Are You Ready to Experience Healing through the Power of Journaling?

I have a long post, and I apologize because I know your time is important. I thought about making it a two-parter, but my schedule is heavy tomorrow, I might be late posting, so I am giving you everything today.

Enjoy the reading.

Nora and Hazel both went through painful divorces around the same time. They had been married for a similar length of time and had their marriages dissolve for the same reason—their spouse’s infidelity.

But three years later, their lives look very different. Nora is a health and wellness coach, a job she feels passionate about. She regularly volunteers by teaching yoga to students three times a week. She has a wide circle of friends and a community she can reach out to during her bad days. She’s even dipped her toe back into dating again by setting up a profile on a dating site.

Hazel is working a job she hates as a medical receptionist. Like many people, she lost most of her friends during the divorce. But Hazel didn’t begin building a new social circle, so she only has the occasional friend from college who calls to check up on her. She doesn’t leave her house except for work and to do errands like grocery shopping. She’s still bitter about the divorce; someone would think it had just happened to hear her talk.

Why is it that Nora rebuilt her life after the trauma of a painful divorce while Hazel is stuck living a life she hates and reliving her heartache day after day?

The truth is that Nora chose to heal. She recognized that her heart was broken and began taking steps to recover from her pain. One key component of her healing journey was taking the time to start a journaling routine. Regularly journaling allowed Nora to relieve stress, help her cope with the new changes in her life, and remember who she was.

Like Nora, you might be interested in journaling and how you can use it as a tool on your healing journey.

What Types of Emotional Wounds Is Journaling Good For?

Journaling can be helpful for any wound, including a breakup, being the victim of a crime, losing a loved one, or experiencing a natural disaster.

It can also be a valuable tool for exploring past trauma that continues to impact your present. For example, Shannon, as a child, was abused.

She thought it wasn’t affecting her daily life until her teenage daughter pointed out that Shannon always dated abusive and emotionally distant men. Using a guided journal, she could deal with her feelings of shame and unworthiness. Now she’s in a healthy relationship with a man who treats her well.

How Does Journaling Heal You?

The first and most powerful benefit of journaling is that it allows you to release your feelings around a situation or a person. It then frees you to look at things objectively and consider how you want to react.

For example, Jane’s boss was emotionally abusive toward his employees. He would often scream and scold her and others in front of clients. This situation created a toxic work environment, but Jane had a special needs child, so changing jobs wasn’t an option.

Jane used her journal to help her process her anger toward her boss and the resulting stress it caused in her life. Once she’d dealt with her emotions, she could brainstorm solutions that allowed her to manage her boss without letting him ruin her whole day.

Another benefit of journaling is that it gives you the space to see things you may have overlooked previously. Maybe you’ve constantly berated yourself for your lousy marriage, but when you start journaling, you realize your spouse has consistently cheated on you for years. This new insight can inspire you to let go of your unhappy marriage.

Finally, journaling lets you see if your thoughts about an event are true. Even though Patty didn’t realize it, she always blamed herself for being sexually assaulted at a party she’d attended in college.

It wasn’t until her therapist encouraged her to create a journal entry from that night that Patty saw the events. For the first time in her life, Patty put the blame where it rightfully belonged—on her abuser.

Why Do Some People Choose to Heal through Journaling?

There are various reasons that someone might choose journaling as a healing method. They might be unable to attend therapy, as this was the case for Lily. Her health insurance didn’t cover the costs, and she couldn’t find a local therapist who offered sliding scale payments.

Others might choose to journal because they feel past experiences with therapy haven’t been helpful. It could be due to not connecting with the counselor or therapist or even an inability to attend sessions regularly.

For some people, journaling isn’t a replacement for therapy at all. Instead, it’s another tool in their arsenal. In these cases, you might choose to share your journal with your therapist or counselor. It isn’t required, but it might be helpful and lead to new insights.

You might also choose to use journaling as a healing method if you don’t enjoy support groups. While some people find them incredibly therapeutic and helpful, others find their pain only intensifies the more they talk about it.

Finally, journaling can be a personal choice. You might want the time and space to process your emotions alone. There’s nothing wrong with this approach; it can be very empowering to realize you have everything you need to heal.

What Are Other Benefits of Journaling?

Besides helping you heal and relieving stress, journaling can be helpful in many things. It can help you stop ruminating on an event so that it’s not always with you. Instead, you feel you can “set it down” within your journal. You can pick up your journal when you’re ready to deal with the event again. In this way, the trauma feels contained and manageable.

