The Power of Journaling
For the month of December, I have been focusing quite a bit of my content on journaling. Not only is it a practice that I believe in wholeheartedly but I have also experienced its benefits firsthand. Journaling is a form of meditation and can be a wonderful way to begin to spend some time with our thoughts. Instead of attempting to dismiss our thoughts completely (which is not the intent of meditation), it may be helpful to write them down. Have you tried journaling before?
Over in my private Facebook group, Women Warriors with Coach Jen, I held a live event last week that focused on the benefits of journaling, what might be stopping you from this practice and how to get started. I have also been sharing a different journal prompt with the group each week as another form of exploring how this practice may be useful to you. (If you’re interested in hearing what I had to say in the live event, AND you are a woman interested in a private, online setting to connect with like-minded women, you should come check us out. Just click here and answer the questions when prompted.)
Getting started with anything new can be a bit scary or even intimidating, which is why I think understanding the benefits associated with it can be helpful. You can check out this article, from the American Psychological Association which discusses the physical and health benefits of journaling as well as how reflecting on experiences makes them more productive according to a study from the Harvard Business School, linked here. Improved sleep, memory and mood are just a few of the additional benefits to journaling.
But just like most anything else, adding a new practice or creating a new habit to an already busy life may be a challenge. Limited time seems to be a very common reason when I suggest journaling to clients. My response? You don’t have to write a book! Maybe you start with a few minutes, a few times each week and jot down some bullet points. If and when you feel like you want to write more, go for it! Maybe taking 5 minutes before bed is an option for you. We make time for the things that are important to us. Other common responses to “what’s stopping you?” are that it feels overwhelming (journal prompts can be helpful here) or that the person is afraid that the journal will be read by someone else (a suggestion presented to me by one of my cousins was to burn/shred it, which can be very healing in itself).
There are a few different ways to get started, some of which I have already mentioned. You can use daily or weekly journal prompts, consider what is on your mind and explore writing about that, or maybe even consider a tough conversation that you have been wanting to have with someone you care about. Maybe you explore the different ways the conversation can go. All of these are simply suggestions for you to get started. To spend some time journaling and see where it takes you. Often times we fill our daily lives with so much that we don’t provide ourselves the opportunity to notice what’s going on in our mind. How could you benefit from giving journaling a shot? I’d love to hear your thoughts, questions or concerns, as well as what has worked for you in this practice. Let me know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org