Last night in my Beyond Affairs Network (BAN) meeting we had a discussion about what people have found useful in helping them move forward in their healing. Along with BAN meetings and counselling and workshops such as the Take Your Life Back or Healing From Affairs weekends, and reading and talking about it, working on self (and many others that people shared) there are two I want to highlight today because they are free and you can implement them immediately - and very quickly you will feel their impact for the better. They are Gratitude and Journaling.
Gratitude or counting your blessings – When you are going through a painful period in your life it is really hard to see that there is anything to be grateful for. But finding those things no matter how small can help you feel so much better. When you first start you may need to really focus to be able to come up with something but it will be worth it and will set you on the path to a life long habit that has been shown to increase energy, optimism and empathy. To build the habit of being a gratitude finder start small and practise often and you will get better at seeing the good in almost anything.
Some ways in which you can begin: write a list every day of what you are grateful for or all the things you appreciate in your life. Just write it on a piece of paper or in a journal or there is even an app that will remind you and let you keep track of what you are grateful for. You could also have a conversation with someone about what you are grateful for – writing it or verbalising it makes it more real than just thinking it. I like the idea of keeping it in a notebook – imagine how you will feel over time when the notebook is filled and you can see how much you have in your life to be grateful for. To read more about Gratitude click here. Or google it and you will find a wealth of information that will help you.
Journaling – grabbing a notebook, a computer or a scrap of paper and writing your thoughts uncensored and as though no one else will ever read them is an extremely powerful healing tool. In fact it has been shown to relieve stress and increase the immune system while going through a painful experience. It also decreases the crazy thoughts, and increases focus and stability. It helps you make sense of things and you can look back and see your journey unfold and notice how far you have come.
You can use journaling to write the many questions you may have until an appropriate time to ask them or you could use it to write letters to those who have hurt you without ever sending them – just allowing you to let it go.
You could combine both Journaling and Gratitude by daily journaling your thoughts and at the end of each session write the things you are grateful for.
Thank you to my BAN group for being so generous in their sharing to help others heal. If you would like to know if there is a BAN group in your area please click here.