A series “Elevated Chat” of writings, articles, insights and musings from Dr. Michael G Millett
and the archives of Elevated Therapy International
What is a journal? Well, it`s really a record of your daily experiences which can give you greater insight through discovering more about your inner self and then raise creativity to promote self-knowledge.
Keeping a journal can enrich your life through noticing important links and feelings, patterns and behaviour.
It can help you organise your thoughts and seek meaning in your experiences.
When you make a decision, you can write down all the reasons you have for having made it.
If you later start doubting that choice, you can look back, remind yourself of why you made that decision in the first place, and get your confidence back again.
Also, if you are feeling down and don`t know how to get out of that feeling, you look back through your journal to find out how you did it before, or perhaps re-live again the times when you were happiest. A journal identifies problem areas for you to work on and develop more positively. Often the things that are really interesting are the more mundane details of life allowing your past self to help and support your present day self.
You can include any material that you wish such as poems or drawings or sketches which have strong meaning for you.
You can use symbols to express your feelings. For example, a smiley face for happiness, a heart for love, a cloud for depression, a pentagram for spirituality, an eye for insight etc.
Sir Winston Churchill and Sir Edmund Hilary kept a journal as did many more famous people from history. Many were consistent journal writers, allowing us to know much about their great lives and deeds.
Journal Practices (the extraordinary healing power of writing things down)
Journals are usually private things. I suggest you use a large notebook. Treat it with reverence and respect it as it will likely contain your feelings and decisions along with light-hearted, fun things and perhaps trivial things as well.
Don`t pressure yourself to write in it everyday. It must always be something you want to do rather than feeling you have to do it. See it as a permanent resource available to you, something you can use as you need to – either several times in one day or maybe not for a week or more. Studies show it is more effective to write a journal intermittently, to avoid the procedure becoming so routine that it loses its efficacy. Use it to de-stress, reach specific goals or let go of anger, hurts or sadness. You could write a letter to a particular person that you wouldn’t say to them face to face, not send it but keep it in your journal. Tell them how you feel, why you are hurt, and how you would like them to respond to how you are feeling. Your journal can be seen as an attempt to formulate solutions to your problems with the real benefit coming from the third-person perspective that’s attained when you externalise your thoughts.
In the course of this, you may find thoughts occurring to you that you haven`t thought of before, and it may help you find the right words to express your feelings in-person to a particular someone at a later date in the future.
It may also help you to have a different relationship with your thoughts and feelings.
You may wish to include other things in your journal like quotes, or poems that have meaning for you. What about adding `Gratitudes`?
Also newspaper clips and photographs. It is just as important to include positive things as well as sad and negative things.
Gratitude Journalling works best if you first make the conscious decision to become more positive, happier and more grateful because of doing it. Gratitude will attract more good things to come to you, in other words – the more good things you will receive. Gratitude will keep you in close harmony with creative thought and prevent you from falling into competitive thought. Going into detail about a particular thing for which you’re grateful carries more positives and abundance for you than a whole list of things. Make it about people to whom you are grateful as this has more of a positive effect than focusing on things for which you are grateful.
Imagine what your life would be like without certain blessings?
Record events that were spontaneous or surprising, as these tend to bring out stronger levels of gratitude.
This simple act of writing things down for which we’re grateful creates a range of exciting and remarkable benefits, including better sleep, fewer symptoms of illness, and more happiness and abundance on many levels.
Keeping a journal is a consistent and mindful way to remind yourself that YOU — and nobody else — is the author of your own life journey.