Journaling For Happiness And Spiritual Well Being

Journaling For Happiness And Spiritual Well Being



Could a​ journal actually lead one to​ health and well-being? as​ both a​ writer and health enthusiast, this is​ a​ question I've given lots of​ thought to. as​ it​ turns out, I'm not the only one. Upon further research, there's been a​ considerable amount of​ press given to​ the idea that your journal could be a​ path to​ health and wellness. in​ fact, Southern Methodist University and Ohio State University College of​ Medicine studied the effects of​ creative journaling and found it​ conclusive in​ cleansing negative emotions and promoting a​ sense of​ well-being
(ref: http://www.selfhelpmagazine.com/articles/health/journal.html).

In my own experience as​ a​ writer (and I think most creative types will agree) being creative is​ not just an​ exercise, work or​ discipline - it's a​ necessity. in​ fact, I never quite understood my own personality until I was immersed full-time in​ a​ purely science, left-brained college program. I would often feel tired, lethargic and uninspired (clearly there was more at​ fault here than having to​ memorize the phone book).

According to​ Carl Jung and Myers-Briggs (the creators of​ standardized personality and interest testing) introverted types draw energy from themselves and less from other people. We like to​ be alone a​ lot and give lots of​ thought to​ the world at​ large. Our extroverted counterparts, on the other hand, can also be equally as​ creative, but tend to​ draw their energy from others. Either way you go, emotions can sometimes become overwhelming, need to​ be filtered then let go.

Over time, (even amidst the sterile science program) I've learned that I can find peace quickly by turning to​ my notebook when upset or​ in​ need of​ inspiration. And - I'd be willing to​ guess - this idea is​ not exclusive to​ the right-brained.

So back to​ the original thesis: Regardless of​ personality, can writing be useful to​ you and your health? Hopefully, by now I've convinced you it​ can. How to​ get journaling working for you? Well, that's where I'll step in​ - here I've given you three of​ my favorite exercises to​ help get you started.

Timed Writings
In her book Writing Down The Bones, Natalie Goldberg has outlined a​ sure-fire method to​ invoke the muses and get the inspiration flowing. Timed writings.

Timed writings go something like this... collect your materials: timer, notebook and pen. Sit at​ your desk or​ wherever the spirit takes you (Starbucks, Borders, Barnes & Noble) launch your timer for ten minutes, place pen to​ paper and see what comes forth.

There are only two rules at​ play here: don't stop writing and continue for the full ten minutes. Afraid you'll run out of​ things to​ write? No problem. When you get stuck just keep the hand moving along and write things like, "I am looking for something to​ write.... I am looking for something to​ write..." before you know it​ you'll be carrying on a​ conversation with yourself.

Unsent Letters
Anger is​ always a​ good muse, but I tend to​ use this emotion as​ a​ catalyst to​ creativity. Something or​ someone upsetting you? Get creative and purge your negative energy. How? Write a​ letter. You won't need to​ send it. in​ fact as​ a​ ritual to​ closure I have been known to​ write angry letters then shred them, burn them or​ (insert your idea here). in​ fact this exercise has been shown to​ heal negative energy and provoke closure with angry emotions. Try it​ - then let me know (Laura mailto:NewBodyNews@aol.com ).

Creative Journaling Exercises
When I am feeling less that inspired, or​ want to​ get the muses warmed up I sometimes like to​ take creative writing classes online or​ off, or​ do some creative journaling exercises. if​ you like the idea of​ sharing your writing, take a​ creative writing course nearby. Check your local Chamber of​ Commerce or​ if​ you prefer the convenience of​ online classes there's lots to​ choose from. I've taken courses online at​ Barnes and Noble University http://www.barnesandnoble.com/ and Gotham Writers' Workshops: http://www.writingclasses.com both with positive results.

However, if​ you'd like to​ go it​ solo, give this exercise a​ try. This one was created by my Mother, Donna. She is​ a​ writer, artist and teacher (a real right-brainer!), she handed this exercise to​ me when I was feeling stuck and uninspired. Not only does this exercise stimulate your creativity, use this healthy exercise to​ get you thinking about taking time for yourself.

Have your notebook ready? Set your timer again if​ you'd like and aim to​ come up with the list "20 things that make me happy." if​ your time was entirely your own, what are the 20 things you'd want to​ do?

Ready? Now hit your timer and take this one for a​ test drive. When you've finished, put your pen and paper away.

Tomorrow take a​ few quiet moments and bring out your list again, add delete and edit. Now when you're not feeling like yourself, take this list out and copy it​ over again. Try to​ take time everyday to​ do one thing that makes you happy and continue over time to​ add to​ your list. Keep up your practice and you'll find - happiness is​ not just a​ fixture in​ your mind.




Related Articles:




Powered by Blogger.