writingdiary How Can Journaling Enhance Life Coaching?

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“Journaling” is a fantastic way to track progress, whether it’s for yourself or your life coach clients. When you hear the words “track your progress” you probably think of check lists, points, and other means of keeping score. These systems are an important aspect of achieving goals, and as a life coach you’ve probably used them many times. However, when it comes to self growth, sometimes you need to go a bit deeper.

Journaling can be used to track your progress in numbers, but it’ greatest benefits are found when you add emotions. Dr. Pennebaker, a psychology professor at the University of Texas,  has written numerous papers on language, words, and even journaling. In “Writing About Emotional Experiences As a Therapeutic Process” he wrote:

“Writing or talking about emotional topics has also been found to have beneficial influences on immune function, including t-helper cell growth . . . antibody response to Epstein-Barr virus, and antibody response to hepatitis B vaccinations.”

“Self-reports also suggest that writing about upsetting experiences, although painful in the days of writing, produces long-term improvements in mood and indicators of well-being compared with writing about control topics.”

Basically, when people write about emotional experiences instead of superficial ones (e.g. a list of what you did today), it can improve the immune system and overall mood. So you can imagine the strong mind-body connection the occurs when you write about your emotions. This makes journaling a great tool for life coach clients who are struggling with understanding themselves and finding mental clarity.

Here are even more benefits of journaling:

  •  Stress Relief. Being able to express yourself freely in writing can be a load off your shoulders. It’s a safe place for you to take a look within and be completely honest about your emotions and what’s going on in your life.
  •  Problem Solving. Putting a situation into words is like watching a movie in slow motion. It’s easier to see exactly what’s going on and figure out ways to solve the problem. The act of writing itself can turn experiences into stories that are easier for the brain to safely accept and catalogue.
  •  No Rules. Your journal is just for you. You can be as messy as you want. You can even write in your own made-up alphabet. One suggestion, though: don’t fall into the trap of whining. If you write only from a victim mentality, you’ll just reinforce it. Instead, try writing yourself out of that mentality. Write about what you’re grateful for. Work out what you can do to improve your situation. Make the power of words work for you.

I strongly suggest journaling for anyone who is going through a self-growth process. It’s not only beneficial in the short term, but it allows you to see where you’ve been and where you’re going. It also makes it easier to identify where you’re struggling and why, allowing for stronger and faster breakthroughs. Journaling is also a great way for life coach clients to keep focused and aware of their development.

For more life coach tips, and ways to avoid the 7 biggest mistakes Life coaches make in business, check out Dr. Craig’s free report. Then, put it to the test and keep track of your progress. You’ll be amazed at the results.

Image courtesy freedigitalphotos.net.