You might also like to use a journal to work through anxiety and create a plan of action following a trauma. That’s what Evelyn did with hers. Evelyn’s home got burglarized, Evelyn was traumatized, and she started a journal. Within the journal, she began keeping a list of things she could do to make herself feel safer, such as buying a security system and replacing old, worn-out locks.

What If I Need More Support?

Many people use a journal as part of an overall healing strategy. It’s one tool among many others. These additional tools may include attending therapy appointments, taking daily medication, joining a support group, or talking through the situation with a supportive friend.

What’s important to keep in mind is that there’s no wrong or right way to heal from a traumatic situation. What works for your friend may not work that well for you. Expect to experiment as you work to find the right mix of tools that are best for you.

Regardless of the trauma you’ve gone through, remember to be kind to yourself. Healing is hard work, and you deserve all the support. You are brave and strong. As tough as this season of your life is, you can and will get through it.

I warned you it was a long blog post, but I know it will benefit you or someone you know.

Until next time, stay safe, and keep the faith.

Journaling to Help with Stress

Stress affects almost everyone at some time in their lives. Whatever reason you are stressed, congratulations for recognizing it and wanting to do something about it. Here are some excellent ways to journal to combat your stress.

Write Daily for 5 to 15 Minutes

The thing about journaling that is important is that you need to do it daily long term to work. It takes a lot of writing and insight to figure out why you’re dealing with stress and how to overcome it.

Write about Your Worries

Go straight to the problem and write about your worries. Describe your concerns from every angle you can come up with—the more descriptive, the better. Go back to the first time you felt this feeling regarding this topic so that you can get to the bottom of it.

Describe What’s Happening Now

Put what you did out of your mind, write precisely what is happening right now and where you stand with the issue causing your stress. If it’s generalized stress, try to make a list of things that might be contributing.

Document the Worst That Can Happen

As you look at the situation, one thing that often causes stress is the unknown, or the “worst thing” that you think can happen. Describe this worst thing but make it realistic. For example, don’t makeup something like an airplane falling on your wedding party. That isn’t realistic. However, bad weather, rude in-laws, and other issues may be.

Document the Best That Can Happen

Let’s get serious by thinking about and writing about the very best (realistic) outcome of the situation you’re stressing over. Include potential steps and tactics to achieve this best-case scenario so that you can see it to fruition if you so choose.

Document What Is Happening

As you are writing, be very careful to be realistic and honest above all else. Imagine the best and worst, ensure that you are also documenting the reality of what is happening to you. That way, you can narrow down identifying the stress-inducing situation.

Write a Counter-Argument to Yourself

An excellent way to overcome some stress about a situation is to argue with yourself. First, tell your story as a letter to yourself about what is happening. Then write a letter back to yourself in answer, discussing all the negativity and turning it into positivity. If your best friend wrote that, what would you say back?

Surprisingly, writing can accomplish so much, but you can achieve a lot if you go into journaling to help with stress under the right attitude and with a goal in mind. The important thing is that you need to be honest with yourself to find out the true causes of your stress. In this way, the actions you take to overcome them are practical.

Until next time, stay safe, and keep the faith.

Why is Journaling So Popular? Pt. 2

Here in part two are a few of the reasons journaling is so popular. Over the weeks and months to come, I will share other ways journaling can significantly benefit you.

Journaling provides surprising health benefits.

As well as helping to boost mental health, journaling can also be great for physical health too. There have been a lot of studies that have shown that journaling regularly can:

  • Boost your immune system.
  • Improve your memory.
  • Help you recover from trauma.
  • Improve cardiovascular health.

The health benefits are largely down to an increase in stress and negativity. You might be surprised how much a positive outlook can improve your physical health.

So, if you are looking to become healthier both mentally and physically, keeping a daily journal can help.

You are helping to improve every aspect of your life.

With journaling, it can help to improve every aspect of your life. You can use it to better yourself in every possible way. Want to lose weight? A journal can help you to set goals and track your progress. It will also help you identify what makes you keep the weight on (such as poor eating habits or emotional eating).

You can use daily journaling to improve your relationships, get better sleep, become healthier and reduce stress. There is no limit to what journaling can help you to achieve.

These are some of the main reasons why journaling is so popular. While it used to only consist of writing down your thoughts, you can practice many different types these days. Research the different types before choosing which one is right for you.

