10 minutes of happy: journaling
It’s truly astounding how much information we hold in our brains. Every single person is carrying on an internal dialogue all day long. It’s so habitual that it’s hard to notice when it’s happening – hence the power of meditation. Meditation allows us to notice the thoughts that pass through without judgment. Another way to notice all the millions of thoughts that are firing off all day long is to spend 10 minutes with a pen in your hand and letting it all flow out in a journal.
I’ve used journaling in times of doubt and intense stress that interfered with my sleep and overall productivity. I’ve also used it in times of accomplishment and confidence in my abilities. Though I almost never go back and read what I wrote, the messages are there waiting for me when I’m ready.
Putting my thoughts in writing, regardless of their charge (positive, neutral or negative), has allowed me to notice my ups and downs with a sense of subjectivity. There are thoughts that come up over and over again and others that only seem to slip in once. I get to see the patterns my mind makes more so than if I never wrote it down.
Writing the tough and hurtful thoughts can be really challenging but I’ve found it’s part of my healing process. When I think mean things about myself I get to ask, is it true? Is it true that I am the way that my mind tries to tell me I am. Often times, it’s not true and I get to begin to release the thought and not hold on to it for so long.
Listing out the many parts of my life that I’m grateful for is equally powerful. There are many parts of my daily life that I take for granted, but writing them out allows me to see them in a more concrete form.
Humans of New York posted a photo recently that I wanted to include:
Some take journaling very seriously and make rules for themselves. The beauty is you get to choose how you want to use this useful tool here are some ideas to help get you started:
No. 1: Write for a set amount of time.
Set a timer for 10 minutes and write all the thoughts that come up for that entire time. Don’t stop until the bell rings.
No. 2: Fill a certain amount of pages.
Want to get in the habit of writing more? Decide to fill 3 (or more, or less) pages and just let it flow until they’re to capacity.
No. 3: Write until you can’t write anymore.
Great for when it seems your mind is filled to capacity. Dump it all out and keep writing until you can’t think one more thought.
No. 4: Choose one subject and let it all out.
Pick something like nice things you did for people, nice things you did for yourself, accomplishments you made, things you’re grateful for, foods you’d like to eat, places you’d like to go.
No. 5: Set your intentions.
Put into writing the things you would like to do that day, week, month, year or lifetime.
Have your own journaling tips or experiences you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below.