Why Journaling?

I figured I should give you some insight on journaling, since I'm a big proponent AND that's one of my main offerings - the Interactive Journaling Method.

So many people ask me how to journal, why or how journaling even works, or why I recommend it. Can it really make that big of a difference?

Omg, YES, it makes a HUGE difference. But I totally understand the intimidation of getting started, especially if you’ve never done it before. Journaling is one of my favorite forms of emotional and mental therapy. It’s free, it’s on my own time, and it’s private. If I want it to be anyway.

Journaling has a multitude of benefits, of which some of my favorites are organizing your thoughts, addressing your fears, identifying negative self-talk and limiting beliefs, exploring the origins of your conditioned beliefs and thought patterns, shifting your mindset through affirmations and positive self-talk, and identifying triggers and exploring them at a safe distance. If you find yourself caught up in the past, or worrying about the future, then being present is probably a bit of a challenge (meaning it’s hard to shut off the chatter in your mind and be right here, right now). Journaling can help clear your head (similar to Dumbledore’s Pensieve, if you’re a Harry Potter fan) to make room for clarity and being present, which makes life MUCH more relaxing and enjoyable.

I journaled my way through my postpartum depression and PTSD after my son’s birth, and journaled my way through my divorce. If I have something weighing on me, I journal about it. If I need help or guidance with something, I write a letter to the Universe or my Angels/Guides (I’ll talk about that in another post) to ask for help.

Many people get hung up on wondering what to write about, or even how to write in a journal at all. The best advice I have is to not overthink it. There isn’t a right way or a wrong way to write in a journal, because it’s YOURS and you have control over the experience. You just have to enter in with a willingness to be open and explore.

And that’s the whole point, exploring the inner workings of YOU. Getting to know yourself better.

When I was seeing my counselor for postpartum depression and PTSD after my son was born, she encouraged me to write in my journal. I did, not realizing how powerful it would prove to be. I unloaded my thoughts and feelings, but it wasn’t until I started asking questions in it that things really started to move. Why is this happening? Why am I feeling this way? What is the meaning of all this? And I started exploring my thoughts and emotions a little deeper. 

Let me give you an example of one of my own journal entries. It started with this prompt:

“What is your most powerful attribute? What are you most proud of? What do you LOVE about yourself and your life?”

Here’s what I wrote:

I think it’s my optimism. It’s what gets me through any tough time, and I’m glad to say I don’t have many of those. Even if it’s just simply remembering that something hard is teaching me an important and valuable lesson. Something to better me as a person, so I’ll be grateful for the challenge later.

I LOVE my individuality and my independence. I lost that around the time I was dating my now ex-husband, and that loss of individuality led me to getting married, but I found it again. I am me, and just being ME has led me down a path of freedom. And I love that my quest of finding me has led me here, yet I’ve also evolved into knowing that quest toward finding me is an evolution that’s just as much about the journey as it is the end goal. Although I’m also thinking there never is an end goal. All of life is about growth and evolution so long as you’re in it.

Relationships… I can say I’m grateful for all of them, even though I’m not proud of some of them. But I don’t regret them because they taught me what I need to know to become who I am today. I’m sitting here thinking of a quote I made up, something I said to my current boyfriend about regrets, because he regrets getting married and staying in that relationship with her for as long as he did. BUt I basically said something along the lines of “Life life today in a way that makes all those decisions worthwhile.” It wasn’t exactly that, though. But really, regret is about not loving some aspect of your life. You’re not happy with a decision you made in the past. And if you’re not happy with a decision you made in the past, and all your experiences are put in place for you to grow into a better person, then there’s something about you today that you’re not totally happy with. Grow into the person you were meant to become BECAUSE of the challenge or the trauma or the “bad” decision, so that rather than regret it, you can feel grateful for it. What was that trying to teach you? What strengths and characteristics did it build in you that you can put into action to better your future?

I realize I need to remove “Challenge” and “trauma” from that statement, I can’t regret my son’s birth - that happened TO me (though I do know that happened FOR me - but that’s an entirely different lesson). It was outside of my control, whereas I have regretted choices that were IN my control, like getting to involved in that boyfriend that turned into my husband, and giving up my dream to move to Arizona. I have regretted getting mixed up with someone that resulted in me hurting someone I care very much about. But staying in that regret means I didn’t learn from it OR apply the lesson I learned to my current life so I can live as a better version of me.

I did continue on but that’s a good piece of insight as well as a good example of what my journal entries look like. See what I did? I started with a question, and answered it kind of like I was writing an essay. Write down whatever comes to mind, and go into as much detail as you can describing your thoughts and exploring your feelings.

This particular entry helped me focus on my good qualities, reminding me of the journey I’ve been on, and how my outlook on life has really made life easier. And from it blossomed several journal prompts I can share with you in my newsletter!

And because of this journey as well as the progress I’ve made through journaling, and because I want to help others experience the same growth, I created the Interactive Journaling Method. As a life coach, I can guide you even deeper into the process of self exploration than you normally would with independent journaling. I’ll provide you with prompts within the document we share between the two of us, and you’ll write your responses in that document. From there, I’ll comment on certain aspects of what you’ve written, and ask more questions or offer insights or perspectives to help you go even deeper.

The next step of your spiritual journey is waiting for you! DM me on social media @JamiChristine11 or email me at jamichristinecoaching@gmail.com for more information on how to take those next steps!

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