Until next time, stay safe, and keep the faith.

Why is Journaling So Popular? Pt. 1

Journaling is one of the oldest self-help practices in the world. It dates to the 10th century and has only grown in popularity over time. Today, millions of people use the practice to help improve their lives.

So, why is journaling so popular? Here, you will discover what is driving the journaling craze and the reasons you should consider taking it up yourself.

Journaling relieves stress.

Did you know that journaling is an excellent tool for relieving stress? Getting your thoughts and emotions down onto paper can help to clear them from the mind. It automatically leaves you feeling calmer and more relaxed.

Journaling can also analyze your problems. When you can work out solutions to the issues you are facing, it can help you to feel more in control. It will help to reduce stress, allowing you to feel happier and more relaxed.

It boosts mental health.

Journaling is scientifically proven to benefit mental health. It relieves the symptoms of depression, reduces anxiety, and improves overall wellbeing.

It is easy to get lost inside your head. We all have an inner critic, but for some, it can prove to be overpowering. If you have trouble switching off your inner critic, journaling can help. You will be able to address negative thinking, helping to switch to a more positive mindset.

The longer you journal, the more mental health benefits you will experience. After just a month of journaling, you will notice a drastic improvement in your mood.

I will share part two of this report tomorrow. Until then, stay safe, and keep the faith.

Self-Care is the Ultimate Anti-Aging Hack

When it comes to fighting off the effects of aging, there is a lot you can do. You can eat right, take great care of your skin, exercise, and all of that, but ultimately the best anti-aging hack is self-care. Self-care makes all the difference in aging because it feeds your very unique and specific needs. While nutrition, diet, and exercise are general and can apply to most people, self-care is highly personal, and what one person needs may look nothing like what someone else does.

We all need self-care, but not the same kind

We can all agree that self-care is vital, but we will likely disagree on the type and frequency everyone needs. Only you know what self-care means to you and how much and what type you need. For new moms, self-care could mean a shower and a nap, while a retired or widowed woman may need companionship for self-care.

We all need self-care, but not the same kind. You have got to tune into what you need and make it a priority. If you need 9 1/2 hours of sleep per night to be healthy, you have to make that your focus. Ultimately, whether or not you add self-care to the list of anti-aging hacks will determine how well you fight the aging process.

We all need self-care, but it changes over time

What we needed for self-care a year ago may not be what we need today. As our situations change over time, so does the sort and frequency of self-care we need today. Be sure to stay tuned to what you need to care for yourself and make any shifts or adjustments along the way. It’s reasonable to expect that what you need changes and how you get your fill of self-care will change too.

We all need self-care, and so does your family

People resist self-care because it feels indulgent and selfish. One of the easiest ways to make space for guilt-free self-care is to make it a priority for your whole family. It becomes normalized when you model the importance of self-care and empower others to take it for themselves. People feel more relaxed and supported, and that promotes aging well and living a stress-less lifestyle.

You can fight aging by eating right and drinking plenty of water, but you add to the richness of life by making self-care a regular part of your routine. Take the time to care for yourself, and it will reflect in your happiness and the longevity of your life.

Well, this concludes my thoughts on aging for now. I have not decided on my next subject. I will share my morning and evening self-care habits with you tomorrow. If you have some ideas of subjects, you would like me to cover, please leave a comment. Until next time, stay safe, and keep the faith.

What Happens to You When You are Stressed?

We all know stress is bad for our health, but do you know what it does? Understanding the effects stress has on the body can help you realize just how important it is to keep your levels under control.

Here, we will look at how stress impacts you and some of the best self-care ideas you can use to reduce it.

What is stress?

Stress is a response from the body when faced with a threat or demand. It is a defense mechanism, also referred to as the “flight or fight” response. In emergencies, it can potentially help to save your life. However, in general, in day-to-day life, high levels of constant stress can negatively affect our health.

The thing about chronic stress is that it can negatively impact every aspect of your life. It produces physical, emotional, and mental effects on the body.

Understanding the different effects stress can have on your life is essential. Identifying the signs is crucial to taking action and eliminating the potential threat it has on your wellbeing.

How stress affects the mind

Although a bit of stress now and again can be beneficial, too much can negatively impact your wellbeing.

Chronic stress can have a devastating impact on the mind. It can lead to depression, anxiety, trouble with memory, and lead to loneliness and isolation.

