With Winter around the corner this is the perfect time for some restoration and personal reflection. We forget that the Winter months are to give us time to rest and heal from the hard working/partying Summer months (that we should of had, had we not been in a pandemic of course) The shorter, colder days are perfect for wrapping up under a blanket, with a hot chocolate and taking a step back from the World. Although, if you do get out and about the colour’s are amazing at the moment, I feel truly blessed when i’m out walking!
I’m a huge fan of journaling, it helps me in so many areas of my life, so I decided to upload a journaling series on YouTube to help others.
Journaling is proven to help people in all areas of their lives. When I say Journaling, I don’t mean just keeping a diary, but giving yourself a safe space to write down thoughts and feelings and use this as a tool to release frustrations, give yourself a voice, reflect on experiences, understand your emotions or just clear some space in your head.
By doing this you will feel less confused and stressed about situations. You will quickly see improvements in your overall wellbeing and be able to prioritise your day more easily.
Reflective journaling is a great way to learn how to reflect on experiences and learn from them.
There is not a one size fits all with journaling, it is going to be very different for each person and you may find you enjoy one style of journaling more than another. That is why I am doing a video on all the different styles, so you can give them a go and see what works for you.
To begin with you must have a clear book ready to unload those thoughts and feelings. This is a new space for you to let loose, without any judgement.
Next, find a time and place you are going to feel less likely to be disturbed and get relaxed. Obviously life is about constant interruptions and distractions, but we can set an intention and when those little distractions do pop up, hopefully we can quickly get them sorted and get back to our plan.
So you have sat down with your notebook and pen, your comfortable and you have no distractions (or you’ve managed to set yourself apart from those distractions.) Now you open your book up and set your pen to work…
But hold on!
What do I write about?
Only you can answer this, but I can give you some places to start.
If your struggling with an experience at work, you could start with the prompt:
This situation makes me feel frustrated because…
Or possibly your in a relationship and feel something is missing:
I feel something is missing because…
Maybe you have fallen out with a friend or family member:
I think we fell out because…
If you’ve had a past experience that was very difficult for you, you may write:
I feel I am still holding onto this experience because…
So you see, you can prompt yourself in lots of different ways to open up and start writing. Remember, it doesn’t need to make sense. It’s a place for you to be open and honest, then later use this for the reflection.
Write as much or as little as you like. There is no structure to it, just let if flow.
Once you have written out your thoughts and feelings, read over your findings with a highlighter or you can just underline certain words. You want to look at what jumps out as you as you read it back. It is interesting to see what comes up. This is where you discover you have been holding onto things. Maybe you realise you were more angry about it than you knew, how does it make you feel to discover that? Or you may find that you think you handled it badly, so you can reflect on the experience and write how you can do it differently and possibly change it?
This is all about your self reflection and getting a good understanding of how you feel. Becoming more self aware. When you know more about yourself and your feelings, you begin to value yourself more.
The more you do this exercise the easier it will get and the more you will understand yourself and how your feeling. Like everything in life, its about practice. Set yourself the goal of doing this daily or weekly and see what you discover about yourself.
Reflective journaling has helped me in so many areas of my life, but most importantly its made me understand how I think and feel about situations. Now I can see when I am walking into something challenging, I know ahead of the event how I am going to feel. I save myself a lot of stress and anxiety this way and live a much happier life.
Whatever you do, don’t judge your findings! What you write will not be judged, your purely voicing what is inside you and letting it out in any way possible. Even if your hard writing is a mess or your just doodling, this is all part of the process.
Hope you find the video useful and I look forward to sharing more with you soon x