As you may know I have a background in teaching Personal Development and Mental Health Recovery… so I know a thing or two about the power of writing and especially keeping a journal of some sort. That doesn’t have to be a diary with reams and reams of writing (although if you like to do that, it’s great!), it could just be a very simple daily or weekly round up of the bits you enjoyed. What I do know to be very powerful is to take moments to review, reflect and remember positive events in our lives.
One idea I always shared with students, and have used myself at many points in my life is at the end of every day to note down just 3 Good Things from that day. This is a particularly useful task when you are experiencing a tough time, as it focuses your brain on the positives as you go to sleep, allowing you to wake with those still fresh or at least ‘downloaded’. There have been days when my 3 Good Things were 1. I ate toast, 2. Someone loves me, 3. It’s bedtime. Now clearly that wasn’t a fantastic day, but even on a day when eating toast was seen as a great moment I was able to complete the task and reset my brain by forcing it to only acknowledge the good things, of course I would have told myself all the bad things, but they didn’t get written down and so their power was reduced.
Journalling can take so many different forms, if you’re not a lover of writing then try these…
- take a photo everyday of where you go or what you eat or your dog or a plant
- try an art journal of drawings, painting or whatever you enjoy
- keep a journal of feelings, just using simple drawings maybe three times a day
- keep a sleep journal – times, foods or drinks, dreams or waking routines
- brain dump – some people like to just leave everything out of their head and onto a page with images or words, be careful of this if you are likely to look backwards and see triggers, you can add a clip or elastic band so once pages are full you no longer see them.
- Use the recording option on your mobile phone and keep an audio journal
- poetry or creative writing – for journalling to be helpful it doesn’t have to be ‘real’, the process of writing can be good
- start a blog! you may feel you want to share your thoughts with world, you can set up a free blog and journal into cyberspace
There is more information about this great tool for wellbeing in our Winning at Winter book (pages 25 & 26), we also have a range of journals available on Amazon too x