Thursday, October 16, 2014


I recently read somewhere “If you want to be happy, drop out of your head and into your life.” It made me think of how most of us spend too much time in our heads, pondering the past, worrying about the future and forgetting to live fully in our current experiences - and appreciate them all, even the unpleasant moments – for how will we grow from them if we don’t know them? 

One way to ‘drop into life’ is to write it – write what you’re feeling, thinking, experiencing. There’s nothing like it for capturing those everyday life moments. And now there’s even scientific evidence for the powerful effects writing can have on us!

One study found that writing about emotions and stress decreased the chances of becoming ill or damaged by traumatic events. Participants who wrote about their feelings spent less time in hospital and enjoyed lower blood pressure than their counterparts. In another study, writing about emotions and thoughts showed participants had significantly increased optimism, and improved health and general well being.

If you want to journal but can’t think what to write, try this: Get a small, pocket-sized journal that you can carry around with you. Throughout your day, whenever you have a moment jot down you emotions, whatever you’re feeling at that time. Then notice how your body feels, noting where you might be feeling any tension or tightness. You may find food for thought and even for writing more extensively about later in the day.

Another ‘short-and-sweet’ way to journal is to write down 3 things you can feel appreciation for, right now. Follow that with slowing your breathing and being fully present in your body, for the next ten minutes, feeling that appreciation!

You might also try free-form journal writing - just letting the pen in your hand write whatever comes to you. Regardless of how you approach it, don’t let the simplicity of journaling deceive you into underestimating its significance. Regular journaling –especially writing about feelings – can make a profound difference to your life – emotionally and otherwise. To quote author Madeleine L’Engle
“It was while writing a diary that I discovered how to capture the living moments.”