense as if you are living it now, you create a connection with your subconscious mind.

Visualize It

Additionally, writing is a right-brained activity. It is part of your logical and analytical mind. However, the very act of writing keeps the right-brain occupied and allows the more creative left-brain to be accessed. This will let you begin to create and visualize the future you want. Setting that vision down on paper is a record that you can refer to again and again. It will remind you why you want to achieve the goal you have set and how you will know you have achieved it.

The Ultimate Goal

Adding the steps to achieving the goal provides you with a to-do list. You can tick off each step as you complete it and see your progress. This can be very motivating especially if you find yourself struggling. Acknowledging how much you’ve achieved can strengthen your resolve and provide motivation to continue.

Has The Goal Changed

Alternatively, by having a written record of your goal and the steps needed to achieve it you will be able to see if your mind has changed. Often you’ll find that your actual goal changes. Where you started as wanting to be promoted to Director you may find that you actually want to be promoted to Director of a different division or department or maybe even a totally different role!

It’s Not Written in Stone, Y’all!!

Goal setting is not something that is written in stone. Your written goal, visualization, and plan will not only be a record and guide but a working document that can be changed as your vision of your future changes. Having it written down enables you to track your progress and any changes. You can evaluate as you progress and by ticking your achievements off as you go you’ll be able to celebrate your progress along the way.

 

Did you write that all down? I hope so! The next article will be the cherry on the top of this whole journaling thing. So make sure you come back to read the next tips about journaling. You’ll be glad you did!

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