Better Out Than In: Journaling helps you regain your cool

journalLet your journal help you on your journey

No matter what our personality, no matter what our life situation, no matter where we live, what we do, how rich, poor, tall or short we are, we all have emotional highs and lows.

Whether we see these as being caused by outside forces or see them as originating within ourselves, either way, all that ‘stuff’ is much healthier expressed.

Perhaps you are fortunate enough to have family or friends who will listen to your outpour and empathize. Perhaps you don’t. Or you could pay a psychologist to listen to you. But you can always find a pen and paper somewhere around and it can be the most sympathetic, of often awareness-giving listener of all.

I am of course talking about journaling.

Your journal never judges you, it never takes sides, it has no agenda. It just listens and records exactly what you say and how you say it.

You may want to go back and read it later, or you may never look at that entry again. Either way, do whatever fits for you is best, and your journal will willingly go along with your wishes.

Here I am not going to delve into the benefits of journaling by hand, I am just going to leave it at journaling – whichever way you choose to do it.

If you are upset, worried or have a problem that needs worked out

…journaling can be the very best gift you give yourself. And it’s totally calorie free!

Start just by writing whatever comes to mind. What is the problem? Or how are you feeling? And why? Just write whatever comes. And keep writing.

As you write you will find yourself becoming more and more comfortable with pouring out your innermost feelings onto the page.

You may be surprised to realize, as you write, that you are gaining an amazing amount of clarity both about your emotions and also, perhaps, about possible ways to deal with things.

You can write out all the ways you can think of to take care of the situation that is causing your inner turmoil. You can write about how you feel about each one, what you see as working well and what t you see as not working, and why.

Once you unload your present emotions – and a tear stained journal is quite Ok – you may find more peace. The problem may still be the same, but you have let go your emotions, expressed them in whatever way felt right, and a calmness, or relevant calmness, usually follows accompanied by the ability to think as well as feel.

It’s all very well to follow your heart

…and I recommend it totally, but a heart in turmoil may well not lead you in the best direction. By allowing your head to have some say in things helps ensure that what you do next will be in both your best interests and in that of others who will be affected. It helps avoid rash actions or judgements. Then your calmer heart can lead the way again.

Write about how you see the future if you do this, or you do that, or if you do nothing at all.

If you feel like it, you can go on to write about how it will look down the road if you follow the action (or no action) that seems at the moment the best plan. Or write about the future and how it could look in several ways as a result of various actions.

Write until the calmness comes.

Write, if necessary, until you are exhausted. If your emotions were strong, exhaustion often comes when they’re spent. Peace of some kind usually results from an highly emotional journal entry. It may be temporary, depending on the situation you are in, but it is nevertheless with you just now, and you can always journal again anytime you need or want.

And by the way, don’t worry about spelling, grammar or how neat your writing is or, if typing, how well the page is formatted. These are totally irrelevant. This is all about feelings, and your inner turmoil being let out.

At the end of your journaling for this session

…it is good to comfort yourself by assuring yourself you are OK. You may have to go through tough times ahead, but you can see beyond that and know that you will come through. You are OK just now and you will be OK then too.

Journaling, of course, is not only for times of turmoil and pain. It is for any time, for all times. But when emotional pain and anxiety comes, don’t neglect the outstanding benefits and help you can bring yourself from just taking the time to pour it all out onto the page.

Fiona MacKay Young

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How to achieve Abundance and Prosperity

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How to achieve Abundance and Prosperity

It is something everyone wants and it is something so few seem to achieve to their satisfaction: Abundance and Prosperity.

Firstly you have to decide what abundance and prosperity means to you.

If you want more money, if you find a penny in the street, you have more money. So think it out clearly, be precise. How much of what do you want?

OK, so you have decided, let us say, on $1 million.

For most of us that is a rather big stretch from where we are now. If you place that as is into your subconscious it is unlikely to happen. After all your subconscious is checking out what you have achieved already and it may well at this point say “No way, I have no idea how to do that. It’s so far removed from anything we’ve done before.”

Your subconscious bases what it can do on what has happened previously. So you have to show your subconscious a way to know it can do it.

Your subconscious cannot tell the difference between what has actually happened and what you have vividly imagined and felt often enough to make it feel real, so this gives you the ability to create the impression you want.

You have two options and both options will happen faster and more easily if you journal about them.

Option One:

Keep looking at your big goal, yes, but also plan an on-the-way goal: that is a smaller goal that is just a step or so ahead en route to your large goal.

