Category Archives: Meditation

Try a little self-help

Sixty percent of DC-area residents believe psychologists can help them cope with mental health issues.

Here’s a self-help method to complement therapies!

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Use your HERO powers

Forget the cape and the muscle-enhancing tights or rubber suit. Use your own HERO powers:

Use your HERO power: Hope –your belief in your ability to persevere toward goals and find paths to reach them.

Use your HERO power: Efficacy. your own confidence that you can put forth the effort to affect outcomes.

Use your HERO power: Resilience – your ability to bounce back in the face of adversity or failure.

Use your HERO power: Optimism – your generally positive view of work and life and your potential of success.

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Using your journal as binoculars to shorten the distance

Use your journal like a pair of binoculars to make what appears distant, appear closer. From your daily experience:

Are you able to identify any underlying or overarching issues or recurrent themes?

What could be done to change the situation?

How will this alter your future behaviors, attitudes or career?

Have you thought about tomorrow?

What does the future hold?

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Photo courtesy of Mike Dozer.

How do you write a journal?

As with any tool, journaling takes practice. You must commit yourself to just start writing. You should write an entry for each day.

Commit yourself for 21 to 30 days and see how quickly it becomes a habit.

Balance immediacy and spontaneity.

A journal is not a diary.

Although based on the activities of your day, your entries are not merely recounting your day’s events. They are detailed descriptions as if to an outsider.

When you journal, you will not have a clear idea of what you will make of these details, but you will sense that they might be important later. These descriptions should sound as if you were describing them to someone who was never there.

Journals allow you to sound naïve.

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For more, Mark Cooper, Reflection: Getting Learning Out of Serving, Florida International University

How to use your journal

To get started, buy a notebook, start a computer file, create an easy private blog or use the journaling feature on aPrayer.

Date each entry for each day. Each entry should be at least two or three paragraphs or a page or two in length.

Write your first entry on the process of starting your journal.

Write your second entry on your first impressions journaling. Then take off on your own.

Read and reread your entries so that you can see your own development.

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For more, Mark Cooper, Reflection: Getting Learning Out of Serving, Florida International University.

What do you enjoy about journaling?

Journaling is recording or writing about yourself, your prayers or your spiritual life to capture, memorialize and examine your experience in praying.

Journaling helps you to create a baseline and to remember the fruits of your prayer, those things you heard during prayer and those things you can change.

“It is always so good to write out our problems down so that in reading them over six months or a year later, one can see them evaporate.” (Bergan and Schwan, Birth: A Guide for Prayer).

Use your aPrayer app’s journaling feature to record your problem so that six months or a year later, you hear how they’ve become silent.

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Journaling as part of your meditation and prayer

Journaling can also be meditative writing where the writing itself is a prayer.

It is useful for those who find it difficult to focus in prayer. It is like writing a letter to someone you love (Bergan and Schwan, Birth: A Guide for Prayer):

+ Writing a letter to God
+ Writing an imagined conversation between you and God
+ Writing your answers to questions like “what do you want me to do for you?”

Use the journaling feature in the aPrayer app to capture your imagined conversations or your answers.

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