By Renu Ravalia
My journaling journey (yes it has been a journey) started in January 2013, I was divorced, back at my parents house and was feeling defeated!
It was during my marriage that I discovered a passion for creative writing, I had never really written things down or journaled before but I had always been a deep thinker with a racing mind. I thought and typed faster then I wrote, so instead of going down the conventional route and buying a paper journal, I created a journal blog. I was embarking on what I can only call a ‘spiritual awakening’ and I needed a place to put down everything I was feeling because internalising and keeping things in your head I started to realise, is never healthy.
I still post to the blog to this day but after years of dipping in and out, sometimes turning to external things for gratification, I now appreciate and acknowledge the long lasting value of journaling as a daily tool for personal and spiritual growth, and now apart from the blog, I also have a journal that sits by my bed.
Why do you need to journal?
If you have never journalled before, you are probably wondering why you even need to bother or perhaps you are wondering what would lead you to need to journal, so here are a few scenarios that you might be able to relate to:
Getting defensive – Have you ever had someone say something to you and before you realise it, you’ve bitten back, said something that you shouldn’t have and then you are overcome with guilt – this was a common state for me and I have realised, it often has very little to do with the person that you project on too.
Unexplained emotions – You are watching a programme (Reading a book, flicking through Social Media) and suddenly your eyes are full of tears. Something has triggered you but you don’t know why you are overcome with such emotion – ‘This Is Us’ gets me everytime and has brought up so many deep wounds that I continue to heal.
Journaling is for everyone and I think should be something we are taught to use as an outlet even as children. Now maybe you can’t relate to the above scenarios, so here are a few other ways it can help for that sceptic inside of you:
- To get to know yourself better, understand yourself and build a happier relationship with yourself
- If you love personal growth and self help and you get genuine satisfaction when you grow and develop yourself
- To help you express yourself better, especially if you find it hard to get words out, writing them down first helps you organise what you want to say
- If you want to raise your awareness of who you really are and become more connected to your deeper self ( your soul/spirit/inner child)
Question Led Journaling: A technique worth trying
Journaling should be a daily practice and incorporated into your morning or evening self care routine. There are lots of different techniques that you can use to help extract your feelings, encourage personal growth and identify what is really going on at a superficial and then at a deeper level. Personally, I believe one of the easiest and most effective one, especially if you are new to journaling, is to get in the habit of asking yourself questions. I call this Question Led Journaling because we use questions to prompt or encourage our responses, these are also brilliant if you want to do a quick check-in which can help massively with mental health – I find it has really supported my anxiety.
Some of the best questions to ask yourself are:
How am I feeling?
Why am I feeling this way?
Where have I felt this before?
What is this really trying to tell me?
If you decide to give journaling a go, here are a few things worth remembering when putting pen to paper:
- Make it a daily practice – this is a life changing experience and is something to use every day
- Give yourself time and be patient with yourself – if you have never done this before, things won’t surface overnight, you will have to wait but please don’t give up on yourself
- Be open and honest – your journal is a private space for you, it’s a trusted friend and it won’t judge you, so be open and honest in your writing, even if sometimes the truth hurts!
If I have managed to convince you and you are ready to try journaling then I am so very pleased, it really will help you along this sometimes challenging journey of life.
More help with journaling
If you feel like you need more help, maybe to build your confidence and get you actually taking action, I would love to support you further. In January I am running a ‘Journaling for Personal Growth’ workshop. During the workshop I will be sharing 2 more techniques, as well as a meditation (that will be yours to keep), that will help you connect a little deeper, there will be lots more prompting questions and a LIVE coaching session, so you can see the technique and benefits first hand. This takes place on Sunday 17th January, there are limited spaces and you can reserve your space by following this link – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/journaling-workshop-for-personal-growth-tickets-128317391773
Renu is a mindset coach, she works with women who want to work on themselves to shift the way they think, act and behave, so they can create a happier, more fulfilled and balanced life. Her coaching style involves using personal growth and spiritual tools which are primarily focussed around increasing self love and self care. In August, she launched a women’s group called The Grow Me Project, a members club that includes monthly workshops and group coaching to support and encourage personal, spiritual and emotional growth. Visit her website here and follow her on Instagram here to learn more about her story and get more inspiration.