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Significance of Journaling & 7 Steps to Effective Journaling

Significance of journaling & 7 steps to effective journaling
Significance of journaling & 7 steps to effective journaling

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal the significance of journaling, its link to emotional freedom and 7 steps to effective journaling.

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Now, let’s talk about the significance of journaling, its link to emotional freedom and 7 steps to effective journaling.

“Sometime around 600 BC, one of the Seven Sages inscribed on the Temple of Delphi in Greece the now famous words, “Know thyself.” To know yourself refers to knowing what you want, how you feel, what makes you tick. What are your dreams, your fantasies, your fears, your goals, and your passion? What are your deepest desires? What would you try and do if you had no fear? What moves you and motivates you? What are your fears? What are your issues? What pushes your buttons? What do you most like about yourself and what do you least like about yourself? If you were to write your own epitaph, what would it say? What are the things you want to be remembered for when you leave this world?”- Soul Mates – Discovering, Sharing & Loving © 2004

Self-awareness is a key component of emotional intelligence (the awareness of and ability to manage and control one’s emotions.) And emotional intelligence determines much of our success in relationships. And the success of our relationships determines our happiness and success in almost every area of our life (at home and at the office.) The rise and fall of successful people is often directly tied to the way they treat other people as well as the respect, support & loyalty they get from those other people. (Read my article “Emotional Intelligence” )

Self-awareness creates the opportunity to reflect and make necessary changes. It also helps a person to become clear about what they truly want from life and thus focus on and pursue only what they want.

Journaling is one way of gaining self-awareness, developing emotional intelligence and becoming clear about one’s values and goals in life. However, journaling also has many other benefits including enhancing growth and learning.

Journaling is not the same as writing a daily diary. The latter is a record of daily experiences, thoughts and reactions to those events.

A journal, on the other hand, can be used daily but is designed to record personal thoughts, experiences, and evolving insights. It can also serve as a way to gain clarity about events, experiences and emotions. Writing entries every day in a diary is not sufficient in itself to bring about deep changes in one’s life.

Furthermore, on a daily basis we are communicating faster and shorter via texts, Twitter, Instagram photos and brief email & voice mail messages. But we are also losing the ability to gain insight into and expression of complex ideas and more importantly, we are losing insight and awareness of our deeper emotions and subconscious beliefs.

Personal opinions, hopes, fears, inner conflicts, dilemmas, challenges, dichotomies, predicaments, evolving views, confusion about personal values & beliefs, life changes and other problems cannot be solved via text messages.

The key is to become self-aware:

  • Uncover & clarify one’s thoughts & beliefs
  • Gain mental clarity
  • Identify various subconscious emotions
  • Release pent-up emotions
  • Solve problems
  • Engage your intuition

Journaling is powerful way of recording personal changes and insights as well as elucidating opinions, beliefs, and feelings and thus also lowering stress. The journal’s effectiveness is determined by your approach – writing openly, free of fear, judgment, blame or justification. In fact, the very act of writing this way can lead to emotional freedom. Journaling can create the opportunity for greater self-acceptance.

Here are 7 simple steps to effective journaling:

  1. Understand and accept that the journal is for you and you only
  2. Obtain a lined or unlined pad (writing by hand is preferable as it encourages a faster flow of thoughts, ideas and emotions)
  3. Find a place where you feel safe and free to be private and express yourself – away from distractions; this allows for a freedom of expression that may be inhibited or hindered in a group setting
  4. Determine the purpose of the journal i.e. is it a gratitude journal or a journal designed to solve a problem, express an idea or express and release a pent-up emotion?
  5. Write without thinking about grammar, spelling, mistakes or any other judgment; writing freely and openly creates “flow” also known as being “in the zone” or creative disassociation. This is also necessary for expressing and releasing emotion.
  6. Write for quantity not quality i.e. focus on expressing every thought and emotion that arises. Allow yourself to continuously write and express yourself. If you come up with an “Aha moment” circle it and keep writing. You can review it later.
  7. If you intend to express emotion, use phrases such as “I feel” to begin some sentences.

Remember, you can create and write a journal for every area of your life – gratitude, dreams, memoirs, emotions, goals and dreams. The key is to begin writing so that you can create the flow and “Know theyself.”

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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist

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