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Knowing Your Needs Through Mindful Journaling

Thursday, 17 March 2016 00:00  by Christina M.

journaling

Imagine sitting down at a restaurant and the waiter bringing you your favorite meal from when you were a child. The catch is that the portions would be exactly the same. Your toddler favorites of cheese and cooked carrots could barely fill a quarter of a plate. You could not begin to meet your physical needs for the day or your preferences in flavor with such a dish. As an adult, your needs are much different than when you were a child, so why do we try do act like nothing has changed mentally and emotionally. When I was a baby I needed to be fed and held, as a toddler I needed attention and affection, and as an adult women I have specific physical and emotional needs.

As we grow we have to constantly be mindful of our needs. Just as we reassess our physical needs or preferences for food or music, we need to address our mental and emotional needs. How much alone time do you need? Are you meeting your basic physical needs? How is your emotional support system? Are you struggling with mental health issues? Most of these questions seem overwhelming at first, and the changes can be subtle. One way to track your emotional and mental health and keep track of your needs is by journaling. Keeping a journal and a mood diary can help you track your changes over a broader amount of time. Journaling and jotting down your current mood at specific times could help you notice trends or articulate concerns or needs to a friend or professional. To start journaling try to explain your current state of mind and then begin writing by using a prompt or a suggested starter sentence from your therapist or online. Below are some suggestions to get you started journaling:

  • The words I’d like to live by are…
  • I couldn’t imagine living without…
  • When I’m in pain — physical or emotional — the kindest thing I can do for myself is…
  • Make a list of the people in your life who genuinely support you, and who you can genuinely trust. (Then make time to hang out with them.)
  • What does unconditional love look like for you?
  • What would you do if you loved yourself unconditionally? How can you act on these things whether you do or don’t?
  • I really wish others knew this about me…
  • Name what is enough for you.
  • If my body could talk, it would say…
  • Name a compassionate way you’ve supported a friend recently. Then write down how you can do the same for yourself.
  • What do you love about life?
  • What always brings tears to your eyes? (As Paulo Coelho has said, “Tears are words that need to be written.”)

Writing Prompts: World of Psychology

Last modified on Thursday, 17 March 2016 03:30

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