Going with our $1 million end goal, the en-route goal could be something like “Make an extra $1,000 this month” or even “Make and extra $100 this month” if the thousand seems to far away.

But you are not waiting for manna from heaven here. You may not know in what way this money will come to you, but you never the less get out there and do whatever makes sense to you to try.

The money may come from those efforts of yours or they may come from an entirely different source, and if so you may want to change the direction of your efforts from now on.

However, it is very important that you make a sincere attempt and making the money you have asked for.

And journal what you did, where the money came from and journal your gratitude for every amount that comes your way, no matter how small. Journaling brings what is in your mind into the physical world, so by journaling about what you want, you are making the first step in bringing it into “reality.”

And by journaling your gratitude you are showing that you genuinely appreciate what is given to you.
Once you achieve that smaller goal, set another higher one and just keep on going.

Be open to redirection as you see from where your money is arriving, but never give up working towards achieving your goal. And keep on journaling.

Option Two:

If you are hoping this option will just have you lying there dreaming about money, I am sorry to disappoint you! Option Two involves using your imagination, yes.

  • It involves imagining that you have what you are asking for, that it is already here.
  • It involves getting so into your imagining that you really, truly feel like it is already yours.
  • The feeling is very important. You have to feel it to manifest it.

You don’t have to know how it will come to you, but you do have to be able to visualize what it looks and feels like to have it. Intensely and with emotion.

But just as in option one, it does not really work to then just sit around and wait for your bank balance to increase dramatically. You have to get started on doing something to bring in the money. As in option one, the money may well come from another source in the end, but it is up to you to show good faith and get going on the best way you can think of how to bring it to you.

Journaling, again, is a huge part in this.

Imagination and visualization is all in the mind and it can be hard to hold on to for long periods of time. On the other hand, if you write it out – imagine it, feel it and write about what you are imagining and feeling – you are, as in option one, bringing the abstract into reality. You are bringing what was just invisible energy into the physical reality.

There are always times with any goals, when you wonder if you can ever achieve them. But if you have been journaling about them, this is the perfect time to sit down and read what you have written to re-inspire yourself to keep on going.

  • Journaling allows you to vent frustrations when you feel you must.
  • It allows you to show your overflowing gratitude when good things happen.
  • It allows you to create an unchangeable record of how you proceeded, how you felt at any given time, and how things happened.

Journaling is an indispensable tool in manifesting what you want. It is really an indispensable tool in life itself.

So set your goals, get started towards them and journal you progress appreciating every little progress along the way.

Journal: you’ll be glad you did.

You can find the Abundance & Prosperity Inspirational Quotation Journal here.

Fiona MacKay Young

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Happiness: how to get it and how to keep it

Happiness Dalai LamaHappiness: how to get it and how to keep it

Everyone wants to be happy.

Some think money will make them happy. Others think it will be having a wonderful, magical relationship. And yet others don’t really know what it will look like, but they want it, whatever it is.

Happiness (like money) doesn’t grow on trees. It doesn’t come neatly packaged in the grocery store either. In fact, as I’m sure you’ve heard many times before, you can’t buy happiness.

So how does someone deliberately set out to find happiness?

They look within themselves.

Happiness is an attitude. I have invented the word “Happitude” for this. It is the attitude of being happy.

So how do you find or create this Happitude?

Firstly you just decide that you are happy. Regardless of what is going on in your life, you look around – digging deep and really searching if it’s a bad time for you in general – till you find something, hopefully lots of things, that you can be happy about.

It can be big things or it can be just little things.

I have a friend who suffers chronic pain. If he is looking strained or moving slowly and I can tell he is obviously hurting more than usual just now, he will just answer any query on the subject saying he’s “a bit sore but my hair feels great!” He’s not letting it get to him, and is jokingly focusing on what is good instead of what is bad.

Another friend with all her family hundreds and in one case thousands of miles away is happy and excited that she gets to chat with them on Skype, and over the moon with her once in several years in person visit with her most distant son. She’s not focusing on what she doesn’t have (her family close by) but on what she does have and she is genuinely appreciative and excited about that.

There is always something to be happy about. It is a case of the glass half full or the glass half empty. Are you focusing on what you want that is there or at what you want that is not there?

That is all very well, you could quite rightly be saying, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. When life is tough it’s hard to look on the bright side.

