Journaling: Why, When and How

Question for singles: --------------------- What do you do with your occasional feelings of loneliness, frustration with dating, perhaps frustration with yourself and/or the opposite sex? Do these feelings and thoughts run around and around in your head, interfering with your ability to think clearly, causing more frustration? Read below to learn how to get these thoughts and feelings out so you can have a more peaceful, more enjoyable life. Question for people in relationships: ------------------------------------- What do you do when you are frustrated with your partner, or want to have a serious conversation with him or her? Do you turn the words over and over in your head? Do you try to talk to your partner while full of intense feelings and have the conversation turn into an argument? Read below to learn how to be clear and calm when you talk to your partner. Journaling is different than keeping a diary, as you may have done as a child. It is not writing about your activities to create a daily or a weekly record. It is not writing for the sake of just writing your thoughts. It is writing that transforms. Journaling may seem overly simplistic. So much so that many of you -- while reading this article and thinking it's a good idea -- will actually never pick up the pen and write, simply because you think it couldn't possibly do any good. However, when done right, journaling allows you to freely express your feelings and thoughts and gives you a much needed, safe outlet. And believe it or not, when you have an outlet, feelings and circumstances becomes much easier to deal with and solutions emerge where once there were none. Here is how to have an effective, powerful journaling session: 1. Pick up your journal, which can be a notebook, a sheet of paper, or a journal - anything will work. 2. Set aside a bit of time when you will not be disturbed and where you are granted privacy. I have known people who journal in their car or in the bathroom. Be creative. 3. Decide on a topic - how you feel about being single, how you feel today in general, how you feel about a situation in your relationship, what you want to say to a certain someone, etc. Here are some additional tips to help you choose a topic: ** Describe an issue or a problem in great detail. Then write about where the issue comes from, what you think and feel about it, what your life is like because of it and how your life would be different if it were solved. ** Dialogue with yourself to resolve the issue. Write down all of your thoughts. Then write down all of your feelings, describing both in great detail. ** Pretend the person or people you need to communicate with are in front of you. Write down everything you want to say to them, including your thoughts, feelings, rationale, etc. 4. Start writing - don't worry about how the writing looks, whether it is legible or not, whether it makes sense, whether you are staying on topic, etc. Just let words, thoughts, feelings flow out of you. 5. Write until your time is up, if you had set a time limit, or until you feel like you are done. 6. Reflect on any conclusions, thoughts, observations, decisions that came out of your writing. Don't worry if nothing but a feeling of completeness comes out of the writing. 7. Repeat as necessary. For best results, journal daily, or at least every few days. The following are situations in which journaling can be extremely advantageous: 1. In the morning Write to get clear about your intentions for the day, your feelings, your thoughts, and your wants. 2. When you feel frustrated or afraid If you are frustrated with being single or afraid you'll never attract your ideal relationship, write about your feelings. If you are in a relationship, write about your fears and desires. 3. When you want a breakthrough or an internal shift Writing is one of the more potent tools to use when you want to put an end to a behavior or a thought pattern. 4. When you feel angry or unheard in any relationship Write when you have feelings that are too strong to express to another person. When you write about your feeling and thoughts first, you will be able to have a much more productive conversation later. 5. When you don't know what or why you feel Writing is a great way to find clarity about your feelings and to make sense of any situation. 6. When you feel "full" Write when you feel full and discontented for no apparent reason. By putting down your thoughts and emotions, you will create space and perspective inside. Writing in a journal is a powerful tool for both surviving singlehood and it's frustrations as well as having a healthy, thriving relationship. When you begin using a journal as a tool for personal development, you will quickly notice a profound affect on your life. You'll become more focused, more aware, and definitely more clear -- all of which makes you incredibly attractive to others. Happy Journaling! Your Relationship Coach, Rinatta Paries (c) Rinatta Paries, 1998-2002. Do you know how to attract your ideal mate? Do you know how to build a fulfilling relationship, or how to reinvent yours to meet your needs? Relationship Coach Rinatta Paries can teach you the skills and techniques to attract and sustain long-term, healthy partnerships. Visit where you'll find quizzes, classes, advice and a free weekly ezine. Become a "true love magnet(tm)!"