At it’s most basic, journaling is the process of putting down your thoughts, feelings/emotions, and even experiences and observations on paper. Some people journal daily, others do so when they think about it. But mostly, it can be whenever you want; whenever and wherever and however it works for you.
For many, writing is a doorway; a way to get “unstuck” and get the movement and momentum going again. So many of us are trying to get unstuck (other rather – trying to get moving again) on our journey from emotional eating to health, and wellness. We often end up knee-deep in crap so thick and sticky we just can find out way out of it.
Journaling can provide a useful and beneficial way to put down all the things you think and feel so you can make more sense of it. A journal or diary can be (and often becomes) the place where you say the things really want to say – but most times feel you can’t. On the pages, you can talk and cray about anything you want and know that you are always safe. Documenting your journey can be an incredible tool helping to push you forward toward your health and wellness goals in a way you’ve never been nudged forward before.
So here’s 3 ways that journaling can help you find freedom from emotional eating.
1. Journaling can help you heal.
If you’re here, chances are good that you have emotional eating issues. And while everyone’s eating journey is different, the causes are generally the same…. Regardless of whether you’re thinking about your divorce, or the death or your loved one, or just that life didn’t turn out the way you wanted, or expected (or was promised) – basically, you just don’t feel good.
And so you label it. You say, I’m depressed or I’m sad. Or I’m anxious. Or I’ve got stress. Or they’re gonna be mad. Whatever it is (and it’s usually judgment) – you feel not so good.
But no one ever taught us what we were supposed to do with our not-so-good feelings. So what do we do? We eat them. Maybe not literally (but sometimes literally), but generally we reach for food (or drink.)
Journaling is a way for you to start getting to the root of why you’re struggling. If you don’t need help with your issues, (and not every one does) you can start simply. (Just FYI: emotional eating doesn’t mean you “need help.”) Just pick up a pen and a notebook and start. If you’re scared or don’t know what to say, try something simple like introducing yourself. If you’re more comfortable, you can dive deep and start asking yourself the hard questions. An example might be to write about a specific fear you have about your food or letting go of your diet mentality. Once you’ve said everything that needs to be said about it, then write down one actionable step that moves you toward that goal (in spite of your fear.). Make it the smallest, most sustainable action step you can. (Read: small and NOT overwhelming.) When you’re done, go out and do that thing.
2. Journaling can help you declutter and organize your thoughts
So, if you’ve participated in any of my tapping + decluttering challenges you know I’m a fan of simplicity and organization. Seriously, I don’t know anyone who can’t benefit from the elimination of clutter and the organization of their environment.
But our lifestyles have left us in a constant state of “more, more, more” and after that, “what’s next?” We taxi and shuttle our kids around. We commuter to work. We do meal prep. We cook. We clean. We binge watch Netflix. We try to find time for exercise… list goes on and on. And with our increased busyness and lists of lists, we create an endless array of unfinished projects, stacks, more lists, and other mental clutter than can easily overwhelm us and send us fleeing back to bed to huddle under the covers with a pint of ice cream and a bag of chips. Ultimately, we are left with the feeling that we are failures for not getting it all done, and the deep and abiding sense that it will NEVER get done.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Writing it all down in a journal is an awesome way to brain dump.” quote=”Writing it all down in a journal is an awesome way to brain dump.” theme=”style4″]
It’s like cleaning out your mental closet. Don’t worry about what all you write down or whether this is what you intended. Basically, write down anything and everything that is on your mind. Once it’s out of your head, you can start sorting through the stuff that’s just not worth being stressed about. When you stop worrying about what you’re forgetting or what you need to do or that thought you keep thinking, your stress levels go down. As they go down, you will stop eating when you are not hungry.
When I first started this practice, I bought a special book that I was going to use especially for this. Little did I understand that that’s not how the mind works. Your mind works through association. And if you try to filter what’s coming out of you, you will only muck up the works. So just write it all down – even if it’s a partial grocery list – and sort it all out later.
3. Journaling can help you stay accountable.
Again, if you’ve been with me for any length of time, you know that ACCOUNTABILITY is a big part of how I support others. I think so many of us don’t achieve what we would like because we have no one to be accountable to. (This, I feel, is a self-worth issue, but I’ll save that for another post.)
If you’ve ever made a commitment to yourself to stop eating due to emotions and stress or ditch your diet mentality and had grand plans to “change your life”, it’s likely that your goals and aspirations got lost in the random chaos (and intentional manifestation) of life. It happens.
But if you maintain a regular journaling practice, then you probably have these goals written down where you can see and review them. Instead of just thinking them (where they promptly get lost in the folds of your gray matter), they take up a physical space in the world – or at least on a page. They have a home on this paper where they can serve as a reminder, rekindle motivation, and inspire action when you feel tired or when you forget.
Basically, your journal can serve as a personal accountability partner (made of trees). If you need a stronger (more personal) accountability partner, let me know – I can help.
If you are interested in starting your own journaling practice, I encourage you to check out the 30 Day Emotional Eating & Journaling Challenge.
The 30 Day Emotional Eating & Journaling Challenge
Click below to get a FREE PRINTABLE EBOOK that will give you
30 days of thought provoking questions
to get you on the path changing you emotional eating!!