Yes, it is, so here is a way to help yourself to keep your Happitude in high gear.

Journal.

What? Write out everything that happens to me every day? How will that make me happier, especially when things are not going well?

My answer to that is: do NOT write out everything that is happening to you.

Instead keep a Happiness Journal and in it, each day, write out only the things that made you happy today.

  • Did someone smile at you? That was nice – write it down!
  • Did you make it through rush hour traffic faster than usual and arrive home 15 minutes early? That must have made you happy – write it down.
  • Did you step on the scales and find your weight was down 2 lbs? Wow! That has to go in your journal.
  • Did you go shopping for dinner the ingredients on sale?
  • Did something you saw in the grocery store remind you of a meal you haven’t had for a while, but really love, so you got the ingredients?
  • Did your hair look better than usual?

What can you jot down that made you happy?

That’s the daily routine with your Happiness Journal and it helps you in two ways.

One is the obvious way, in that when you focus on the positives, you feel positive and happier.

So just be remembering these things, no matter how small (but of course, don’t neglect the big happinesses either) as you write about them, cheers you up and makes you happier.

The second way it helps is that when you are feeling low, you can read your previous entries in your Happiness Journal and come away from that realizing that things are not so bad – good things happen all the time.

I suggest you also write out your Happiness Ideas List in your Happiness Journal.

This just means creating a list of things that make you happy. Big things, little things, easy to do things, things that take a bit more time or preparation.

Everything you can think of. If it makes you happy, write it down.

Going for a drive, shopping, going out for your favorite meal, having a hot bath with lots of bubbles, listening to your favorite music. Whatever makes you happy, add it to your list.

Then when you are feeling fed-up how your life is going at this particular moment, you can check your list and find something in it that appeals to you right now, and do it. It’s you pick-me up checklist.

So decide that you are happy.

That no matter what the world throws at you, that you will continue to be happy.

Write it out every day, what made you happy.

Create your list of Happitude pick-me ups (your list of happy ideas).

And just keep writing and reading your way to a terrific Happitude and a much happier life than you could ever have without it.

Fiona MacKay Young

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Also writing as Susan Morgan

 

Intuition is a Gift

journal your intuition Intuition is a Gift.

Intuition may be a gift, but to some people it seems like a gift they do not have.

But they do.

Everyone has intuition, intuitive insights and impulses. The difference is that some people do not realize they have it. They simply do not recognize it, or else they do feel it but ignore it as not being “realistic” or “rational.”

And yet, your intuition, given half the chance, can guide you through life like nothing else can. It is always correct, and yet it really doesn’t care what is “politically correct.”

Your intuition guides you to do what is best for you at this time. It is your job to work out how to make that happen in a way that is, not necessarily comfortable (because your intuition may often lead you into uncomfortable situations as a route to your best outcome) but acceptable to you.

But if you have never felt your intuition speaking to you, or at least have never knowing had your intuition speak to you, where do you start?

Here are some suggestions:

  • Whenever an idea of what to do, or how to do something occurs to you, write it down. Do not try to make sense of it, or to add your own calculations of how to make this work. Just write it down as it came to you. Date it.
  • When you have more than one choice as to how to proceed in something, write down all the options. Mark the option that seems to feel that is wants to happen the most, even if it seems totally “out there” or wrong to you. Date it.
  • When you do something, but you have a nagging feeling you should have done something else. Write it down and date it.

Not only write what it was, but write how it felt. Was it just an uncomfortable feeling? Did your inner voice speak to you? Did you have a sudden flash of an idea? What happened to make you aware of the plan, the idea that you wrote down?

You get the picture? Any feelings, ideas, inklings, nagging doubts – write them all down, with the date. How they came to you will help you identify intuition in the future.

Keep looking back at your Intuition Journal ever so often and check what is going on with the things you wrote down.

To begin with perhaps only one in a while will jump out and hit you because what you thought was a crazy idea worked out as the best one – or it now appears it would have worked out as the best one if only you had followed it.

Intuition, of course, will not always appear in your life in the same way. One time you may just be “hit” with a wonderful (although scary or perhaps crazy seeming) idea and another time you may just have a quiet confidence that this is the way to go.

However, if you keep a record, and check back so you get to know what was indeed your intuition and what was not, you will gradually get more comfortable with hearing its voice and recognizing its tone.

If you would like an actual “test” to help you, read about it here

Learn to trust your intuition and tap into that all knowing inner guide that wants to lead you and guide you for your own good.

