• Nice post, Lisette. It is amazing how getting it down in writing can help us let go of so many negative thoughts and emotions or at least allow us to see the connections. I confess, though. I do my journaling on the computer. It works for me…

    From Linda Hopkins
    July 12, 2012

  • Linda, glad that journaling on the computer works for you. Journaling has always had a healing effect on me.

    From Lisette
    July 13, 2012

  • I attended everyone of your lectures, and was moved by them ALL. Ugh! to journaling – but the importance of it keeps coming back at me, and here I am piqued to read, by Lizette Volz. You’ve inspired me to pick up my pen and again try to journal!

    From Mary Windham
    July 20, 2012

The Art of Journaling

If you have ever been in one of my lectures, or had a private consult with me, no doubt you have heard my perpetual praise for the benefits of journaling. Journaling has been a transformative tool in my weight loss journey and a necessary exercise with regard to my weight loss maintenance. However, it was not a habit I started early in life. I never kept a pink-fuzzy diary as a teenager. In fact, it wasn’t until I reached a low point with my self-esteem and a high-point with my weight that I was even willing to give it a try. Before then, it just seemed like one-more-thing I had to do.

Today, journaling is the essential valve I use to let some steam out of the pressure-cooker. I don’t journal every day. I use it as a means of getting to underlying emotions that are showing up in my behavior around food. When my portion sizes start getting a little larger, when I start thinking about food frequently, when I start making more “unwise” than “best” choices (as Bob would say)… it’s time to journal. When my food gets sloppy, journaling reveals to me some growing resentment, sadness, or fear I am experiencing on a subconscious level. You see, like many others, food has been the way I’ve either coped with upsetting feelings in the past or numbed and avoided them altogether. Because I have a healthy relationship with food today, old habits that surface are a clear indicator that something else is going on and journaling is the tool I use to find the source of the problem.

Journaling helps you to clarify your thoughts and feelings, know yourself better, solve problems more effectively, reduce stress, and resolve relationship issues in a healthier way. In making my case for the health benefits of journaling I could probably list over 100 reasons why you should give it a try. In the interest of time however, I’ve provided you with a link that does just that…

If I’ve piqued your interest enough to purchase a journal, here are a few tips for getting started:

  • Journaling is more cathartic when using pencil and paper. The computer is not the best way to journal. It doesn’t allow for the simultaneous flow of thoughts and emotions.
  • Find a safe and quiet place to journal where you won’t be interrupted.
  • Don’t worry about spelling, grammar or editing when journaling. Just allow the thoughts and emotions to flow without judging your writing style.
  • Don’t feel as if you have to either put a time limit on journaling or expand a small entry because it seems incomplete. Just use whatever time you need to actually have the experience of journaling.
  • If you feel unsafe putting private thoughts to paper then either burn or shred your journal entry after you’ve fully processed what you wrote.
  • If you have trouble getting started, then act as if you are writing a letter. Start with “Dear…” God, the universe, a loved one, or a friend. This is another way to feel as if you are letting go of what is bothering you by symbolically giving it to someone else.
  • If you are not in touch with your emotions then just describe events as they happened. Doing so will most likely result in emotions coming to the surface. Once the emotions surface, write about those as well.
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