These mental symptoms can lead to changes in behavior and dramatically decrease your quality of life.

The physical effects of stress

While stress can have a significant impact on your mental health, it also causes physical symptoms too. When you are experiencing high levels of stress, some of the physical signs include:

  • A racing heart
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Muscle tension
  • Headaches
  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue

These are just some of the physical signs of stress. Your body remains in the fight or flight stance, causing the heart to beat faster. Despite the fact you feel constantly tired, insomnia can start to take over.

The physical symptoms of stress can be challenging to live with day by day. If left untreated, it can also lead to more severe physical issues such as a compromised immune system. Studies have shown that high levels of constant stress can lead to the development of extreme health conditions, as well as potentially lower your lifespan.

So, if stress’s mental and emotional effects were not harmful enough, these physical symptoms make lowering your stress levels essential.

Great Self-Care ideas to reduce stress

If you are looking to reduce stress’s mental and physical effects, taking care of yourself is crucial. There are a lot of self-care tasks you can utilize to minimize the stress in your life.

Making sure you have at least 30 minutes to yourself each day can be effective. Everyone needs a little downtime and to spend a little time alone. It helps to leave you feeling a lot more relaxed. Use the daily alone time to do something relaxing, such as taking a bath, reading, or listening to your favorite music.

Getting out into nature can also be effective. Just a 30-minute walk can leave you feeling so much calmer. Write a list of the things you find relaxing, then schedule them into your daily routine. 

The above are just some of the effects stress can have on your life. A little stress is not damaging, but chronic stress can significantly impact your health and wellbeing.

So, to avoid the issues mentioned above, it is a good idea to put together a self-care plan. Taking little steps each day to reduce your stress can have a significant beneficial impact on your wellbeing.   

Until next time, stay safe, and keep the faith.

How to Journal Your Way to Improved Mental Health pt. 3

Allows You to Stay in Tune with Your Emotions

One of the main reasons people struggle with their emotions is the failure to focus on their mental well-being. However, taking the time to write in a journal is an excellent way to stay in tune with your emotions and help you develop resiliency to everyday stressors. Strengthening your emotional functions by journaling is a perfect way for business leaders and entrepreneurs to handle stress in the workplace.

Today almost turned into a stressor for me. I had to create some promotional material for a directory. I thought it was the only thing I would be working on that day. However, I accepted an urgent request to do a proofreading job. I managed to complete the promotional material on time and started working on the proofreading.

I am still writing this in my journal. I can look back as a reminder of how I handled this situation and the results. I will have the proofreading done by tomorrow morning and ready to take on a new assignment.

I am feeling much better for having written this to you. Take time to write in your journal and observe the change.

Until next time, stay safe, and keep the faith.

How to Journal Your Way to Improved Mental Health pt. 1

Many business leaders struggle with stress. Over time, stress can turn into more serious mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety. A great way to improve your mental health is by taking the extra time each day to journal. You can choose to journal in various ways, whether you prefer to use old-fashioned pen and paper or use an app on your phone.

Here is one of the main ways that journaling can improve your mental health.

Helps You to Relax

One of the benefits of writing in a journal is that it helps you to relax. Write about the stressors of your day to release them from your mind. Or consider a different approach: Write about your gratitude or all the things that went RIGHT today. Taking the extra time to relax is also a great way to boost your immune system and help you stay mentally and physically healthy. Writing in a journal for only 15 to 20 minutes a day a few times a week is an effective way to relax and unwind from the stress of each day.

Today could have been an actual stressor for me. I had a meeting, two mastermind groups, a journal class, and writing to do. There was very little time for me to catch my breath in between each session and course. However, I did take some time to write about my day. It helped take away my feelings of stress.

The great thing about writing about my day, I started feeling good about my day instead of the pressure of the day. I had accomplished so much, and I felt a sense of pride in those accomplishments. It is one of the benefits journaling can provide for you. Set yourself free, and start journaling.

Until next time, stay safe, and keep the faith.

4 Common Myths about Journaling

Journaling is on the rise, and a growing number of solopreneurs and others find it invaluable for getting the clarity and motivation needed to thrive. However, misconceptions are still common, and breaking them can help you make the most of journaling. Here are some common myths about journaling.

Journaling Takes Too Much Time

Journaling is a time commitment, but many people overestimate both how much time it takes and how difficult it is to find the time needed to make journaling a regular habit. If you have a morning routine, there’s a good chance you can spend a few minutes journaling while having a cup of coffee, for example. If you don’t have a morning routine, consider setting one up and making journaling a part of it.

