Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Jewish Journaling to Help Combat Loneliness

Jewish Junk Journal for Elul

Journaling to Help Combat Loneliness

It really doesn’t matter what your issue is, if you want to overcome it you can find a way to use journaling to help. 

You can set up a certain type of journal, like a gratitude journal for example. It will help you become more thankful for what you do have, and you can also keep a bullet journal to acquire and accomplish what you want but do not yet have.

You can set goals to overcome the loneliness you’re experiencingm too, More social connections will help, but more connection to God may help even more. 

Let's look in more detail at how journaling can help combat loneliness:

Allows You to Explore Your Thoughts and Feelings

Journaling, especially junk journaling with an artistic component, can help to focus on expressing your thoughts and feelings creatively. Creative expression is a powerful form of healing loneliness.

Gives You a Way to Express Your Thoughts and Feelings

Writing is a time-honored way of expressing thoughts and feelings safely. You never have to let anyone read it or share it in any way. You can write in the form of letters to people, or to yourself, or to God (my favorite form of journaling.) 

Provides a Way to Understand Your Thoughts and Feelings

Sometimes you may not even know what you are feeling. It can be hard to understand and express what we feel, even to ourselves. But when you focus on writing it down or drawing or painting pictures it can help you understand yourself in a new way, from a new direction that you may not have considered.

Helps Foster Social Connections

It might seem odd, but writing can even help you foster social connections. The main reason is that as you read through what you’ve written, you’re going to discover ways to overcome your situation to find the healthy social connections you need.

And, junk journaling is a wonderfully social activity if you choose to get involved with other people who are also making creative, artistic journals.

Helps You See the Big Picture More Easily

Looking back at the things you’ve written over time provides insight into the situation. You may see things you never saw coming. Having your journal(s) to look back gives you a way to see a bigger picture. 

Honestly, although you may feel super lonely today, it’s a step in the direction of feeling contentment, which lets you know it’s going to get even better from here.

Provides a Means to Understand and Organize Your Thoughts

Writing things down, especially when you choose to journal regularly, will help you capture your thoughts in a way that works for you. 

It may be organized or it may be wildly artistic and unorganized. When your thoughts are a jumble, you might not see the real point But it will help you sort out your issues with loneliness and your alternatives moving forward.

You’ll Sharpen Your Observation Skills

Once you develop the journaling habit, something amazing will happen. Your observation skills will be sharper and you’ll have an easier time coming up with descriptive and expressive words to use in your journal. This is going to lead to even more breakthroughs with more clarity and vision.

Focuses Your Gratitude Skills

Something funny happens when writing in a journal, even if it’s not specifically a gratitude journal. As you’re writing (even if you’re upset), you’ll become calmer - especially when you read it back. You’ll become grateful for what you do have that is positive in your life, even if it’s simply the ability to breathe in and out today.

If you want to combat loneliness, consider writing about and exploring why you feel lonely. You can choose to remember the definition of "loneliness" to ensure that this is what you are really experiencing. No one ever needs to be lonely, even when they are alone, if they know how to work through their thoughts and feelings. Jewish journaling can help with that.

And adding an artistic touch to your journaling gives even more life and sparks of joy to your journal. Tara Jacobsen is a great example of artistic journaling in action.

Another tactic to overcome loneliness is to practice being kind to yourself. Just as you would show kindness to another person, demonstrate kindness to YOU.

How To Regain A Sense Of Jewish Belonging Through Self-Kindness

Jews want to feel a sense of belonging to a tribe. When we belong, we are accepted as a member of the tribe.

A sense of belonging is a normal human need, even more pronounced for Jewish humans. When we feel like we belong, we feel our life has value, and we are able to cope with our emotions better. 

Sometimes though, we lose our sense of belonging.

Even introverts are social beings. And the quality of all our relationships is affected by our mental, physical and emotional health. 

As researcher and author Brené Brown explains, “A deep sense of love and belonging is an irreducible need of all men, women, and children. We are biologically, cognitively, physically, and spiritually wired to love, to be loved, and to belong.” Especially to experience those emotions toward and with our Almighty God.

Regaining a Sense of Belonging
One way to help regain a sense of belonging is through kindness. And that most definitely includes kindness to ourselves.

Kindness releases the feel-good hormone. It makes us feel happier and improves our overall demeanor. Here are some ways to regain a sense of belonging:

Be kind to others. It's a mitzvah! Contribute to the lives of others by offering to listen as a sounding board for them. This brings happiness and connectedness to us and to others.

Have compassion for those who are different from you. Spend time helping others who are have different lives and needs than you have.

Let go of judgments that build walls. Focus on people by connecting with them. No one is perfect, and we all have struggles.

Be kind in your words and in your way of thinking. Use words that offer strength, compassion, acceptance and caring.

Begin building healthy relationships with others using kindness. Healthy relationships are important to our sense of well-being.
Give and receive compliments with kindness.

Be compassionate of others who are suffering.

Begin doing things that bring you peace and joy, starting with being kind to yourself.

Accept a sincere compliment for what it truly is - an act of genuine caring and kindness.

We all want to feel like we belong. Kindness to both yourself and to others is one of the easiest ways to begin gaining your sense of belonging back.

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