Do you ever feel like there’s something missing in your life? Perhaps you’re functioning in all of the areas that you need to be functioning in… but you’re not happy, and you don’t know what to do to change it? Maybe you know exactly what you want in life. But you can’t seem to get there.
There can be a lot of reasons for feeling this way; perhaps you’re feeling slightly unfulfilled in your job or relationships. Perhaps you’re feeling extremely overwhelmed because of your job or relationships. There are a lot of reasons for not feeling at peace. So how do we deal with it?
We address the issue. We stop living in a state of discontent where we’re blind to our own emotions because it’s easier than facing them. We take the time to get to know ourselves. We stop pushing our feelings down, and we work through our issues to solve the root of the problem.
Most people live their lives on other people’s terms. Their days are spent achieving other people’s goals and submitting to other people’s agendas. From when they wake until the moment they go to sleep, their life is revolving around someone else’s clock. People struggle drastically to detach from work and become present. This leaves little time to give to family and friends, let alone for themselves.
Sure, you can talk about your problems to “get it off your chest”, but there’s no use in talking about your problems without being able to come up a solution. Most often we share our situations with others and end up feeling more frustrated, because we’re not hearing the advice that we need in order to problem solve.
We hope to get an answer from someone else because it’s an “easy fix” instead of doing the work to address the problem on our own. That is why therapists can be an excellent source. But guess what they will most likely tell you to do after hours of evaluation – write in a journal, and self reflect on what you want.
Here are some benefits of journaling…
Transform Your Dreams Into Reality –
I know it sounds super corny, but it’s very common for people to have problems achieving goals because they don’t know how to step out of their comfort zone. Many people in today’s society have a big problem of comparing themselves to others.
The influx in social media, travel blogs, etc. has made it to where we are constantly forced to look at the “successes” and endeavors of others, sometimes causing you to feel envious or less than.
So… maybe you want to figure out how to go on that trip, or to fulfill your dream that’s always been slightly out of reach, but you don’t know how to. There are certain steps you can take to achieve this. When you’re journaling, you’re no longer living on someone else’s terms; you are the author of your life story.
Make A Plan –
Instead of pushing through your everyday routine and living in discontent, figure out what it is that would make you happier. What goal would you like to achieve? What do you need to change to make a difference in your state of being?
Create a list of what you want to incorporate, and what you want to eliminate from your life. Write down realistic steps that you can take to make these changes. Arrange these steps in order of importance. You’ll see crystal-clearly what needs to be removed and what should be included in your life.
Heal & Process –
Do you ever feel like you’re really tired after being around people all the time? You may see people all day every day, socializing, talking, having fun. But once the stimulation is over with and you’re home by yourself, you feel drained of energy.
This is your body telling you that it is CRAVING some self – care. It’s easy to surround yourself with people, because sometimes when you’re alone you have to face the fact that you might not be as happy as you wish to be. You crave something more, a deep connection on some level that inspires you but you can’t figure it out.
Maybe you’ve been repressing a memory or a negative feeling for a very long time. It won’t go away on its own; this is where the power of journaling comes into play. It’s the most effective and personal method for self-therapy.
Increase Emotional Intelligence –
Many people know about IQ, but not everyone puts as big of an emphasis on Emotional Intelligence, i.e. EQ. A lot of people are actually unable to express their feelings or emotions with others because they’re so out of touch with themselves. This is why people journal!
It’s not so easy to be able to perfectly articulate your deepest darkest fears and emotions, let alone when you’re talking to someone else. You can practice dealing with your emotions in your own time of self- healing before communicating them to someone else. For many people, this practice can seem quite daunting.
“Keeping a personal journal a daily in-depth analysis and evaluation of your experiences is a high-leverage activity that increases self-awareness and enhances all the endowments and the synergy among them.” — Stephen R.Covey
Here are a few tips to get you started:
1. Create a Comfortable Space – Journaling is a practice that you want to look forward to. You want to have a quiet, personal place for yourself in your home where you can unwind. Journaling is a therapeutic process once you feel confident with letting yourself be vulnerable. Light a candle, play some light music, settle into your bed and try to envision yourself as a friend talking to you.
I know it sounds weird – but journaling is a conversation. If you’re finding it difficult to figure out what to write about, or how to absolve an issue, imagine that you’re talking to your best friend. What would they tell you? What would you tell them?
2. Journal on a Prompt – As I said, it may be challenging coming up with something to write about. Here are a few prompts that you can start journaling with.
If you could achieve anything in your life, what would it be and why?
– What are three things that scare you most and why?
– What are three things you can do to enhance your mental well being?
– What do you think is holding you back from being your best self?
Below is a link of daily writing prompts similar to these. Begin journaling with these until you’re able to write without a prompt. There’s an entire years worth of prompts here!
3. Stream Of Consciousness – This is a writing technique where you start writing and you don’t lift the pen off the paper.
Challenge yourself to set a timer and see how long you can go without stopping. See what you come up with! You never know what deep, dark secrets are hiding in your subconscious…
4. Templates – Below are a few templates that you can use that make the process a heck of a lot easier! Instead of trying to fill a blank page, these templates will send you in the right direction.
The Five Minute Journal
5. Get yourself some swanky materials! There are so many cool journals out there. I love filling a journal just so I have the excuse to get a new one. Make sure to grab a set of ballpoint pens of every color so you can doodle when you’re feeling antsy.
Remember there is no end goal…Don’t stress if you don’t journal every day, or if some days all you have is one sentence. There are no rules, so have fun with it!
Contact me to learn how to get started with journaling and other stress reduction practices!