I have just finished reading Brene Brown’s Rising Strong – I love what that woman has found in her research!!! Brene found that if you write about your experiences, or sketch about it or create something around it (e.g. art journal) then you are more likely to work through the experience in a positive, wholehearted way and to feel better – to be healthier and have more wellbeing…
Brene quotes Dr Pennebaker’s research about using expressive writing to help people get over traumatic experiences by writing about their experiences every day for I think 4 days?? (here’s more info in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GyXrKHGzZs). If you were to do this around a traumatic experience I would recommend you do it under the guidance of a mental health professional. But if you were to do this to process events from your week – how beneficial could it be for you??
I have kept a journal since leaving home at 18 and traditionally used it to process all my negative feelings for the day so I could sleep…it really helped! But then once I started doing mindfulness and learning more about parenting 5 years ago – I began to ALSO use it as a tool to record what I am grateful for and those…..
GOLDEN MOMENTS….. those magic moments where you feel joy in your heart – they may be fleeting but they are what life is really all about (e.g. seeing a whale breach or the moon rise)- and so often we forget them in the course of our busy days! So often we can judge a day as negative when really there were many OK and some good moments in there – it is human nature to focus on the negative…….Writing or sketching our golden moments or capturing them in a photo can help our brains to rewire to notice more of the good stuff in our lives as they happen!! Brene’s calm down strategy in Rising Strong for herself is go out and take one photo!
Since August last year I have been doing stream of consciousness writing and keeping an art journal as I work through the book The Artist Way by Julia Cameron – and it is making a HUGE difference to my day – clearing out the negative self talk, helping me set a mindful intention for the day, recording the golden moments and just being more present to what is as I write about it / or sketch about it! I also find if I’m sketching or creating then I am in the flow and there’s no way I can worry or be anxious….
What do you think? Is this something you could do – weekly or when you need to or daily??
One of my most favourite mindful activities is to do a Mindful Walk in nature with a sketch book and take time to write / sketch my experience! It might only be 45 minutes once a week – but it is where I feel the most peace! Somehow writing or sketching as I walk – REALLY helps me to relish and be in the present moment!
That is why I have organised the Mindfulness In May Peace Walk – where we will walk mindfully – and then sketch our messages of peace in the sand, take photos and upload and share on facebook! I hope, wherever you are, you can join us!!!! 🙂 You can find us at:
Happy Sketching / Writing or Journalling or Taking Photos, Cheers, Sara 🙂