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Be skilled in the art of learning from every situationódraw forth what is waiting to be born.

Tools   To Use

Sorting Out Your Thoughts

By Rachel Pobi

How many of you ever feel overwhelmed by the many stresses of your life? There are so many things that can stress us out, such as people who have hurt our feelings, goals that we have yet to achieve or finding the time to clean our house. These are just a few examples, the list can go on and on.

There is something very simple that can help ease the stress in your life. Youíve
probably heard of it before, yet perhaps havenít taken the time to give it a try.  Iíve
started doing it myself and I find that Iím really enjoying it very much.  Itís called

Journaling is writing down your thoughts, feelings or memories in whatever type of writing tablet you choose. 

Itís best to choose a journal that you feel most comfortable with.  One that you may even find attractive.  This will inspire you to use it more often so that it does not just sit and collect dust.  For me, it is a simple medium-sized spiral notebook with pastel colored pages.  I even bought a pretty book marker to help me find where I left off. Some people may prefer to use a hard covered book with blank white pages.  Some may even keep a journal on the computer or desk.

There are many different type of journals a person might want to keep.  You can keep as many types of journals as you want.  Iíd like to tell you about a few.  Those would be:

  1. The Log Journal

  2. The Healing Journal

  3. The Cathartic Journal

  4. The Unsent Letter

    The Log-Type Journal would be used for the purpose of helping one to achieve their goals. Some examples of goals a person might want to achieve are achieve a healthier weight, getting in shape, beginning a new career, going back to school, learning or mastering a new skill.
    Normally, in a log journal, you would first state your goal.  Then you would list the
    reasons why you want to reach it.  Next, you would write down your plan to achieve the goal. Lastly, you would write in the book daily or every other day the steps you have been taking to move closer to your goal until you reach your goal.  Itís so much easier to reach a goal when you have a plan set out on paper.  You can take baby steps toward your goal each day without feeling overwhelmed.  It can give you a great sense of accomplishment with every step you take.

    The Healing Journal is used for the person who wants to heal themselves emotionally, physically and/or spiritually.  Some people might use it because of a history of physical, emotional or sexual abuse by a person they would normally trust.  Others might use it because of a physical illness they have.  In order for it to work, you have to believe that your mind can affect your physical and mental well-being, called the mind-body connection.  This is something I strongly believe in, because it has played a large role in why I am still alive with HIV after being diagnosed 17 years ago.  In this type of journal, you can write about your doubts and your fears.  Also, you may write about things you are doing to help yourself in your healing pursuits.  I have found that some people donít want to hear about your aches and pains. That you can be considered a toxic person when you do that.  The beauty of this type of journal, is that it can be your friend.  It is nonjudgmental.  It can help you feel better and as you write, somehow, magically, you can often come up with the answers you need in order to heal yourself.
    Healing does not always mean cure, but it can mean improvement.

    The Cathartic Journal can be used for the purpose to help vent our frustrations. Many of us can get frustrated from time to time to the point where we would like to shout, yell or stomp our feet. Putting your feelings down on paper gives you the opportunity to think things through, calm down, and put everything in its proper perspective.

    The Unsent Letter is very similar to the Cathartic Journal in that it allows you to freely express your emotions without the fear of another person seeing it. You would be writing a letter in this case, that you donít intend to send. For example, one woman I know wrote a letter to her late father.  She had never told him that she loved him. Because of that, she harbored guilty feelings.  She decided to write an unsent letter telling him why she loved him.  She later had a dream that her father was smiling at her, with a knowing look that he was loved by her.  She no longer felt guilty.  You can also write an unsent letter to someone you are angry with or hurt by that you donít feel comfortable confronting.  This way, it can give you a sense of relief and hopefully some closure.

    In conclusion, journals are a way to help us take control of our lives.  With journals, we can put things in perspective, while helping us to achieve our goals, grow as people and vent our frustrations.  We can learn so much about ourselves through journal writing. They are also fun to look back on to see how much weíve changed.  So if you are so inclined, start a journal for yourself to make this world an easier place to live in.

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