Updated: Aug 10
As a counselor, I've heard many clients say they just don't have time to journal, but what if I could offer you several ideas on how to start journaling on the fly? Journaling that takes less than a minute. Now, that's manageable. Hang out with me for a couple of minutes and find out how.
Often times, Journaling can be so intrusive and soul-wrenching. I’ve heard that before. But, as a counselor and a journal-keeper myself, it can also be very therapeutic and enlightening. In what ways, you ask?
I’ve blogged about journal writing before and we’ve talked about the many ways journaling can help you cope with unpleasant memories, frustrations, and increase problem-solving skills.
The biggest complaint I hear about journaling is that it takes too much time and brings up too many bad memories that some people just aren’t ready to think about or write about. Another fear is that someone might find the journal and now know all of your secrets. The movie, Thief of Hearts, (1984), depicts what others can do with our private thoughts, although our heartstrings tug for the couple by the end of the movie, despite what this bad boy did.
Time is not on my side
Sitting down and writing for hours isn’t on any one’s fun list of things to do. Feeling like you have to write a book in one session, or at the very least, a long chapter of your sorrows, is overwhelming, but making journal entries in small chunks is manageable.
How about one-minute words?
These are one sentence free-writing thoughts that can depict your mood, hopes, dreams, or feelings of loss for today. These one liners can relieve all the expectations and dispense the fear of journaling by breaking it down into small chunks and giving you the opportunity to make entries several times per day.
What about the sadness?
If you’re a first timer and don’t have the follow through for long entries, try the one minute words, and stop fretting that you need to dump your whole past onto the paper … for now. What I mean is, take things slow. There are a number of other things you can journal before you bare your soul.
One-liners for your journal can include:
· A list of three things you’re thankful for in this moment
· What you’re thinking about or worrying about right now
· Three fears you have
· Three hopes you have
· One sentence that describes your bucket list of things you are hoping to do one day
· List why you are proud of yourself and the accomplishes you’ve made (no matter how small)
· Close your eyes and write down everything you can hear and feel
· A list of all the flowers you’d like to plant one day
By now, you’re probably getting the full picture of how this goes, right? How One-minute words can be completely painless and can start you on the path to manageable journaling.
Positive One-minute Words
Allowing yourself to seek out the positive in your current moment, your self-examination, and desires for the future can set you on a path of positive self-talk and create a whole new pattern of seeing the glass half-full rather than half-empty.
In addition to reducing anxiety and depression, another perk to journaling is increased brain power. Kasee Bailey, in her article, 5 Powerful Health Benefits of Journaling, states that journaling can increase memory and comprehension. Wow, who wouldn’t want more memory the next time you can’t find your eyeglasses or car keys or want to remember why you went into that room in the first place.
Grab a tiny notepad, dreamy journal or diary or whatever works for you and start writing down your positive one-minute words today. After all, it’ll only take one minute.
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. (NIV)
God Bless and Keep you until we meet again,
Lori C. Helms M.A., LMHC