To your increased “inuiting”

Fiona MacKay Young

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Attract What You Want

Journaling Can Help You Achieve What You Want Easily and Successfully

Quotations for Journaling

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Do you find it difficult to believe in the Law of Attraction?

Do you find it difficult to believe in the Law of Attraction?

Do you, perhaps, believe The Law of Attraction works but are having trouble manifesting it in your own life?

If your answer to either of these questions was “yes” I have a solution to suggest to you.

Yes, it is a simple as that. Journal.

But do not just do a regular journal where you write out whatever comes to mind, about your day, your challenges, your successes. These are all very valid topics, as is almost anything else, for general journaling, but to work specifically on the Law of Attraction, I invite you to consider a focused or targeted journal.

This is a journal that zeroes in, or focuses on a specific topic, in this case, the Law of Attraction.

You write down what you want to attract, or manifest in your life.

You write it down always in the positive. So if you want to have no debt, you do not write that you want to have no debt. Instead you write about how you want to be financially stable or secure, with cash in the bank, and everything paid off. In fact the more specific you are, the better it works, so perhaps you could put exactly how much cash you would like to have in the bank.

As you write, be visualizing what it is you are asking for.  That should be easy enough since you have to be thinking of it to write about it, so visualizing is just taking it all a little slower so you have time to “see” it as well.

Do this for everything you want to use the Law of Attraction to bring to you.

Keep doing it.

Do not just write the same words each time but try to take a fresh approach to it. Think about how life will be when you have what you are asking for. Think about how it will feel and look. Write about how you appreciate the “side effects” of what you are asking for, as well as the “main event.”

Each time you see even a little of it arriving, journal it with gratitude and appreciation.

Journaling in this way has many advantages.

The thing about manifesting is that sometimes what you are asking for comes to you in a way you did not expect, so at first you just do not notice it. Or it comes in such a natural way, that although you enjoy and appreciate it immediately, you do not fully realize that this is the answer to your request until later.

When you have journal as you go, you can go back, re read and get a clearer perspective on what you have asked for, how you asked for it, and how it is appearing in your life.

Sometimes, you may re-read and decide that, no, this is not what you want after all, and may decide to “tweak” your request or change it altogether. Of course, this can delay receiving anything, but if your original request no longer fits your needs or wishes, then changing it is the wisest thing to do.

Journaling keeps track.

Our minds are funny things. We think we remember SO clearly, but if we have been journaling, we can go back and may often find out that what we remember is not what actually was. Our memories have twisted it or changed it in some way.

Journaling to ask, to express our feelings, our gratitude – sometimes even our pain – keeps an exactly record of where we are at any given point. And it also shows us beyond argument when our wishes are fulfilled.

By seeing, in a journal, when we receive an answer to a request, we then begin to believe me. And the more we believe, the more we receive.

Your Law of Attraction Journal can be the key to learning to trust that we can manifest our wildest dreams, and it increases our gratitude when we see just how often and how much we are already receiving.

So journal.  Keep a Law of Attraction Journal and watch your world change.

To your success, your happiness and your focused “Attraction,”

Fiona MacKay Young

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Ideas are priceless and fleeting: keep them safe.

Ideas are priceless and fleeting: keep them safe.

Ideas are priceless and fleeting: keep them safe, keep them from drifting off and evaporating.

Have you ever had a great idea, perhaps in the middle of the night, perhaps at any other time? Have you ever then forgotten what it was?

If you have ever had an idea at all, then the above scenario is probably true for you. There is no cure, but an Ideas Journal is excellent prevention.

Your Ideas Journal is a place to write down any ideas that come to you at any time, whether they seem immediately relevant or if they are ideas for some time in the future. Maybe at 2 am you will not have your ideas journal handy, but please do have a pad and pen beside the bed to jot down ideas as they come.

I keep paper and pen beside my bed and when inspiration strikes in the middle of the night, I scribble down on the pad what it is. In the dark, just making sure I leave plenty space between lines of writing then I can be sure of being able to read it in the morning.

Then I turn the page on my pad or paper, so that is I have another brilliant idea before dawn, I have a fresh sheet of paper willing to receive it. Of course, if you have a bedroom to yourself, you can turn on the light and do it the easy way!

If I am out and about, I have electronic sticky notes on my phone on which to jot down ideas.

One way or another, ideas need to be captured in writing at the time they first come to you. They have a very limited timespan and once they are gone they are usually impossible to find again.

