Developing an effective journal practice.
- Schedule your worries!
Literally, or metaphorically! “Put a pin in it” or write it on a sticky note. A key to sharpening your Emotional Intellect is having control over your thoughts; not allowing them to consume you and set the tone for the day, week, year (or the rest of your life!) When you find your intrusive thoughts whisking you away, grab a pen and paper, jot it down and stick it on a “worry board”. You might like to get creative with this.
If that doesn’t sound appealing and you’d rather do this metaphorically; visualize your mind storing your problem in the short-term memory bank/box/shelf. Choose a time to attend to these worries. Get realistic. Would you benefit from worrying once a week? Once a day? Get ready to pick it up and lay it out for the next step…
You read correctly! On your chosen time/day; worry! Grab a dedicated journal and unpack your worries, all of them! Make this as theatrical, tidy, ordered or disordered as you see fit. Get it out!
- Solve Your Problems!
List solutions to each and every problem. Your solutions may range from realistic to absurd. List it all! Choose one solution; the one that makes the most sense. The one that is most viable. Put your solution into action.
- Let It Go.
Just like Elsa (yes… yes, I did just quote ‘Frozen’). Close your journal. Put it away for next time. (Note: If you’re worried about confidentiality, practice your journal writing on a tablet/phone/public computer and delete it when you’re done – it’ll have the same impact) I like to use this opportunity to practice some Ho’oponopono (I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.)
- Be grateful.
Now, this isn’t the “You should be grateful for what you’ve got” index finger pointed at you; no. This is the “You’re allowed to be grateful for all that you’ve got” with a comforting hand on your shoulder.
Find or purchase a beautiful journal that lights you up when you see it. (The gorgeous red journal with a pretty imprint at the beginning of this article was gifted to me by a dear older cousin who lives on the other side of the world. I cherish it. This is my gratitude journal and I use it every week, sometimes every day)
Make a list of everything you’re grateful for today. Look around you, look within you. Look where you need to. There’s always something to be grateful for. If you can’t find something; look harder.
As you deepen your practice, you’ll find that your focus shifts. You’ll find that you’ve got more to be grateful for and less to worry about. You’ll find diamonds in the rough.
Personalise your experience! Decorate your journals. Burn incense. Light a scented candle. (Safely!) Draw your worries with oil pastels. Make this as theoretical or as practical as you like. Your agency is of your choosing and choice plays a massive role in this practice.
NOTE: This practice is not intended to replace Psychological or Psychotherapeutic work. Consider whether this activity is right for you. Practice your best judgement, always. If something sensitive is triggered, please seek help from a relevant professional. If you are currently seeking help for a pre-existing mental health condition, feel free to discuss this with them and seek their advice beforehand.
Want to meditate with me? At the end of each online session with me, you’ll get a journal prompt to take with you into the weekend. Register here.