When you were a child, you probably drew pictures showing how you felt about having a new baby brother or learning to swim or any number of other things. Now that you’re grown up, you can still use art to process your emotions and reduce stress.
Many artists and therapists use visual journals to help them with their work. Whatever your personal goals, see how images can be part of your strategy for moving ahead.
Benefits of Visual Journaling
- Articulate your feelings. When you’re struggling to put your emotions into words, it may be easier to sketch them out. The shapes and colors you choose could be revealing. (Do you choose bold colors; colors similar to one another; or colors opposite to one another).
- Increase your willpower. Each time you update your journal, you remind yourself about the positive changes you are trying to achieve. It’s a simple way to create triggers that reinforce new habits.
- Manage stress. Protect your mind and body from the effects of chronic stress. A journal soothes you without any extra calories or extravagant spending. You may even want to carry it with you to the airport or the dentist’s office. Take it with you anywhere you may have time on your hands and know you will be stressed out.
- Stimulate your creativity. Any art project can trigger innovative thinking. You’ll discover solutions to longstanding challenges at home or work. The more you draw or write or doodle, the more you encourage your creativity.
Techniques for Creating Your Visual Journal
- Record your feelings. Let whatever you’ve been bottling up come pouring out. Ask yourself how you’re feeling. The answer may surprise you.
- Mark up a book. Find inspiration by searching for prompts in a children’s story or an advertising supplement. Alter the pictures or the text. Add your own illustrations.
- Doodle a little. Even if your time is limited, see what appears spontaneously when putting pen to paper. Your free form doodling may uncover your subconscious concerns about your health, relationships, or finances. Understanding your subconscious can help connect you to your spirit.
- Assemble a collage. Browse through magazines for pictures or collect various types of items you can use. Paste them together in a way that expresses your goals and desires.
- Dream on. Park your journal on your nightstand before you go to bed. You may be able to capture a snapshot of your dreams while your memory is fresh.
- Add text. Maybe you want your journal to combine words and images. Invent captions or drop in some favorite quotes. Turn your adventures with dieting or dating into a graphic novel.
- Note the date. Try keeping track of the day and time that you update your journal. An ongoing log will help you to see changes or patterns that develop over time. You may also notice how your mood or energy levels shift from morning to night.
Techniques for Using Your Visual Journal
- Keep it private. You may decide that you want to keep your journal for your eyes only. Knowing you’re the only person who will see it could help you to feel free to experiment and divulge your innermost thoughts.
- Browse online. There are many websites and forums devoted to visual journaling and art therapy. Look at samples on Pinterest. Participate in a community and exchange support.
- Collaborate with a friend. If you tell your friends and family about your journal, they may be interested in joining you. You could discuss each other’s work. You could also suggest themes or materials so you could work on your journals together.
- Show it to your therapist. If you’re already seeing a counselor or plan to start therapy, you may want to incorporate your journal into your sessions. Mention your projects to your therapist and follow their recommendations.
Creative expression is good for your health and well-being. Lift your spirits and clarify your thinking by keeping a visual journal.
If you connect with your spirit and begin to let it be your guide, you may find stress melt away, answers to problems come more quickly, and growth comes more easily. To find out more about connecting to your spirit through the Trivedi Effect® and how it can help you connect to the God of Your Understanding for growth and success in your life, contact Inthirani Arul, a scientifically validated healer and best-selling author.