If you spend any time on public transportation or waiting in lines, consider downloading a journaling app to pull up when you have a free moment. Many people find journaling to be most effective right before bed. Consider using journaling as a way to unwind after a long day.

I Don’t Have Anything to Write About

Journaling is a creative task, but do not use the “I’m not creative” excuse to avoid regular journaling. Think about some of the most basic journaling questions or techniques. Consider a gratitude journal: What made you grateful during the day? A surprise journal is also a great way to gain some perspective, so think through how your day went and what parts of it you found surprising. What made you laugh during the day? Journaling helps clarify your aspirations and find out how to meet them, so write about your dreams.

I’m Not Good at Writing, or I Hate Writing

Your journal is not about showing off perfect grammar; it is about speaking to yourself in an organized manner. You do not even need to use typical sentences, so consider starting up a bullet journal to improve your organization and track your days.

Lists are great for journaling, so think about starting up a list of your goals or dreams you can update over time. Finally, note that journaling does not have to be on paper. A simple voice memo app can let you journal through your smartphone’s microphone, allowing you to think through your day and record your thoughts.

There is a Right and Wrong Way to Journal

Following a prescribed journaling method can be great for getting started, and you may find a particular type of journaling is perfect for you. However, any time you spend collecting your thoughts and committing them to paper is time well spent, and even scratching down a few notes you are unlikely to read through again helps organize your thoughts and sets you up for future success. Find out what works for you.

Journaling is an invaluable habit, but many people are intimidated due to persistent myths and misconceptions. Above all, please keep an open mind when it comes to journaling. You may be surprised how your attitude changes over time.

Take Journaling to the Next Level with My Newest Class

Now that I have convinced you of the benefits and ease of journaling, let me show you how journaling can significantly change your life. My newest class, “Journaling to Relieve Stress and Reach Your Goals Faster.” Learn how to embrace journaling quickly and how to incorporate this stress-reliever into your everyday life. I’ll encourage you to embrace journaling, even if you have to use baby steps to get started. Go here to register for a free class, The course is on February 28, at 2 p.m.

Until next time, stay safe, and keep the faith.  

5 Ways Exercise Helps You Become More Successful

You have a lot of energy and are full of visions of dreams fulfilled. You want to succeed in life. But how can you when you are not moving?

Oh, sure, you have got some great ideas about what you want to do. You are probably even working toward them. You might even have the entire future laid out in a precise roadmap and are busy ticking off each item on the list. But consider this: you are still failing if you are not fit.

In short, you need to exercise.

Why is exercise so critical to success?

Exercise Helps You Practice Skills You Need Elsewhere

You will never succeed if you have not set up some serious goals and added them to your schedule. People who exercise are used to doing both things already. This kind of dedicated planning is probably already second nature.

Exercise Invites You to Go Deep

Are you feeling a little burned out or bogged down by bad habits? Both of these problems fade with exercise. When working out, you give your mind a chance to rest. Better yet, the healthy brain chemicals triggered by activity, such as dopamine, replace malaise with a feel-good kind of reaction instead. You get into the zone and can let your mind run free, exploring new thoughts and ideas while growing more fit and healthy with each step. Many a knotty problem has worked out while working out.

Exercise Drops Stress

No, you can not tell the people around you what you think of them. Exercise gives you a safe outlet to burn out anger, rage, frustration, grief, or a host of other emotions aroused by others throughout the day. It clears your mind to get you back on track with what is important.

Exercise Builds You Up

When you are working out, you can not help but feel better about yourself. After all, the very act of exercise makes your body feel good instead of sluggish and heavy. As a result, your self-talk shifts. You become more positive in what you say and even more optimistic about outcomes, especially as you see yourself realizing exercise goals. You visualize success.

Exercise Keeps You on Schedule

When chasing goals, it is effortless to keep working without stopping. It will eventually kill you if you are not careful. By taking an exercise break, you control the day and remind yourself there is a lot more to life than work. It helps keep you in balance to return to your hopes and dreams with a more rested mind tomorrow.

Without your health, you are never going to be able to achieve anything truly. In the end, the most significant benefit to your future success through exercise comes from the fact you are healthier overall. So, get moving, be consistent, and have fun. Success is out there waiting for you.

Until next time, stay safe, and keep the faith.