Throughout my life I have done journaling. But I have to admit not consistently. Writing down my thoughts has helped me greatly in the past with solving issues and working through challenges. I have found that I get clarity from journaling. My journaling includes writing down things that I’m grateful for each day and also writing down loving thoughts about myself. In my book ’30 intentions in 30 days’ I suggest writing down 5 things you are grateful for and then take a gratitude walk repeating what you have written. I do this most days with my loving pup, Molly. I am going to talk about 5 benefits that i personally have found from my journaling. These benefits have to do with our mental capabilities and potential. Before I list these I want to mention how posture affects your brain. Watch my brief video talking about this and the research.
Benefit # 1 Helps motivate you to achieve your dreams.
Do you ever wake up struggling with yourself about not living up to your possibilities or potential? AND possibly even beating yourself up for this struggle as if you were the only one in the whole wide world that ever has these feelings? You may not feel like doing anything, especially working on yourself or your goals. Yet, there’s a nagging voice inside that says you need to do certain ‘things’ that day to keep moving forward with your life. There is saying I just recently heard, “Sometimes moving forward seem slow. But quitting won’t speed it up! It can be small like taking that gratitude walk I mentioned above. Perhaps it is something really big you are procrastinating about that forces you to get out of your comfort zone. “Yikes! Oh No!!! I am not ready for that!” That was me just over 2 years ago.
I was coming out of a deep depression and was feeling lost. I had to stop my work due to an accident that left me broken and in pain. I did not work doing personal training for about 3 years which is what I loved. I was not sure if I ever could again. I had 40+ years of experience in the fitness industry but was stuck as to how to proceed to build my business again. I had also lost my confidence. I just wanted to curl up in a ball and hide. I knew it was up to me to move out of the depression. Writing about my desires was instrumental in getting myself going again. Then as if by magic I found out about Symmetry. I went through the program and then becme a certified pratitioner to help others relieve their pain just as I had. It all had to do with optimal posture.
Benefit #2 It gets creative juices flowing
Everyone has the ability to be creative in their own unique special way. Ego just seems to get in the way of our creativity. Julia Cameron, author of “The Artist’s Way” and “The Miracle of Morning Pages.” writes about ‘Stream of Consciousness’ writing. She recommends three pages, done first thing in the morning. She states that each page is a step toward your buried dreams. Even one page as part of your journaling will get your creative juices flowing. Our challenge isn’t whether we’re creative; it’s how to let it flow. This type of writing brings out thoughts and ideas you never knew you had in you, and loosens up your expressive capabilities.
Yesterday I was listening to a video blog about ‘Stream of Consciousness’ journaling. So I began to think about beginning this process. I have my morning (mental and spiritual) routine to get ready for my day and that generally takes me about an hour. I would have to either give up something or be more creative within that hour. Here is my challenge. When I write down my thoughts I begin to edit them rather than just streaming them. That is not very good when you want to flow. I decided to use technology and speak my thoughts without stopping. I let my iPad record and transcribe my random thoughts. I found this to be an effective and efficient way to get those thoughts down. Then I go back and read them for any messages or ideas that came from my ramblings.
Benefit # 2 Improves your Memory and Mindfulness
I put these 2 benefits together because one can assist the other and vice versa. At least in my case it does. I am a big believer of making “To Do” lists. Now making a list may not be considered the same as traditional journaling about emotional issues or ‘Stream of Consciousness’ writing. But I find that when I look at my list, decide the importance of a task and then choose to focus on it, I accomplish so much more. I have to admit I get scattered very easily. The list helps me let go of overwhelm. This is where mindfulness comes in. When I become more “in the present” with what I am doing, I get so much more out of that activity. AND when a thought, task or idea is jotted down, my mind can let go to focus on other matters at hand. Then because of the focus, my memory for that particular action is instilled in my brain. If you are already doing this then you know what I mean. It is surprising how many individuals I meet that still do not make lists and then prioritize. Other than appointments they keep most everything they need to do in their head. It is the same with names. If a write a person’s name down and maybe some unique feature I can easily remember their name. The other way (if I don’t write it down) is to embarrass myself and ask again….maybe even a third time. Then I never forget.
Like most everyone, I make a shopping list for the grocery store. But then on most occasions, I forget the list at home. I am often surprised that I remember most everything on the list. Writing this type of list definitely invokes better memory for me.
Think about what it takes to write a book. Generally many authors have an overall theme but start by jotting ideas for their chapters. They develop a list of each of their chapters and then decide to go into detail later. In my Book “30 Intentions in 30 Days,” I have a list of 30 things you can do that take only minutes to improve your health.