Whenever I have ideas noted down in different places, I always add them as soon as I reasonably can, to my Ideas Journal. I have kept one for years.

To my mind, an Ideas Journal puts me under no pressure to actually do whatever the idea was. It is an idea. It is something to consider, perhaps to think over and develop farther, perhaps to decide that, yes, it’s a great idea but I can’t see me ever actually doing it. But it stays in my Ideas Journal anyway. How do I know what I’ll think is feasible in another few months or even years?

In fact, as I am writing this, I have just come up with another idea which I have just taken the time to note down in my Ideas Journal. I don’t know when I will do it, but it’s a pretty hot idea, and too good to forget.

If you, like me “suffer” from a zillion ideas, an Ideas Journal is imperative because how on earth could we remember so many? And we can’t tell at this point which will be the winners and which we will ultimately decide not to follow through on.

If your ideas come at a more decorous pace and don’t inundate you all day, then an Ideas Journal is equally necessary so you don’t lose one single one. Each idea of yours has a much higher percent chance (since there are less altogether) of being the best you’ll ever have. Don’t lose it.

One way or another, ideas are a priceless gift to each of us, and we owe it to ourselves, and maybe to others who would ultimately benefit, not to lose any of them.

I was looking through an old Ideas Journal recently and came across an idea I came up with several years ago and never did anything with. I had totally forgotten about it. But what a great idea it is! I am currently making plans as to how to use it. If it had not been in my journal, it would have been gone forever.

An Ideas Journal is not something you can make yourself sit down and write in once a day at a set time, as some people recommend for general journaling.

Ideas are inspiration, so you write in your Ideas Journal when inspiration strikes, and if inspiration strikes (as it does) at inconvenient moments, then jot it down somewhere temporarily and add it to your Ideas Journal as soon as possible, while you are still able to recapture the moment.

As you journal your ideas, expand on them. 

You are in the flow at that moment which you may or may not be when you read it later. So let the idea just explain itself, how it looks, feels, where it might lead, how you see it developing, what options you can see. Just let it take on a life of its own and record it all.

Later you may see terrific value in some of that expansiveness, or you may not, but you never know ahead of time which are diamonds and which are just pebbles, so write it all down.

Regardless of your lifestyle or your life situation, the chances are you have ideas.

They come to you for a reason. You may not know right now what that reason is, and you may not right now see any benefit in the idea. But write it down anyway.

You wouldn’t throw away a priceless gem that came your way just because you didn’t have a jewelry setting ready and waiting to receive it, would you? So don’t throw away your ideas either. There are priceless gems among them and time will tell which are which – but only if you still have them to evaluate.

Journal your Ideas. Now there’s an IDEA!

Fiona MacKay Young

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Do you want to be more Intuitive?

Do you want to be more Intuitive?

Do you want to be more Intuitive? Unless you are already mega-intuitive the answer is probably “yes.” And that is the reason for this article. There is a very simple, inexpensive practice that almost anyone can do, right where they are, that can help them become more intuitive.

Let me explain first that that does not mean your intuition will work better, harder or faster. It is working perfectly well already and has been doing so all your life. What this article will help you do is to tune into your intuition, to listen to it and to learn to recognize its voice.

And you may indeed actually “hear” your intuition as a voice, probably your own, inside your head or you may get hunches, or some other physical feeling that tells you what your intuition is saying. Some people dream and others never know how or where it came from but they just know where to go, what to do in a sudden inspiration.

All of these, and probably many more, are ways you intuition speaks to you. But if you, because of background, because of the type of work you do, because you just don’t believe in all that “hocus-pocus” stuff – or because you just haven’t been able to figure out what is your intuition and what is now – if you have not been used to hearing and recognizing your intuition, here is a way that can help.

Journal.  Start an intuition journal.

Journaling in any form is amazingly healthy. It can help so many problems just disappear or at least help us deal with them. It can be a wonderful place to celebrate happiness, gratitude, to create family and other memories. And it is the perfect place to learn to hear your intuition. Your intuition is your invisible guide to life. It is never wrong, so it is worth taking some time to get to know it intimately.

I believe strongly in targeted journaling, where you focus on just one topic and journal about that. The focus helps you keep out unrelated events, feelings, concerns, and instead keep looking at and concentrating on the subject of your choice.

And as a targeted journal you do not need to feel obligated to write every day. You write when something related to your topic comes up, or when you are thinking about that and have something to write.

