It’s no secret that we are big fans of journaling. It is one of the lessons in our online program, and Pernille, who has been writing in her journals for years, talks passionately about the benefits of writing down your thoughts and downloading your brain.
“As you start to take full ownership of your life and start designing it the way you want to live it, journaling is the first commitment you need to make to yourself. Your journal will be the best support and a trusted friend. Writing will open your eyes to what is really going on in your life; it will help reflect and gain valuable insights. It will help you create a plan for change, “ she says.
AN ARTICLE THAT CAUGHT OUR ATTENTION
The other day, this article “You Can Write Your Way Out of an Emotional Funk. Here’s How” from nymag.com September sparked our interest. It backs our message about the power of writing about emotional stuff and significant things going on in our lives.
James Pennebaker, a distinguished professor at the University of Texas, went through a very rocky part shortly after he married as a young man. He dealt with depression by writing, and this started 40 years of research about writing and emotional processing. Countless studies with children and the elderly, students and professionals, healthy and ill, have proven that writing about emotionally significant experiences about 20-minutes a day, three days in a row, has a positive and lasting effect on people’s lives. Applying words to emotions help dealing with stress, anxiety, and loss.
(It’s worth mentioning, that talking into a voice recorder, for example, can deliver the same results as actually writing down the words).
HOW TO JOURNAL
The article also includes some good tips on writing. We would like to share some of ours:
1) Find a journal you like. You will have it in your hands every day.
2) To Get things underway, start with writing three pages every day for at least two weeks. For the first few days your writing will typically be telling you what you did yesterday. Gradually you will begin to dig to a deeper layer and reflect more consciously.
3) Write in the morning. This is when you are clearest. Make it a routine.
4) Write freely, without self-censorship. What are you thinking, what is going on in your life now?
5) See the diary as a good friend with whom you need to be completely honest. After a while you will begin to see a pattern in what you write. You will notice problems and challenges, and will be able to see where things fit or don’t. It will help you loosen up on things that are blocking you.
Tools from the Design Your Life
ADVICE FROM A LIFE DESIGNER
Keeping a journal can be just as hard as committing to start running, eating healthier and other new habits. Don’t make it too big and demanding before you even have put the pen to the paper.
This is something several life designers have touched in our blog interviews. One of them is Amy Rouas, 40+, married, mother, Head of Industry Sales at Google.
“Keeping a journal really centers me. It can be hard to keep up, if you are making the commitment too big. I just write a little every day. Sometimes it’s even less than five minutes. A little goes a long way.”
THIS WEEK’S QUOTE
“Words are a form of action, capable of influencing change.”
Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way.
If you haven’t already, take the first step to create change; keep a journal, one word at a time.