How easy is it to remember the bad things? When Mr Negativity and Mr Anxiety have control of our positivity switch it seems that all we ever recall are negative events and emotions. Ask someone the simple question of what was the last thing that made you belly laugh, the kind of laughing where you must hold your sides and concentrate on trying to breathe, chances are they will struggle to remember. Ask them what was the last thing that made them angry or upset and the probability is they will have a list as long as your arm! Our unwanted mind guests will be rummaging in the emotional suitcase and producing memory after memory, stirring up unwanted emotions.
The last person I asked this question to, said they could not remember the last belly laugh but surely if it is such a rare occurrence they should be stored in our key memories!
I wanted to make sure that I highlighted the fun, happy, cheerful moments, from what I had learned so far, they were integral to my mental wellbeing and keeping in charge of the positivity switch position. The most obvious way to me was to write them down and so I began to investigate journaling.
I had attempted many times over the years to keep a diary, from a pink fluffy one with a love heart padlock I had for Christmas from an auntie one year to more grown-up attempts with journals emblazoned with positive quotes on the front, none had been successful. I would forget to pick it up for a few days, then when I remembered the empty dated pages would make me feel guilty and I would put it back down again. I needed to do this in a different way, it needed to be more about the content rather than the frequency, this is when my Battle Plan Journal was born.
The easiest way to explain what journaling means to me is through the acronym of the word itself.
- J – JUDGEMENT FREE This means whatever thoughts, feeling or emotions arise, your journal is your personal space to record them all, make sure to record the blessed moments too, it is all too easy to only think about picking up your journal when the switch is in the negative position.
- O – OBSERVATION Journaling is the perfect way to make sense of emotions and feelings and by trying to put yourself in the role of an observer when you revisit your recordings, it can help you make more sense of the emotions you were feeling at the time.
- U – UNDERSTANDING The next step on from observation is understanding, once you start to observe and recognise your reactions to certain experiences, both mentally and physically, you can in turn gain a greater understanding of yourself. Self-knowledge can help you figure out which behaviours and thought patterns have a negative and, just as important, a positive impact on you and help you learn how to manage them.
- R – REVELATION The more you understand yourself, the more you discover what your values, dreams and desires are. You will begin to realise what you really want to achieve and what past experiences are holding you back.
- N – NEEDS ASSESSMENT As your journal grows it is important to revisit your previous recordings, simply writing your thoughts and feelings can make them clearer and lead you towards your next steps on your journey but sometimes we really do not see the obvious until we take time to go back over what we have written previously.
- A – AWARENESS Journaling can help you to gain perspective about your life. You may begin to see how traumatic or difficult events fit into your whole life, or what aspects make you happy and positive. An awareness of your life is made up of more than a single event or experience is the start of learning how to deal with it and move forward.
- L-LIFE Finally, journaling can show you that you have a life to live and enjoy. Just a few minutes journaling a day can help alleviate stress and anxiety and create the clarity of mind that is needed to develop positive steps towards reclaiming happiness in life.
Battle planning worked so well for me, as well as the above points, I used it to record everything from what I ate, my mood, pain levels, exercise, music I had listened to, gratitudes, sleep quality …. The list goes on and on! Every morning at the beginning of the day I would do a self-assessment on what MCC products I would need to get me through the day and where my mood and pain levels were, and whether I needed to improve them or maintain them throughout the course of the day.
After teaching my method to others it became clear that my methodology was working for them too, it was then that I decided to design our very own Battle Plan Journal that is available on our website today.
Missed out on our previous positivity posts in the series? Don’t worry you can catch up with them all here!
- A recipe for feeling happy and how to jar it!
- If you don’t have a smile of your own, now is the time to share my candy floss!
- Free your mind, find your pen! Journal your way to positivity.
- How to feel lighter as your anxiety floats away
- How to remind your inner voice to be your cheerleader