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Journaling for Personal Growth


Introduction

As I reflect upon my life and the growth that I have experienced over the years I know that journaling has played a major role in my healing. It’s amazing to look through the journals and peak at what I perceived how my communication, thoughts, actions, intentions, and beliefs have changed. Healing is a process and journaling is just one tool that can be used as you are on your journey of self-discovery and healing.

Journaling is a Valuable Tool

Sometimes sitting and thinking about what you are currently doing and how it aligns with your purpose is beneficial in making changes in your life. If you don’t know what your purpose is, a great way to start is by writing down the things that you do that bring you joy, energy, and leave you feeling light-hearted. The things that seem natural to you. Then see how those things align with your values. How does your current career align with your values? Can you see how some of the things that bring you joy might be a career? This is just a small way to start discovering who you really are and tuning in to your soul’s purpose.

Self-Discovery

Self-discovery is sometimes thought of as this big ah-ha moment and sometimes it can be as simple as asking yourself a question and then allowing your pen to flow across the pages of your journal. Sometimes it’s just answering questions about, “What makes you happy?”, “What makes you sad?”, and sometimes it can come from simply writing down a dream. Here’s one that I love. List 10 things that make you happy that do not cost money. Can you easily fill a page or do you need to sit and reflect on this? There is no right or wrong answer to that question. They key is to not overthink it. If in fact you cannot think of anything that makes you happy that may be a sign that it time to focus on your health.

Journaling to Improve your Health

Journaling for your health is absolutely a thing. It can reduce stress, boost your mood, and strengthen your emotional health. At times of heightened stress, it can be a good time to sit and journal out your thoughts. This doesn’t have to be formatted and I would say, that your first go at it should be just writing down everything that comes to mind when you sit and start writing. Set a limit of no more than 10 minutes for this. Next, it would be a good idea to take a blank journal page and create categories such as: career, family, relationships, values, and finances. Then write the top 2 things that are concerning you in each category. Once you do this, choose a category each day and write down 1-2 things that you can do to assist you in resolving your concerns.

Journaling to Boost your Mood

Journaling to boost your mood can be done by taking a moment to write down 2-3

things that you are proud of, or maybe writing down 2-3 of your favorite people and what it is about them. I love sitting and thinking about beautiful things in nature that I have seen. Just two days ago, I was standing in my backyard planning out our garden with my husband. As we stood there talking, a hummingbird came and fluttered in front of me for a few seconds and then to the side of me and then finally hung out by one of the trees in our yard before taking off. That was a beautiful experience.

Journaling to Strengthen your Emotional Health

When thinking about emotional health one of the first things that comes to mind is looking at a situation that has happened. Write down the specifics. Then go back and think about your role and how you showed up in the situation. Would you change anything? If so, what and how? Also, ask yourself if the situation merits the energy that you are putting forth? Lastly, think about past situations that you have survived. How did you get through to the other side? Write that down as well. Now think about the current situation and ask yourself how you can use your past experiences to help you resolve this situation in a way that is for the highest good of everyone involved.

Types of Journaling

There are so many types of journaling that you can do but I am going to focus on a few that I have used consistently throughout the past 6 years as they have aided me in my growth. Dream Journaling

Dream journaling is a great process to help you tune in and gain clarity on situations. I think that it is a great idea to keep a journal and pen on the table next to your bed. When you wake up spend a few minutes journaling what you recall from your dream. “Who was in the dream?”, “What was it about?” and “How did you feel?”. None of it may make any sense to you in the moment and that’s okay. Come back every so often and read the pages. Does anything stand out? Have you been asking about your purpose or about some type of change? The answers could very well be coming to you in your dreams. I have a practice that I sometimes do before going to bed. I call upon the angels to connect with me in my dreams and to give me messages about what I have going on in my life. I wake in the morning and write those things down. It’s interesting to look back and realize that some of the things that I have written have come to pass or have helped me in some way. For instance, I actually dreamt about my business name and logo. I didn’t understand it at the time but it is written in the pages of one of my journals. Give it a try!

Morning Pages

Morning pages is something that an instructor/mentor advised me to do to help me with deciphering my true intentions with regard to my work and business. It has been an invaluable tool to see where I am focused and it’s done by simply setting aside 5 minutes first thing in the morning to sit and journal non-stop. It’s not about thinking it’s about putting everything that pops into your mind down on paper and it doesn’t need to be neat or make sense. It just needs to be written. This is also one of those practices that requires you to come back after a few days or weeks to see if any of what you wrote makes sense. I can tell you that for me it showed that I had a specific interest and I needed to incorporate that into my business. It is requiring me to put something else aside at the moment but I believe that it is for the best.

Unsent Letters

Unsent letters have helped me to release my unhealed emotions around experiences that I have had with people. It has allowed me to move forward without holding onto anger or sadness. When have a situation where you feel hurt, take the time to write a letter to the person involved. Put on paper, what you are feeling. Then reflect on it. You may see that you may have to forgive yourself for your role in the issue. No matter, the goal is to feel and to then release. I usually burn the letters in the sink. Be safe no matter how you decide to destroy it. The goal is to get it off of your chest and to release that energy because it keeps you stuck.

Reflection (Past, Present, and Future)

Reflection is a time for me to look at my past, present, and future. I journal out similarities from past experiences in order to help me with a present situation. I’m looking for patterns, recognizing the patterns and red flags that I have seen in the past is a way for me to asses and reset boundaries for myself and it also allows me to change my behaviors. It tends to allow you the opportunity to respond to a situation instead of reacting because you are prepared. It allows you to recognize patterns that do not serve a purpose and work to move past those behaviors and actions.

Gratitude

This is a daily practice. I find 3 things to be grateful for each morning. This sets the tone for my day. I feel like you draw in blessings when you are grateful for your life in the present moment. I experienced COVID-19 and I woke up every day and found something to be grateful for. Even if it was simply:

1. I woke up.

2. I didn’t have a fever

3. I’m capable of doing___ (I would name something)?

Try it and see if you recognize a difference in a few months. Take the time to look back on what you wrote. See if you recognize a shift in your energy.

Goals

Journaling can sometimes take the place of goal setting for me. I sit and ask myself what are the top 3 things that I can do today to align me with my purpose. I find that I accomplish more if I keep the list manageable. I write those three things down and then take steps to complete them throughout the day.

Quantity vs Quality

I know some people love to just sit and write in their journals and it is soothing/therapeutic for them. I have sometimes had moments where I done this. But realistically, I find that I can journal for five minutes and it can be life-changing. It’s about sitting and plugging into my soul’s guidance. When you make this a part of your daily life (at least 3-5 days per week) you will notice that your pen starts moving as soon as you touch the paper.

My Final Thoughts

I’ve given you some of the major reason that I have found journaling to be an amazing


tool during my healing and growth. Because there are various forms of journaling you will find


find a style that resonates with you. The one thing that I definitely want to stress is that, you


don’t have to spend hours on end journaling each day. Journaling for 5 minutes each day


has some proven benefits to your overall well-being. Now here’s the fun part. Choose a


journal that resonates with you and have fun! Blessings!



Here's a link to my free 7 Day Journal! It's a tool to help you get started with your journaling practice.



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