There is no daily grind to sit down and write every single day even when you do not feel like it. In a targeted journal when the relevant topic appears in your thoughts or life, you feel excitement and want to journal, because you are building up a story, an understanding, on this one subject which you already know will help you.

Initially your intuition journal has two things that will go into it.

Any time you think you intuition is telling you something, write it down. One of the lovely things about a journal is that is never judges you, so you can write down anything and no-one is going to think you were silly or stupid to write it or to think it.

So whenever you feel something could well be your intuition (or could not be, but you are not sure) write it down. Write down exactly what you are feeling or hearing that makes you think it might be intuition. This is important since you are learning to identify what is and what is not your sixth sense guiding you.

Then later, you can come back and add whether this proved to be your intuition indeed, in light of later developments, or whether it was not, or perhaps you may just have to put that you are still not sure about this one. However, you will come to recognize, over time, what is and what is not your intuition.

The benefit of this is obvious.

Now you when to listen to that quiet voice, and know how to recognize it. You recognize it as a trusted friend.

If you already are tuned into your intuition, or once you come to that stage through journaling, an Intuition journal can still be an extremely valuable ally.

Even those of us who use our intuition as a regular guidance system in our lives, are prone to allow our imagination or subsequent events to alter or cloud that original insight. We look back and think it can’t have been quite as we saw or felt it, it must have been… and we edit and reshape to fit present circumstances.

Your intuition journal can help prevent that. If you write down your original intuitive thought at the time, exactly as it came to you, including how it came to you, it will be there, unedited, unchanged when you come back later, with your doubts, to recall exactly what the original message was.

Since we are assuming that you are someone who by now trusts their intuition easily, re-reading your earlier entries can get you back on track and going in the right directions.

Once you really trust your intuition implicitly, you will follow it when it seems like a crazy way to go. You will follow it regardless of what those around you say or do. You will follow it because it has proved to you that it is always right, it always knows what is best for you.

And when you have doubts, when the pressure around you gets great enough that you being to wonder … you will have your intuition journal to keep you on the right path and to give you the confidence you need to keep going.

And once that situation is over, and journaled in your Intuition journal, you will now have that to look back on too, which will give you even more confidence in how well it works.

Intuition and Journaling. They are natural partners and a very powerful duo. Start your intuition journal today.

Intuition is powerful: make the most of your power.

Fiona MacKay Young

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Are you anxious, worried, stressed? Try this: it works.

Are you anxious, worried, stressed? Try this: it works.

Are you anxious, worried and stressed about big things, little things and things that have yet to happen?

If so you are, as I’m sure you know, not alone. Stress, caused by a myriad of things, is one of the major reasons for sleepless nights, sick days from work all the up to both very serious and permanent consequences.

Although it is wonderful to think we can go out there and change the world, the truth is that if I tried to change the world and remove all stress from it, the stress would get me long before I could ever make any significant progress in “getting” it.

So what is the answer?

If I say “handling stress” you may say “yes, of course, but I’ve tried that.” And yes, there are many, many ways of handling and reducing stress. Some are do-it-yourself, like exercise, meditation and healthy living in general. Some need to assistance of doctor or some kind of health care practitioner.

But I am talking about one that not too many people do. It is journaling.

Before you exhale in exasperation and move on, I invite you to read just a little farther and find out what journaling has to offer that perhaps you have not previously considered.

Journaling is really talking to yourself and is especially beneficial if you focus on just one topic and target that as you write. For the purposes of this article, obviously I am thinking of you focusing on stress or rather how you can reduce the stress. What is causing you to feel stressed? How to you feel? What exactly are the symptoms you are experiencing? (Not everyone experiences the effects of stress in the same way.)

Just write. Once you get out all the difficult stuff – and a few, or many tears along the way is good – start asking yourself how you can make things better for yourself.

You are your number one concern here. Even if the stress is harming others around you, to quote my grandmother (mother of nine) “You have to take care of yourself first, because if you don’t, you will not be in any condition to take care of anyone else.”

So what would make things better for you? You may not be able to change the situation at all, but how can you change how you view it, how you approach it? What would make it more bearable?

Even without having a bad attitude, it can often be our attitude to something that is making it more difficult for us. For example, I was told one time that major changes were happening at work. I did not like what I was hearing and I did not like what I imagined the impact on me and my job would be. So I got myself all stressed and upset. I didn’t say anything to anyone at work, because the changes were necessary and I knew nothing I said or did would change them. But I really was miserable. I was angry. I had loved this job and now it looked like it was going to be a real pain. I didn’t want to leave, but what could I do?

