Journaling is the second best thing you can do for balance and well being.
Over time with consistent practice, writing what’s on your mind can help you keep balance between mind-body-spirit, being-doing, or even work-life if that’s your model! I have been journaling for decades, and can attest firsthand to the power and focus it adds to our innate ability to heal and attract wonderful things into our lives. And so, I want to share with you the backdrop for why I will always encourage you to journal (second only to meditation!)
- To let it out. Journaling is a powerful, personal and highly private way to express what’s going on with your thoughts and emotions. No one has to see what you’ve written, giving you a safe venue to be deeply honest with yourself.
- To boost creativity. Brainstorming solutions to problems on paper can help you generate positive momentum: creative thoughts attract more creative thoughts. There’s only upside with generating creative ideas, and since no one is evaluating your journal there is no downside, real or perceived.
- To stop the swirl. You can slow or stop the constant motion of thoughts on the inside if you allow their expression on the outside. When it’s on paper, you can always come back to it later.
- To honor your mind. Writing down your own thoughts, and those that flow to you, is a way to express honor and gratitude for the power of your mind.
- To discover trends. Over time, you’ll be able to trace consistencies in thoughts and emotions, and you’ll observe areas where you have experienced personal growth.
- To focus on attraction. Writing down thoughts and emotions, those things you’re paying extra attention to, generate massive amounts of energy. You can use journaling to bring incredible focus to your intentions – those things you want to attract into your life.
- To shift to positive. Once you’ve written it all down, you can go back and review your writing, and make a conscious choice to shift from negative thoughts and emotions that feel bad, to positive ones that help you feel better.
What should you journal about?
Thoughts and emotions might end up being the substance of your journal content, but there are other places where you may start. You could begin with writing to-do lists. You could write your prayers and concerns, self-empowering affirmations, “I am” statements and your personal brand, your dreams and goals, creative problem solving ideas, pro’s and con’s of a decision you have to make, descriptions of the abundance you want to draw into your life, stories, poems, lyrics, and so on. Your content can change from entry to entry, so certainly allow yourself the space to write about what ever is on your mind!
A really powerful and fun thing to practice is Stream of Consciousness, which is writing down whatever comes to you. Try not to judge it, but rather focus on allowing thoughts and feelings to flow through your pen. When you feel ready, you can even ask for information, such as, “What do I need to know today?” You may be surprised in a positive way by what comes through!
When is the best time to journal?
Maybe the first question is when does anyone have time to journal? Especially when we need to meditate for 20 minutes, exercise for 30, prepare healthy meals, and serve others all day long? I get it – with everything else to do, journaling is an even lower priority than meditating!
To reap the benefits, you don’t have to invest a lot of time into the process. And, there probably isn’t a “right” time to journal either. Here are reasons why you might keep your journal with you throughout your day.
- Morning Meditation. Capture new information that comes through when you’re meditating, because you won’t want to dwell on it right then, but rather you’ll want to get back to the meditative flow.
- During the Day. Write ideas down to contemplate later, or to unload any stress or emotions that strike during the day.
- Sleep Time. Keep your journal bedside so you can easily and quickly write out your dreams, which often reveal or release thoughts and emotions, or present creative solutions to problems.
Having said all that, I do believe there is particular power in journaling before bed. Nighttime journaling should be focused, however, on attracting the abundance you want to experience in life. (Those of you with swirling thoughts that disturb your ability to sleep, I suggest writing down those items as well.) Abundance in this context is not limited to financial resources. I am also talking about abundant love and relationships at all levels, life experiences, and success in business and family matters, for example.
When you’re ready for sleep, your mind is overloaded from all the input from the day. The critical part of your mind is worn down, which is the perfect time for you to suggest to your subconscious, through your journal writing, all the positive things you want to attract into your life. When your critical mind is weakened or worn down because of overload, you have an opportunity to offer new suggestions, creating new positive associations for desired behaviors and outcomes. This is the hypnotherapeutic process.
Write about the beautiful things you want in your life as if you already have them. Write with confidence and expectation for goodness to come forth. Focus no attention whatsoever on the current absence of the things you seek.
Then during sleep, your subconscious is busy figuring out how to make all of it happen.
How should you journal?
Use paper and pen/pencil. Typing on computers isn’t bad, per se, for convenience. It is the physical act of writing, however, which offers other therapeutic benefits. For instance, when writing, if you let your mind go as in Stream of Consciousness, you may achieve a level of relaxation otherwise experienced in meditation. A two-fer!
Writing in cursive is important. Remember when we were children learning to write – we were all taught the exact same forms and yet, as adults, we each have our own unique handwriting. The reason is because handwriting is the direct symbolism and expression of the subconscious. By writing in cursive, not block letters, you are allowing the true expression of your subconscious mind.
Finally, the act of writing helps to focus your thoughts and ideas towards creating the life you want. You’re bringing together your subconscious mind, conscious mind, and the physical nature of engaging your hand, wrist, arm and body into the writing itself. There’s power and positive energy in this trilogy.
Who should journal?
Maintaining a journal is fairly easy once you get some momentum behind it. It’s a bit like meditation, in that daily practice yields the most powerful results. And it offers distinct advantages over meditation alone. Use them together for a really powerful antidote to stress and imbalance, for problem solving, and to achieve an overall sense of deep and meaningful well being.
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