Hi there, fellow journaler!
Before I share a few thoughts with you, I'd like to invite you to check-in with yourself briefly. On a scale of 1-10, how calm do you feel right now? Are steeped in stress or worry? Are you carried by a sense of peace or relaxation? Somewhere in between?
I'll be honest, my default setting is not "calm". My parents tell me I was born with my eyes wide open and "alert"--and I seem to have stayed "alert" ever since. I tend to walk in a hurry, carry a boatload of tension in my shoulders, and live in the perpetual awareness of worst case scenarios.
But on a good day, when I've journaled and gotten a good night of sleep, I find that "calm" comes and sits with me for a while. When "calm" is close by, I feel freed up to live in the present. I slow down. My shoulders soften. My breathe flows deeper into my belly and when I exhale, a whole river of worries float away. I love those moments, I have them far more often than I used to, yet I still wish I had many more.
Like any other ability, I'm sure there are people out there for whom "calm" comes naturally, who can count on "calm" as their default state of being. If that's you, I'm a little jealous, but mostly, I celebrate the heck out of you--you bring something so needed to our world.
For the rest of us, "calm" is something that takes practice, and more practice, and even more practice. It's a little disappointing "calm" isn't usually easy to come by, but it can and does get easier over time. And I'm here to help you practice with a little set of journal prompts for this month, you'll find them right below this note to you.
Instead of "keeping calm", let's "practice calm" as we journal on.
Here's a little set of journal prompts to help you write your way toward greater calm. I'd suggest you journal one each week, engaging each one in order as you travel along the journal pathway I've crafted for you. If you're prefer to travel them all in one week or to create your own pathway by switching up the order here, go for it!
1) On a typical day, when you tend to feel the most calm? The least calm? What clues does this offer about what helps you to feel calm?
2) Choose an object from your home that imparts feelings of calm and spend a few minutes observing it carefully. Then, put the object in front of you or in your lap as you write. Describe the object and what it means to you.
3) Was “calm” modeled for you as a child? If so, by who? If not, what do you imagine it would have been like to have “calm” modeled by an adult in your life?
4) How often are you able to do the activities that most help you feel calm? What would need to be different in your life for you to do these activities more often?
For more journal prompts on the theme of CALM, check out our 30 day Journal Journey.
Hi there, I'm Laurie, a private practice therapist and an avid journaler. I write about the intersection between journaling and therapy, helping you cultivate greater emotional and relational wellness via journaling pathways filled with self-compassion, self-nurture, self-discovery, & self-trust.