Until I journaled about it, and I asked myself “So if it all goes ahead as planned, what is the best thing about that? How can I change how I approach it so it will be OK for me?

As I continued down the page, I started to come up with ways of looking at the new developments. I couldn’t change anything, so there was no point in fantasizing about how it “could” be. Instead I just focused on how I could change my view and my attitude. I started to see other ways of looking at it. I started to see, believe it or not, benefits to me in the new set-up. I started to see ways in which I could change my mindset to allow me to cope with the new situation.

In some situations you will be just unable to find any benefits to yourself, but with some journaling, some expression of how you feel, and why you feel it, you will eventually be able to start coming up with ways in which you can learn to cope.

What new things can you do, or what things you already do can you start doing differently? Who can help? Do you know them already, or does this take going to new places and getting involved with new people? Do you know anyone who had previously been in this situation and come through it successfully? Think back and see if you can understand how they did it.

And all the while, keep journaling. Keep writing it all down. It is therapeutic right now as you write, and it can be equally as therapeutic later on when you re-read what you wrote.

Go back to your journal and write regularly. As things start to become calmer, less stressed, keep journaling. Re-read past entries to appreciate how far you have come. Journaling not only gives you a clear, un-warped view of the past, it helps you see the present more clearly.

And once you are coping with this crisis, don’t stop journaling. You have now created a habit that can help you in just about every situation you can come across in the rest of your life. Journal for your emotional health. Journal for your future happiness. Journal.

Enjoy life – relax

Fiona MacKay Young

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Why journal to create memories?

Why journal to create memories?

Our mental memories are unreliable. It may seem that what happened today will stay with us forever, but if we are truthful with ourselves, we all have to admit that although some things do stay with us for life, so many, many others do not.

So when something occurs that is precious, something that you really do want to have with you in your memory for the rest of your life, if you write it down, now, when it is fresh, before your mind has a chance to play tricks on you, or change the memory to better fit some future event, then you have your original memory in pristine condition waiting for you any time you choose to open your journal.

You may choose to have a general journal or you may choose to have a focused journal which targets one specific area of your life. An example of topics that make great focused journals are things that children say and do. Whether you are their parent, grandparent or teacher – or in some other role to them – keeping a journal focused just on them can be such a precious memory.

And not just for you.

A journal of a child or children when they are small can be a wonderful way to connect with these same young people as they grow older, and perhaps, if you wish, to leave to them when you are gone.

Ask yourself this: how would you like to receive or have received a journal written by your mother or grandmother about the things you said and did when you were small?

Wouldn’t that be fantastic? You would not only laugh, but you would get to know yourself better as you read about your childhood antics – and it could also make you a great deal more patient when your time came (or is already here) to bring up children of your own.

If the writer of the journal has passed away, wouldn’t it be a great way to remember them, who they were and how they were?

A journal written about the young folks in your life is a win-win situation all round.

You benefit as you write it and as you re-read it whenever you want. The young people benefit as they read it, perhaps with you, perhaps later by themselves, by getting to know both you and themselves better.

Can there be any better thing you can do for yourself and for them than record in a journal designed specifically to be about them, your interactions with your children and grandchildren?

Teachers are less likely to share it later with these actual students, but it can make for a great communication tool and a great learning tool to share previous entries, without names of course, with current students.

They realize you have a sense of humor for a start! They learn some good ideas to follow; they unconsciously learn some good behaviors and some less good behaviors.

They perhaps discover some commons mistakes in spelling, grammar, facts etc, For example a child who wrote that “the driver had to put on his braces quickly to avoid an accident” had really only a one letter spelling mistake, but it did make a very amusing sentence – which perhaps teaches present students a little more about spelling.

The teacher’s journal is also a real treasure for any teacher looking back over their years in the classroom to enjoy. And perhaps some of the more poignant memories, about sad or touching happenings can strengthen the knowledge, sometimes forgotten, that as a teacher you make a huge difference in the lives of your students.

There are many other situations where journaling for memories is a wonderful idea.

What is your situation? What would you really like to be able to look back on years down the road? Are you journaling it? If not, I recommend you start now – you will thank yourself later. I know you will.

To your memories,

Fiona MacKay Young

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