Feeling Overwhelmed? Do this.
A leadership role comes with physical responsibilities, but also a mental load that is not often talked about. Sometimes there can be so much information in your brain, so much to remember, to do, balls to juggle, that it can be overwhelming. Sometimes a problem can feel so complex that you can’t find a way through.
Here is a practical tool to help you get unstuck: Free Flow Journaling
Free flow journaling involves picking up your journal and just starting to write and seeing where it takes you. It requires you to be present and connected with your mind and body because you need to listen in and be guided intuitively on where you need to go next.
Free flow journaling is writing whatever comes up for you, even if it doesn’t make sense, even if what you’re writing seems unrelated to the challenge you want to resolve, just go with it. Sometimes our expectations and what we think ‘should’ come up gets in the way of what really needs to emerge. Sometimes our challenges are a symptom of something deeper going on.
Free flow journaling isn't about having a plan, a structure, or a set of pre-defined journaling questions. It's about trusting that what needs to come up will come up. Your unconscious mind is very wise and knows exactly what you need to write about and explore.
Know that you are safe. Your unconscious mind will never bring up more than you are able to handle. If something emerges that's uncomfortable or upsetting, it has come up for a reason.
What's going to emerge at some point in this free flow writing experience is the gold, the thing that you just know is what you needed to bring your awareness to. You will know when you have found it. For me, I know I have found it when that knot in my head that exists when I feel overwhelmed begins to loosen and unravel.
Here are my four top tips on making the most of your free flow journaling experience:
Top Tip 1: Let the words come out without judgement
Even if the words that come out initially don't feel like the truest representation of what it is you're trying to express, write them anyway. They are taking you somewhere.
Top Tip 2: Let this be your safe space
The journaling space isn't somewhere you need to bring the idea of perfection or self-judgement. It's a place to authentically express yourself in the way that you need to, in the way that is right for you.
Top Tip 3: Reflect on your journey
Once you've finished your free flow journaling session, look back on what you have written. Notice the journey you just went on, the twists and turns, the "aha" moments and moments of clarity. This is the magic of this style of journaling.
Top Tip 4: Let it breathe...
You don't have to leave your free flow journaling session with a plan of action. Many of us are "doers" but you don't need to DO much to integrate the clarity and insight you've gained. Over the coming days, let this insight and clarity evolve and expand in the way it needs to. A lot of personal change work happens on an unconscious level. Even if you think nothing has happened, I can tell you it most definitely has!