I love journaling. I love being able to flesh out my goals or work through feelings or situations that I want to be better. I love being able to focus on what I want, and for those who love the Law of Attraction, manifest the heck out of it. The funny thing is I only really saw the value in journaling after I started creating guided journals. I actually used to feel all icky, sweaty and super uncomfortable with journaling. I was one of those people who, when encouraged to free write, usually started with some variation of, " This is dumb. I don't know what to say. I'm only doing this because they told me I had to." Now I journal pretty much every day because journaling is a valuable tool in decision making, which greatly affects the growth and prosperity in my business. Strengthening one's intuition and getting clear on the driving factor (ie. scarcity vs abundance) behind your choices can avoid loss of money, associates and opportunities. More importantly, it can open you up and bring in more of the above. I love learning new writing techniques, and one that I recently fell in LOVE with is gratitude journaling. Studies show practicing gratitude helps you feel more peaceful, sleep better, reduce stress and attract more goodness in your life. By practicing gratitude, you train your brain to focus and highlight good things that are happening that we often overlook. Your practice can be completed in less than 5 minutes a day, so whether it's first thing in bed, on the train or sitting on the porcelain throne, you can get 'er done. Just like going to the gym, you'll feel WAAY better once you've banged it out. Check out 3 sweet reasons you should get on the elliptical pick up a pen and paper.
1 - Focusing on the good trains your brain to see, and receive more good.
Have you noticed when you decide to buy a specific new car, or learn about a cool new fashion trend that all you can see is that particular car or kimono everywhere? It's called the "Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon" aka "frequency bias". You've told your brain that this thing is important to you, so it adjusts it's filters and highlights when it occurs. The same happens when you focus on good things that are happening around you. Seeing Goodness in the mundane is the key to a fulfilling life. Pay attention and feel gratitude for the great parking spot you got this morning, the random conversation you had with a barista, the free donut that just fell in your lap. In isolating and highlighting the good that occurs, no matter the size or the frequency in which it happens, you train your brain to look for more.
Journaling Tip: Write down 5 things that happened yesterday that were good, fun, or brought you joy. At the end of the day, write down 5 things that happened today. Read them out loud and at the end of each sentence, say Thank You three times. (ETC - expected completion time - 3-10 minutes)
2 - You notice that your life is better then you thought.
It's super easy to take things for granted, especially if you're focused on achieving something or working through a difficult time. We often forget that there are a bunch of things that are taken care of for us that we don't have to focus on.
Did you know that you don't have to tell your heart to pump blood or breathe while sleeping? Cool!
Did you notice that the city or town you live in was planned, constructed and maintained to make sure that you (and the people around you I guess) can live, work, play and connect? Bonkers.
Have you thought about the person that created your favorite mode of transportation? Whether it's planes, trains or automobiles, someone thought of how to create it, and others have been figuring out new ways to improve on them constantly, so you don't have to. That's pretty cool.
When you take the time to look at things in your infrastructure, people, places and things that were created and put in place to make your life easier, you feel more relaxed, cared for and supported. This leads to your autonomic nervous system chilling out and lowers the frequency and long term impact of stress-related effects and behaviors.
Journaling Tip - Write out 5 things that are built into your life that you don't notice regularly that you are grateful for. Reread your list and say Thank You three times for each of them. ETC - 3-10 Minutes
3 - You make decisions from Abundance versus Lack.
When was the last time you looked at your driving factors when it comes to decision making? There are various reasons we choose one option over the other. Some of my favorites include FOMO (fear of missing out), excitement, intrigue, fear of loss, guilt or feeling obligated. When you boil these and many other options down, it all comes down to abundance and scarcity. Are you taking this action because you have to or else, or because it feels good? A couple of years ago, I got into partnership with this Alkaline water store to sell my affirmation water bottle labels. Every meeting felt painful, annoying and totally not in alignment, but I told myself to suck it up because if people are buying $30 of water, they will totally buy and love my goods super easily. To make a long story short, I never got paid, I never got my products back, and the whole company shut down in less than 5 months after making that deal. After it became a dumpster fire, I journaled about it. I recognized the reason I chose to make that deal was that I was worried and more than a little panicky about my business and my current lack of sales. I've still made missteps in both my personal and business life, but I'm glad to say they are happening on a less frequent basis. In practicing gratitude, it lessens the feeling of lack, not enough and scarcity, which allows me to be more clear-headed when making decisions.
When I write about the circumstances around my "mistake" or reasoning in the decision-making process, it usually comes down to one of two feelings. There's either a constrictive, panicky, feeling around it or an empty, stagnant feeling. I now know whenever those feelings come up to not do it, or wait for more information. On the other hand, when I feel electric and excited, I know that it's full speed ahead baby. The saying"If it's not a hell yes, it's a hell no." really is true!
Journaling tip - Look at 3 experiences you've had that were absolutely stellar, and 3 that were the complete opposite. Journal about the circumstances and situation you were in at that time, and do your best to recall how you were feeling making each decision. Pay attention to each feeling and use these as indicators of whether you should or shouldn't do something. ETC - 20-45+ minutes total
There are many additional benefits to journaling and Gratitude Journaling in particular. Setting intentions, getting insight from your dreams, manifestation, visioning and so much more. If you're looking for easy ways to start and stay consistent with your gratitude practice, no sweat my pet. Get an accountability buddy, make it a fun 5, 10, or 30 day challenge with a juicy prize at the end, or make it a recurring appointment in your phone calendar.
How has journalling affected your life, or if you haven't started yet what do you hope to get from it?