You can start cultivating emotional balance today. If you’ve had a lot of stress lately, and really who hasn’t, you may not feel very hopeful about life.
Compounding stressors can leave you feeling frazzled and emotional.
But the good news is that you can off-load your stress onto the pages of your journal or notebook and be free of them.
Hello and welcome to Fearlessly Holistic.
My name is Irma and I want to share my journey to improved health by eating whole foods, moving my body and eliminating stress as much as possible.
It is my hope to inspire you to make daily changes. Why? Because eating fresh, seasonal food and getting some sunshine is the best way to increase longevity. But you do not want just a long life. You want a quality long life.
My blog posts are my opinion and the results of things that I have tried that either worked for me or didn’t. My opinions are for informational purposes only and are not intended as medical advice. Medical advice should always be obtained from a qualified medical professional for any health conditions or symptoms associated with them. As well, there may be affiliate links in this post. Read more here.
Why Journaling Is Important
You are well aware of the power of your emotions. You probably also understand how sometimes they can seem out of control and unmanageable.
If you’d like to achieve emotional balance, greater control over your emotions and better health, you will want to try journaling.
Journaling is super helpful for women in general.
Because women need to talk in order to sort out their feelings. That’s just how it is. Men, for the most part don’t have that issue.
When men talk, they are usually precise about their choice of words.
That is why you may notice men tuning women out when women get “too wordy”.
Part of men’s internal programming is the desire to help, by listening to someone speak about a problem. Then they discern how to help.
When women talk a lot, while trying to explain something, a man can’t figure out which part is the problem that the woman wants help with. So they end up offering help that is mostly no help. #frustrating
For women, learning to communicate better with anyone, is a useful skill.
And learning to condense your thoughts can be helpful in many areas, especially when talking to men that you need help from: male doctors, male bosses and co-workers, male mechanics etc.
This is not to say that women must change to work together with men. Nope.
What I mean is that if one segment of society does not “get” what you need help with, it’s to your advantage to help them understand you.
We can do that by journaling the junk out of our thoughts so that we are easier to understand without a lot of emotions.
Use Writing For Emotional Balance
There are certain skills to managing emotions. These include:
Defining the emotion in your own terms and from your own understanding.
It is important to gain some distance from your emotions.
This will help you gain clearer understanding of your feelings and how they are impacting you.
When you are in the middle of the situation dealing with the emotions in the here and now, everything will seem muddled and you will struggle to see what is happening as well as the bigger picture.
By understanding and recognizing the emotion as well as achieving distance you will be able to begin releasing the negativity surrounding it.
Through focus on the emotions and the attendant triggers, feelings and behaviors you can gain clarity and create change.
By following through the previous skills you will be able to regroup your thoughts, feelings and attitudes.
Creating a new set of behaviors when dealing with difficult situations will help you to cope in the future.
Like all habits practice makes perfect and you will need to constantly remind yourself of the positive changes you have made with regard to your emotions and their impact on your life.
What will you do to remind yourself how to remain positive, calm and balanced?
Why Jounaling Is Therapeudic
If you are suffering from an emotion such as sorrow then everything you think, feel and do will be tainted by it. It will have a negative effect on you and your actions.
No one wants to live in sorrow for long.
You can write yourself into a more emotionally balanced state.
Start by writing a really happy memory of a time when you were not experiencing any sorrow or any other negative emotions.
Make your writing really descriptive so that you can see the scene clearly, make it colorful, add sounds, smells and things you can touch as well as taste.
Write down how you felt and why you felt so positive and happy. Try and include the following:
This positive memory will become an anchor.
You can display it somewhere prominent or keep it safely hidden for use when needed.
It is designed for use when you are feeling anxious, stressed, sorrowful, angry or any other negative emotion.
If you have a bad day you can refer to it and be reminded of a happier positive time.
Next, follow each step from defining the negative emotion you are feeling to maintenance.
Again include the when, where, what, who, how and why as this will really help you understand the emotion as well as any triggers and resulting behaviors.
By writing your thoughts and feelings at each stage, as well as identifying the triggers, you can not only understand the emotion better but yourself and your reaction to it.
You are learning how to take control of your emotions and achieve balance.
You will be able to refer to it to remind yourself how to cope with difficult situations or simply how much you’ve achieved and grown.
Once you work through emotional issues this way, you will find they have less or no power.
I like to think of the positive memory anchors as a ladder to positivity. As you achieve balance over painful emotions, they become rungs on a ladder to feeling better.
So What If You Hate Writing?
From simple to elaborate, any kind of picture that expresses your emotions and situation will help.
After you’ve drawn the picture you can label and annotate it.
If you leave a blank page opposite your drawing then you can come back and review it at a later date and jot down any additional thoughts, emotions and responses.
Quite often this simple method will actually get you writing quickly.
Why not try using different types of pen or pencil to make your journaling more interesting and exciting?
If you are journaling about a problem, then you might consider using a diagram such as a mind map or decision tree.
Diagrams are powerful because they are visual and help you to see patterns and connections more easily.
If you are trying to make a decision, then you can illustrate the different outcomes and results to help you formulate the best decision. Adding in color not only makes them more attractive but can highlight connections.
Using a simple prompt such as a word or question can help break the blank page syndrome and inspire you to unburden yourself onto the empty page in front of you.
It’s important that you don’t feel that you have to write a lot or even in full sentences.
The journal and act of journaling has to relate to your needs at that moment in time and this will vary day to day.
You could consider purchasing a journal designed for the specific use you need. There are lots of weight loss, gratitude, happiness and other journals available.
Many of these will include prompts and recording methods that don’t require lots of writing.
Create a Collage
This is similar to a Vision Board, but instead of planning your future life, you are calming your emotions.
Get some magazines or newspapers and cut out words, phrases, paragraphs or even articles that relate to your situation or emotions at that particular point.
Add in pictures that you find that could demonstrate how you are feeling or want to feel.
Again you can annotate it to make it truly personal. Leave a blank page so that you can revisit and review at a later time and add in additional journaling.
While writing using a pen and paper is probably the most powerful method of journaling you can also use your mobile phone to record a video of you talking out your emotion.
Imagine you are talking to a friend or just yourself. You can save the video on your phone or upload it to a free website like WordPress.com.
Set it to private and it’s safe for only your viewing.
You can also use the speech to text option on your phone to transcribe your voice. You may decide to print it out and keep it in a binder.
If you do print it out, then you have the opportunity to embellish it or make additional notes on the hard copy.
Journaling does not have to be undertaken every day for a set period of time if that does not suit you.
Many people journal every day for 20 minutes as that is the method that suits them best.
However, it may be that once a week is enough.
Alternatively, you may decide that you will journal when you feel you need it. Some days it may be that you choose to use a prompt or picture to kick-start your writing. Other days you may find that the words flow and you can write without stopping.
The important points to remember are that the journal is a personal document designed to help you and that it is designed to be used and revised.
It’s a living document and there is no right or wrong way to create or use it.
Holistic approaches never just address symptoms of specific health problems, but instead aim to return or keep the patient in a state of balanced health between mind, body, and spirit. Holism targets overall wellness, and when we are well, we only get better with age.
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Until next time, here’s to our health!