Introduction & Overview
To give non-writers and individuals wanting to start a regular journaling practice a jump start as well as creatives who are looking for a non-industry specific creative outlet that is focused on self care and exploration and not deadline-driven fiction/non-fiction writing.
Each module has a video & audio component as well as full text. Everyone receives a downloadable pdf workbook that corresponds with all the modules, that they can work through, if they wish.
In this course it’s important to have an open mind about how journaling can work for you. I don’t think there’s a single person reading this who is sitting around and twiddling their thumbs all day. It’s fairly unlikely, at least, so I’m going to operate with the assumption that you have a lot to do everyday and often the myriad of choices, to-do lists, and chores can be overwhelming.
Journaling can help with:
- Creating a non-judgemental sounding board for your thoughts, emotions and experiences
- Organizing all your thought patterns and slow down your thinking in one central place
- Reflecting on memories that you want to recall, analyze or even dispose of
- Brainstorming a new idea that doesn’t yet feel like it’s come into formation
- Listening to your writing voice and honoring it without judgement
- Having a safe relationship with your mind
- Working through ongoing life difficulties, trauma and anxiety
Journaling has been shown to (peer reviewed studies):
- Be a less expensive form of self care/therapy because “Labeling emotions and acknowledging traumatic events — both natural outcomes of journaling — have a known positive effect on people.”--Dr. James Pennebaker in Hayley Phelan’s “What’s All This About Journaling?”
- Many people report an improved mood and a better memory, greater mindfulness and reduced stress.”Take Note-Emotional Health”--Northwestern Medicine
- “Whether you keep a journal or use a notebook, when you notice your thoughts spiraling, writing it down can help...Writing is emotional processing. Writing, by hand, helps to shift a feeling into a thought, which lowers the physiological arousal, and helps to functionally reconnect the emotional centers of the brain with the rational, reasoning areas of the prefrontal cortex.”--Dr. Kimberley Wilson, psychologist and founder of Monumental Health. (Featured in Breathe Magazine, The Self Care Special 2020.
My goal is to guide you through a variety of exercises for journaling and self awareness via writing. These are not prescriptive but are meant to be modified to suit your circumstances and busy life. You can work at your own pace, but the structure is meant to give you anywhere from a month to six weeks worth of exercises to explore so that you can walk away with a journaling practice that works for you and an established routine of showing up for yourself on the page. Of course, all of these exercises work well for establishing a writing practice for yourself, but there is flexibility with how you use the exercises, or even modify them for your own needs. The focus here is on you, your self-awareness and using journaling as a tool without any judgement. You’ll have access to this course for an entire calendar year, so feel free to dive in and give yourself the gift of more peace and internal harmony through exploring on the page.
- A notebook or journal * (or a stack of pages you’ve bound together). This does not have to be fancy at all. However, working from bound pages is a lot more helpful than looseleaf (you can always cut out and burn a page you don’t want anyone to read). The size of the journal is also helpful as it can cut down on hand fatigue if it’s a little larger than your hand. However, if you’re a person constantly on the go having something small and portable might be more helpful!
- A pen that’s comfortable to write with. This will be different for each person.
- Access to either noise cancelling headphones, a white noise maker, or earphones for instrumental/soothing music.
*(I do not recommend using your phone for writing, as the act of writing by hand brings so many therapeutic benefits that a mobile phones can interrupt with). Plus, journaling is part of the act of unplugging!
Let's get started!