Start journaling now. Your first step is to create an action plan. Make a commitment to journaling for the next 21 to 30 days. Pick a specific time of the day to journal, and try journaling around the same time each day.
Commitment is the key. Journal as much as you can, even if it is for just 5 to 10 minutes a day for 3 days a week. Do not give yourself too many rules that you cannot follow.
You want journaling to be a tool in your toolbox to help you relieve stress and become aware of and change your negative self-talk. Journaling can be a powerful tool, if you develop self-discipline and keep at it.
There are many journaling techniques, but here are some basics:
A Diary: A written record of what you did, using a page or a few lines to record what occurred each day.
Journal Writing: Recording your thoughts, feelings, experiences, goals, disappointments, fears, dreams, etc… at some specific time in your life.
Free Writing: Just start to write as fast and as much you can without stopping. This a a great way to start the writing flow when you have to write a paper or that blog post.
Morning Pages: A brain dump every morning (very much like free writing) consisting of three large handwritten one-sided pages written very quickly.
A Personal Blog: A web blog that is an online personal diary or journal meant to be read exclusively by family, friends, or a like-minded audience.
Lists: Writing down a series or number of items (usually one below the other) such as “100 things I want to do”, “100 things I fear”, etc.
Narrative: A dialogue with your inner child, inner wisdom, your journal or another people etc.
Are you either a beginning journal writer or want to be one? How do you get started? First find or buy a notebook or journal, then buy a pen you like writing with. It does not have to be fancy. I use Zebra mechanical pencils. Fancy is not a good thing, if you do not feel comfortable writing with the pen in your journal.
- Buy a notebook or journal (you do not have to spend a lot of money)
- Pick a lose time period to journal
- Choose how many days during the week you will journal
- Try different journaling techniques, then choose the ones that helps the most
Try some deep breathing exercises to relax before you start journaling. There is no right or wrong way to journal. Start by writing notes to your future self. Writing lists is another good way to start journaling.
I believe there should not be any rules to journaling, unless you want to create your own. The important thing is to start writing. Don’t be concerned about spelling or grammar. Journaling is a private matter, and most likely will not be shared.
Write whatever you want. Express yourself. Relieve your stress and worries. Journaling is therapeutic and can help you solve many problems.
Answer these questions in your journal.
You can use prompts listed below:
- What is the hardest part of my work or life?
- What do I do when I am stressed to the limits?
- What stresses me the most?
- What negative emotions do I feel the most?
- What can I do to release stress?
- How do I want to feel?
7.What do I want to do when I have “me” time?
- How can I ask for help and get some respite?
- Five years from now, I will be…
- Write about a day you’d like to forget.
Action Steps (Without Journaling)
- Get 7 to 8 hours a sleep at night
- Eat healthy whole foods
- Get respite care for your love one
- Take some “me” time
- Take an online course or start a new hobby
- Reduce caffeine
- Drink green and herbal teas
- Read the Bible
- Keep a prayer journal
Have you heard of tapping (EFT)? This is another helpful self-help technique.
I just started a EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) journal to reduce stress and food cravings. What is it you ask? EFT is called emotional acupressure. It is tapping on pressure points (mostly on the head) while saying affirmations.
EFT relaxes me and lowers my blood pressure. EFT is perfect to do during “me” time. It may seem weird but it certainly works for me.
I am so impressed with tapping. I ordered a book on EFT for Christians. I am looking forward to learning from this book while praying everyday and spending time with God. Here is a link to the author’s site: http://www.eftforchristians.com (the book’s title is “ EFT for Christians”).
EFT is based on pressure points, This technique involves tapping several times on your hands, head, collarbone, and under your arm while saying positive affirmations. Example: “Even though I have this _____________ (craving), I truly and deeply love and accept myself”. You do this several times, tapping on the karate chop then tapping on other pressure points with a reminder phrase (this craving).
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