How to use Journaling to cope with life changes
Something I know to be true is that change is constant and the way you respond to it matters. Not all change is bad but any kind of switch in your life can still cause you stress. Allowing life to toss you around and remaining at its mercy simply keeps us stuck and can make it harder for you to remove yourself from an undesirable situation.
Journaling is definitely a method I support and found incredibly useful during times of strife. I would like to say I embody journaling every single day, but that isn’t the case. But it is definitely my number one go-to method when facing any kind of challenge or problem. Take a look at some of the ways that something as simple as journaling can help you to cope with those big life changes that seem insurmountable.
What Is Journaling?
A journal is different than a diary. In a diary, you write about the events of your day. It’s merely a chronological record of what you experience throughout life. A journal is different is a tool you can use to record your feelings on those significant life events.
There is power when you put pen to paper, not only does it provide a therapeutic space, you can coach yourself into moving through the challenge. For a consistent mindset practice it is helpful to do this part of your morning routine, but even taking the time to jot down your reactions to a particularly stressful one-time event can do you some good.
Benefits of Journaling
Writing in your journal can help you get through times of change in a myriad of ways. By getting things out of your mind, you’re able to clarify you’re them and to make better sense of your thoughts and feelings. You’re taking the time to process events and to break them down into segments, such as cause and effect.
Doing so lets you visualize what happened and gives you a better sense of how to improve your situation. It also clears your mind and frees up the cognitive space needed for implementing practical solutions. Here’s the thing, when you’re stuck in your own head and dwelling on the negative, it’s nearly impossible to make actual progress toward setting things right.
When you write it down, you can begin to prioritize the parts of your life that are most important to you through this form of processing. Finally, journaling gives you a record of how far you’ve actually come because you can see what’s worked for you thus far and what hasn’t. Seeing your progress is a strong motivator to keep going.
Methods of Writing
There are all kinds of journaling methods you could try. I’d like to highlight some that I believe to be particularly useful when it comes to coping with change. First, a simple gratitude journal can be a good place to start if you find you need to improve your attitude. Writing down what you’re thankful for and fortunate to have is a quick way to begin to feel more empowered. The phrase I like to use is “I am happy and grateful that….” and I will include current things I am grateful for and things I am working towards as if they are already in existence.
Free writing is good for an emotional release. Just begin writing on a particular thought you’ve had going through your mind. As you begin to expand upon it, patterns will emerge that you may never have expected. This is a fantastic strategy for processing emotions and generating solutions. Even keeping a planning journal or agenda can be useful if you need a little motivation to get things done.
Taking even the smallest proactive step can help to overcome the inertia that can set in with the depression and anxiety that often comes with times of uncertainty. Something I want to mention about free writing, you will find yourself resisting and NOT writing it down alas censoring yourself. This is not the time or place for you to do that however because this is only for you and not to be shared on social media!
This is just a quick synopsis of how journaling can help you to cope with unexpected changes in your world. Use these suggestions and incorporate your own when you’re feeling stuck in your reactions to difficult situations. You’ll find yourself moving forward and coming up with solutions in no time.