Do you find that things get stuck in your mind, and go round and round in a never ending loop, leaving you stressed and nowhere closer to a solution? Getting it down on paper might be what you need to break that cycle. Journaling is something I recommend (in several different forms) to my coaching clients and it is also something I use myself on a daily basis. Reflective journaling is particularly useful if you’re stuck in stress / worry and can’t see how to move past it.
Book a slot in your diary. By committing to the time you are much more likely to do it. Even if you are about to do it right now, book out that time slot. Honouring that block of time is your first step back to control and recognising that you are stressed.
Prepare by deciding where you will spend your journaling date. Somewhere you can get a few moments peace is ideal, whether that’s at home, during a break from work or locked in the bathroom. Make sure you have everything you need … a notebook (my current favourites are from Papier) and a nice pen (I’m obsessed with fountain pens), a cuppa in your favourite mug and maybe some highlighters or coloured pens.
Tune into the present moment and start to relax, simply noticing your breath and extending the out breath slightly sends a strong message to your mind and body that it is safe to relax. Take four deep breaths in and out, inhale for a count of 4, pause, and exhale slowly for a count of 8. This will help you settle into the moment and if you’re relaxed, your intuition will find it much easier to come up with a solution.
Write a prompt or a question at the top of your page: What I REALLY need to know in this moment is … ; how I can improve my wellbeing is to … ; how I can take better care of myself is to … trust your intuition for the question as well as the anwer.
Pause, listen to whatever floats into your mind and start writing.
Keep your pen moving for at least 15 minutes – don’t edit – don’t worry if it doesn’t even make sense. You are writing to hear your own thoughts and to tune into your own intuitive guidance. Just keep writing
Read over what you just wrote and now write for five more minutes using this writing prompt to guide you: What is clear to me now is…
What now? Highlight any ‘realisations’ and ideas. Decide on what action you would like to take based on the insights you’ve gained from your journaling session. Write it at the bottom of your page. Be sure to include a deadline for achieving this action(s). This will stop you from getting stuck in the stressed loop again.
Find it useful? This is a really useful exercise for managing stress and tackling those times when you are stuck in a worry loop but you’ll find it even more beneficial if you schedule time to do it regularly. Every day if you are very stressed, maybe once a week if you are less so. This will give you some ‘stress-proofing’ so that your worries don’t get as bad.
I’d love to hear some of your journaling tips – do you journal regularly or do you have particular questions you ask yourself when you journal?
With love – D xox