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Exercise – Journaling

 

Journaling has been scientifically proven to have numerous therapeutic benefits. 

Overall, journaling, or expressive writing, has been found to:

  • Reduce stress and anxiety

  • Enhance your sense of well-being

  • Reduce intrusive thoughts

  • Improve overall memory

  • Improve your quality of sleep

 

It can also help with stress management, the processing of emotions, and prioritizing actions that are in line with core values and beliefs. 

This Journaling Challenge should be done each day for the next 10 days straight! 

Here are the steps to follow:

 

  • Make or buy a journal

  • Find a space without distractions then set aside 15 minutes each day.

  • Aim for writing consecutively (i.e., once each day).

  • Don’t feel like you must write the hardest things first

  • Write about what feels right in the moment

  • Keep your journal private

  • Use the WRITE Format (See Below)

 

W – What do you want to write about?

 

Think of the word WRITE as an acronym.

 

Starting with W…

  • Think about what is going on in your life, your current thoughts, feelings, what you’re striving towards, or trying to avoid right now

 

R ­– Reflect from within

 

  • R is for Reflection

  • Take the time to look within yourself, breath, and direct your attention to the paper.

    • If you’re having a hard time starting use any “I” statement such as:

      • “I want…”

      • “I feel…”

      • “I wonder…”

  • Attempt to keep it in the present tense, with starters like:

    • “In this moment…”

    • “Right now…”

 

 

I – Investigate your thoughts and feelings

 

  • Spend time to go inwards and investigate your thoughts and feelings

  • If you hit a mental block, try to regroup with a deep breath.  You can also try reviewing what is already on the page and keep going.

 

T – Set a Timer

 

  • Set a realistic time for your journaling, no more than 15 minutes

    • If it feels daunting or overwhelming, you won't get the writing done.

 

E – Exit and Reflect

 

  • After you have had a chance to write, go for a walk, have a shower, watch a tv show, get in a different space, and then come back to what you wrote and reflect

  • Exit with a sentence like 

    • “As I read this, I notice…”,

    • “I’m aware of…”, or

    • “I now feel…”

  • If there are any items that need to be put into action, write it down as a brief plan to set intentions for yourself

Click on the link if you would like to print or download this exercise: 

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