I’m a big fan of journaling but I’ll admit I came late to the game. I started when I was going through psychotherapy training in 2016. We had to keep a weekly journal to evidence our personal growth. I thought it was a silly idea (after all we were just writing things we already knew anyway). But I very quickly fell in love with it.
It’s become a habit that I hope will last a lifetime. Sometimes I use my blogs as my journal and sometimes I write in a beautiful notebook that I keep by my bed. Getting my thoughts out of my head and onto paper has proved enormously helpful in learning to love my body. It’s meant that I’ve had somewhere I can be completely honest about how I was feeling, without worrying about judgement or opinions. It gave me something I could do just for myself (which with 3 kids is really important). My 15 mins of journaling a day are really precious to me and my chance to just zone out and focus on me for a bit.
There are lots of benefits of journaling and I’d always encourage you to give it a go. But if you’re still not convinced, here are my top 3 reasons why journaling your body positivity journey is a fab idea.
#1 – It’s really cathartic
Lots of people with body image issues find their thoughts intrusive. After all, who really wants to be thinking that they look fat/ugly/stupid. But often those thoughts persist relentlessly. Simply because they have nowhere to go so they just circle round and round in our heads.
Journaling gives you somewhere to put these thoughts. Writing them down on paper means that they no longer bounce around inside your brain. I’ve always thought of my journal as a box with a lock. I put my thoughts in there and don’t have to worry about them or think about them because they are safe. If I want to come back to them I can just pick up my journal. Often though, I don’t need to because I feel lighter once they have been acknowledged and ‘said’ somewhere.
Which is why journaling can be very cathartic. It gives you a way to release your emotions and feelings about your body. You can say the things you want to say that you’d never be able to say out loud. And trust me, you’ll instantly feel freer as a result.
#2 – You can spot patterns easily
It might be that there are certain people who end up make you feel worse about yourself. Or perhaps certain situations. For me, when I’m stressed about money or arguing with my husband I’m nearly always feeling bad about myself. If I’ve had a good week in my business or been out with friends having a giggle I nearly always feel great. Journaling helped me to spot these patterns and that can be hugely beneficial.
Keeping a journal about how you are feeling and what has been going on will help you to work out whether there are triggers that make you feel worse. Which in turn means you can find ways to limit how often you come across them.
The other patterns that you might spot in your journal are those from the past. Our brains often make the connections we need to understand how we are feeling. But they are easy to miss and fleeting. Keeping a journal will get you in the habit of being your own therapist. Which makes it easier to start digging deep into where your feelings have come from. You might end up writing about something that happened when you were younger and suddenly realise that this is behind how you are feeling now. And it’s only once these patterns have been spotted that we are able to break them.
#3 – You can see how far you’ve come
When I started my journey nearly all of my journal entries were about how awful I felt about my body. Pages and pages of negative feelings about myself. So it feels amazing to be able to see my recent entries and compare them earlier ones because it shows just how much I’ve changed.
It’s not just that I feel more positive about my body either. I can also see that my self awareness has grown massively. That I’m way more compassionate about myself than I’ve ever been. Or how the views of other people bother me less and less.
As you get further into your journey you’ll start to feel better and be able to measure just how much you’ve changed by looking back in your journal. And if you don’t find that you’re feeling better about yourself after a while, journaling will help you dig around and get to the real root of why that is.
So there you have it, my top 3 reasons why journaling your body positivity journal is a great idea. If you are struggling with loving your post-baby body why not get in touch with me here to see how I can help or check out the new online programme!