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Coral Valley Journaling Series

Immerse yourself in our journaling tools for a deeper look into yourself. We encourage you to discuss your experience with your therapist as we accompany you along your healing journey. 

Why journal?

Journaling has been considered a powerful and helpful self-reflection tool for—well, forever. There are many ways to journal. For individuals who have already developed a journaling habit, spontaneous, free-form writing—prompted by nothing more than a blank page—may be all you need to get going! If that does not sound like you, explore the Coral Valley Journaling Series for guided exercises and prompts that will add structure, direction, and depth to your time of reflection.

Of note: Research suggests that handwritten journaling may have a more transformative effect than typed journaling. The physical act of handwriting stimulates increased neuronal activity in the frontal lobe, parietal lobe, and reticular activating system (RAS), as compared to the more mechanical motion of typing, which engages less of the brain. As a result of this, handwriting provides enhanced cognitive engagement, improved focus and mindfulness, better memory retention, and greater learning (Ose Askvik, van der Weel, & van der Meer, 2020). As such, we encourage you to download and print out the exercises in this series, or to simply write your responses in a separate journal of your choosing. Of course, if you are more likely to actually journal at a computer than on a printout or in a notebook, it is better to get your ideas and feelings flowing, regardless of your preferred medium. So, ready your notebook and pen— or laptop and trusty fingers—and dive in!

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But, where do I start?

If you are a current Coral Valley client, you've undoubtedly heard your therapist encourage you to journal in between therapy sessions. Digging deeper in between sessions can help you maximize your growth throughout the therapeutic process. After all, therapy is just under one of 168 hours in your week! How much more might you uncover if you were to dedicate a little more time to intentional reflection? 

 

Many of us have been there: We end a super productive therapy session feeling rejuvenated and invigorated, only to realize a few hours later: What was that profound realization I made? What were those powerful emotions I experienced? What did my therapist suggest that I reflect upon, again?

Even if you are not currently engaged in therapy, chances are, you've found yourself curious about journaling and how to get the process going. You've been hesitant to get started because you've wondered how and where to do so! In this month's Coral Valley Journaling Series, take a look at some helpful journaling prompts to get the reflective juices flowing!

Reflecting and Manifesting 2024

“New Year’s Resolutions” have a way of being forgotten, to the point that this phrase has become almost cliché in some communities. Yet, cultures around the world call upon people to take some time to celebrate, reflect, plan, and grow whenever a new year begins.

Follow the simple, introductory exercise below to ring in 2024 with the support of these intentional reflecting and manifesting prompts. Take your time. Close your eyes to connect with your memories and your future visualizations. Identify where you experience your emotions in your body. Bring, not just words to the page before you, but life to the experiences you are reflecting upon and manifesting.

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Operationalizing Our Intentions

Last month, we reflected on last year and developed manifestation statements with new intentions for the coming year. But just like those fleeting New Year’s Resolutions, goal-setting, manifesting, and other related exercises— regardless of how genuine our intentions—often result in a spurt of motivation, followed by a lack of follow-through. Whether we get “too busy,” slip up on our resolve, or outright change our minds, we can quickly become discouraged by a perceived lack of progress, which we may go so far as to label a “failure.”

So, before finding ourselves doused in discouragement, let’s take some time to operationalize our intentions! Download this month's journaling prompts (below) to ensure your intentions are values-aligned, visualizable, SMART, and repeatable! A brief exercise in accountability at the end will support you in manifesting the selves you aspire to be in the lives you strive to live!

Journaling to Boost Your Mood

“Gratitude journals” are very popular these days. As it turns out, focusing on what we are grateful for helps to build perspective and boost our mood. Check out these journaling prompts to help you boost your mood and shift your focus away from what is bothering you and towards what brings you joy. Choose one prompt to begin, and free write your ideas and emotions in response in a separate journal or on a separate sheet of paper. Consider blank, unlined pages to give your creativity space to flow.

 

Please note: While Gratitude Journaling can be mood-boosting, it can also be invalidating. Research on “toxic positivity” suggests that focusing only on positive emotions has a truly negative effect on our emotional state, not to mention our relationships. For a brief article on toxic positivity, see: Toxic Positivity

Click on the PDF icon below to download.

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