Big Ideas + Other Cool Stuff Ruth Folit's
Big Idea #1: Gratitude and Self Compassion
We can use our journal to cultivate a particular mindset.
Two mindsets that are helpful to focus on: Gratitude and Self Compassion
Gratitude: Is appreciating the people, things, and experiences that one benefits from.
Self Compassion: The same compassion that we can feel for others when they are down, is the same compassion that we can direct towards ourselves.
7 steps to experiencing these two mindsets in journal:
Find the silver lining
Explore the idea by writing
Notice and observe it
Consciously engage that mindset later.
Big Idea #2: Writing for Emotional Balance.
Emotions are physiological experiences to external or internal stimuli. Emotions can feel good or bad, depending on how we respond to stimuli. Negative emotions can be disruptive and difficult to manage. Journaling provides a healthy outlet to manage emotions.
- Never neglect catharsis—write your emotions out and make them product (the written journal entry).
- Write about the emotional event. Dump your emotions out. However, limit the amount you spend on writing on the emotions—10-15 minutes are good.
- After you have written, re-read it. You are no long the writer, but the reader. You are changing perspectives and taking your power back.
- Write a summary sentence or paragraph. Ask yourself questions. Make diagrams or lists. Try alternative endings. Ask meta-questions—where you ask about the process. Change perspective—from three steps back, or from a bird’s eye view.
Big Idea #3: Mindset
How to intentionally cultivate a particular mindset in a journal:
Writing about something stimulates neurons in the brain and creates a neuronal network that can condition you to think and feel patterns of gratitude and self compassion.
Here’s a formula for changing your mindset:
Induce the mindset by creating the conditions that allow you to feel the condition.
Explore and write in exquisite detail anything you can about the mindset you want.
Notice and observe during the day what triggers that mindset. For example, list five things—trivial or monumental— during the course of the day that you are grateful for. The more you write about it, the more you focus on it, the more it will build up your brain’s neuronal pathways. You may create an image that triggers that response in you.
Consciously engage that mindset in your writing and in your everyday life.
Answer these five questions in detail about the present moment:
1. What bodily sensations are you experiencing?
2. What sensory experiences can you notice?
3. What kinds of thoughts are bouncing around in your head?
4. What emotions are you feeling?
5. What is defining how you feel about your self most right now?