A key tool to help manage mental, physical, and emotional health is journaling. If you can’t let something go, work out a problem, or are constantly afraid you’re going to forget something, write it down. Journaling can give your mind a more organized train of thought, and make it easier to work out problems that you are having. It can aid you in working out any problems that tend to get stuck in our head, or even help you resolve problems in your life. The uses of a journal are numerous, so below I have explained some of my favorites.
There was an amazing trick taught to me a while ago. If you wake up in the morning and can’t get a stressful situation out of your head from the day before, the first thing you do prior to getting out of bed is to journal about it. Write down everything: what happened in that incident and how it made you feel, even why you think you’re still feeling that way. Just let go of all of your thoughts, opinions, and feels towards what happened. Put that experience on those pages instead of keeping it in your mind. Doing this will give your mind an opportunity to store that memory somewhere else. You know that you can always revisit this incident in your journal if you feel you need a reminder.
This is also another way for you to vent your thoughts and feelings toward what is bothering you. Sometimes it’s not enough to talk it out with someone, sometimes you really just need to talk it out with yourself to make sense of it all. When you are journaling about a situation, you’re giving yourself the opportunity to process it in a different way. When we voice concerns about something verbally, we can’t revisit what we said at the time; but when you journal, you’re turning your words into a physical thing for you to see. You can read and reread everything over and over again until you come to a conclusion or see if something is missing.
Journalling is a great way to let things go and move on. The more you hold onto, the more stress will build up in your life. Take the time to work through what is stressing you out and move on. Writing it out what is bothering me is one of my favorite tools. Release your thoughts onto the pages of a journal that is yours and yours alone. Do not share it with anyone so that it becomes your safe place to vent and release your unwanted thoughts and emotions.
Another way you can use journaling to manage stress to use it to track your progress. When you are trying to accomplish something, writing it down can help you work out how you feel or to problem solve. It can allow you to brainstorm how you could go about doing something or keep track of how far you have come. Journaling is an awesome way to track where you have started, how far you need to go, and how far you have come. Seeing things in writing can be very motivating and can keep you on the right track. You’ll be less likely to skip a gym day or stray from your diet goals when you can visually (rather than mentally) see how much work you have already put in.
You can also use journaling in stress management because you can track what triggers your stress. Sometimes it’s not enough to know we are stressed; we need to figure out what triggers it. If you’re moving through your day and something happens that causes you to stress out, write it down. Having this information about yourself can help you better understand what stresses you out or how to avoid those situations. Using journaling to track things is a great tool for learning more about your habits, how you accomplish things, and your stress levels. Journaling can also help you in so many other ways.
Journaling after meditation is wonderful because it can help you figure out what you’re struggling with or where your mind is wandering during meditation. Whether it was an emotional, mental, or physical struggle that comes up for you while you’re meditating, it is nice to journal out the experience after it’s over. Then if you need to, you can revisit or let it go so you can start fresh the next time. Once you’re done with your practice, simply pick up your journal and write about the experience: how you felt, if you started and couldn’t stop thinking about something while you were meditating, or felt discomfort or resistance in your practice. It can also be a good way to write down how each of your meditations is going. The more detail the better, but is a nice way to teach yourself how to be more mind-body aware.
Writing down something that you want can be a powerful tool. We tend to manifest things that we want, or desire, in our heads, but writing them down in great detail can help make them a reality. Another tool I was taught was if I wanted something to happen, I should write it down in extreme detail. Say it was a new healthier me. I would visualize what that looked like, writing down every little detail of which I could think: how long my hair was and what color, what size clothing I would wear, and what my face looked like; keeping it realistic but still motivating. I would even write down how old I would be when I looked like this, even what I would do every day to get me to that point. I also did this for my relationships and my career. What did my future husband look like: eye color, hair, height, what he did for a living, what his personality was like. This was in such detail that it was almost obnoxious. The point is when you are journaling for desire, it is so important to be as specific as you possibly can. Do not cut any corners. You already know what you want and writing it down can help it happen.
One of my favorites, especially if you are trying to lose weight or trying to figure out which foods work for you and which don’t. Is journaling to keep track of what you are eating and drinking from day to day? Doing this can help you discover so much about yourself and your body. It is an awesome accountability tool, too. So, every day write down what you eat and drink. Reflect how you feel after eating, all of the positives as well as the negatives. This way you can start to discover which foods work for you and which foods don’t. It also allows you to understand your eating habits and is a great tool you can use to understand why you eat when you feel a certain way.
The best way to set up a food journal is to write the time when you ate or drank something, what you ate, and how you felt afterward. Give yourself at least 20 minutes to an hour before deciding how you felt after eating. It could be less time if you start to experience negative symptoms. Then you can note if you had a bad reaction to something or if something made you feel really good. It can also get you to notice if you’re an emotional eater. If you write down how you are feeling beforehand, it can stop you from making bad food choices or from eating when you’re not hungry. The more aware we are, the healthier we can be!
Journaling is an excellent tool to use if you need a little extra help; whether that is with weight loss, stress, or manifesting something in your life. Using a journal can aid you in making those things happen. Documenting what we are doing is a helpful tool for our brains because it gets us out of our heads and doing something physical. We are venting to an audience that just listens and never judges. We can be open and honest without worrying; this way we can make more room for the positive stuff and less for the negative.