Benefit # 3 Helps Build Confidence.
Do you compare yourself to others? Do you ever think your ideas are silly and they would never be heard or make a difference in the world? Are you stopping your future possibilities because of fear or not feeling knowledgeable enough?
Journaling to list all the wonderful things about “you” can be very empowering. Listing all the generous things you have done such as volunteer work or charity work. Or perhaps writing about all you have done to help your family and friends. Looking back on your life begin writing down everything that is positive about YOU. List all your work experiences and how you contributed. You can write about all your educational experiences and what you have learned. You can write about how what you have experienced and learned brings value to the world. Journaling about a positive experience allows your brain to actually re-live it. This positivity releases endorphins and dopamine and elevates your mood. These reflections can become a catalog of personal achievements that you continue to go back to and reaffirm your abilities when self-doubt appears. When you remind yourself of your successes, you step into your future knowing your value and begin to take those steps forward to live your dreams.
Virginia Parsons, producer of the Inspirational Business Women’s Show and Visibity Spotlight Training was the igniting fuel behind my current success. She is also a dear friend and got me all set up with a website, YouTube channel and Facebook page. From there is was up to me to fill in the empty spaces – Making videos, blogging, posting and writing emails to my subscribers. Ginny taught me how to do this.
I knew I needed to network (I am an introvert by nature) and meet other entrepreneurial women. I chose Caterina Rando because I watched one of Virginia Parsons shows and she was interviewing Caterina. I was drawn to her and her message. I decided to go to Caterina Sherro Summit which was her next event. I walked terrified, but I did it. I now look forward to all the events I attend, getting to know fabulous women entrepreneurs. I have even now been asked to be a part of events sharing my message. Caterina reminds all her clinets that “You have massive value to bring and there is a lifetime’s supply of clients waiting for you.” The women I have met and now network with, have inspired me to get out of my comfort zone and bring out my best to serve.
Side note: It took me 2 hours to make my first video. If you are holding back from making a video, I hope you watch mine. It is only 2 minutes long. At first I just stared at the camera. Then I would start talking, choke and delete it. However, 2 hours later I finally had it done. Was it perfect? Heck, no….but I did it. I have been told many times, “Done is better than perfect.”
Benefit # 4 Helps to resolve problems
I took a course from Michael Bernard Beckwith. He said this: “For every problem, there is a question trying to ask itself. For every question there is an answer trying to reveal itself. For every answer there is an action to express itself. For every action there is a way of life trying to be born.” I absolutely love that! Journal your problems, ask the questions, then let the answers revel themselves without struggling for them. Finally decide on the action you need to take.
I like to relax and play solitaire on my iPad to clear my head. I have found that I have now moved to the expert level on most games. When I get stuck and there are no more moves to finish, I undo my plays to a place where I think I could solve it rather than starting a new game. If I get stuck again, I redo it again (and again) and usually I can find the solution and win the game. It may take me three or five times to do this “undoing” to win. I do not play for a score, I play for the solution. That makes me feel successful because i never never gave up.
Benefit #5 Healing Emotional Issues
According to Dr. James Pennebaker, a social psychologist and author of Writing to Heal, improved immune function has been found in participants that engage in writing exercises. Some Studies conducted have shown that there is an emotional release from journaling. The result is less anxiety and stress in the the body. Journaling also induces better sleep.
However there are other psychologists that say that simply writing about traumatic emotional situations can trigger more distress. They believe that in certain situations writing alone is not the answer, but that combining journaling with therapeutic help can be very helpful.
I just heard a profound statement. “What you are looking for IS what is looking.” That is an interesting staement to ponder. Journaling can be the avenue to discovering ‘what is looking for you‘ so you can authentically master yourself.
As you work to incorporate journaling into your life, remember that patience and consistency are crucial in forming new habits. Begin writing perhaps two to three days a week, first thing in the morning or before sleeping. Life is not what you get, but who you become.
I hope you have found this blog helpful. I have many ‘Fit-Tip’ ideas available on my YouTube channel and in my free eBook “30 Intentions in 30 Days.” To learn more about Posture for Health and my Body Re-Design Program and Body Re-Design Retreats visit my website www.JacqueWalters.com. Also, if you are in need of “just a get-away” take a look at my Mountain Guest House Retreat. Please subscribe to my YouTube Channel or follow me on Facebook for easy fit-tip ideas to incorporate into your life to become a healthier YOU. They only take minutes a day. You can also give me a call to find out more about my retreats and services. There is no obligation, only information and a time to answer your questions.
May your life be blessed and pain free,