By Trafalgar’s Editorial Team
This Content is Created By Kinga Burjan, M.A., R.P.
This video is intended to share tips on making the most out of your journaling practice. First, start by giving yourself some space away from distractions. Give yourself time without interruptions. You might want to turn off notifications or put your phone on silent or let the people in your household know that you need some quiet time and no distractions. It’s best to keep your journal private unless you want to share some parts with someone you trust.
When starting to journal, I suggest that you commit to at least three or four times before saying it doesn’t work for you the first few times your mind and body may still be getting used to the process and might have some resistance to it.
Make journaling a habit. Find a time during the day that would work best for you. This might be when you first wake up when you’re having your cup of coffee or before you go to bed. You can even set a reminder on your phone. And if you just choose to journal for three days a week rather than every day, that’s fine too, but do your best to commit to it. And as you commit, you’re creating that habit.
Set a timer. Putting your timer on for a few minutes to start and then gradually increasing your time as you get more comfortable helps your brain not to worry about the time while you are writing so that you can fully focus on your writing.
So the intention when you write is to write out what’s going on for you and for your eyes only. So don’t worry if you have any grammatical errors or spelling mistakes, just write.
When you’re starting out if you can at first try handwriting rather than typing. Handwriting activates both hemispheres of the brain. So while the left brain is being analytical and thinking, your thoughts, the right side as you move your hand helps with creativity. If neither handwriting nor typing works for you, you could try recording a voice memo and listening back to it.
As your journaling to your best to enjoy the process without putting expectations on it, it may or may not be the best approach for you. However, if you enter journaling with an open mind, then you will allow yourself to be present and in the process of it.
So journaling allows for that safe space to express your feelings, including the negative ones. It’s okay to write about negative experiences and feelings. However, I suggest that you set an intention that after writing about a negative event or feeling that you try to understand or make sense of what happened to you or why you’re feeling this way, rather than just focusing on the negative emotion, sometimes our thoughts can keep us stuck in a negative feeling state.
So I encourage you to notice if you have any thought patterns that are keeping you stuck. So these are referred to as thinking traps or cognitive distortions, and these may amplify the negative emotions. This is where reflecting after your journal entry is helpful so that you can notice if any of these thoughts or patterns may be contributing to your negative feelings.
For more information about thinking traps, there is a video provided and you can also search online, thinking traps or cognitive distortions.
Thank you so much for joining me on this video today. There is also an accompanying video on how to journal for more information about different journaling techniques. Thank you and have a beautiful day.