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It’s Alright to Cry

Do you ever have those days where you just want to cry it all out — all of your exhaustion, frustration, pain, grief?

I experienced one of those days recently while walking around the city and cried under a tree in a church courtyard. I didn’t expect to cry while out and about, but all of my emotions from the week hit me with such great force that it all came pouring out. I had my journal with me, so I sat under the tree and allowed myself the space to be still and cry.

When I had taken enough time, I collected my things and grabbed some much needed coffee and food nearby. During my recoup, I had freed up space for reflection.

I used to live under a mindset that I had to keep it all together or think positive to make my life better. Trying to turn negative thoughts off and pretend I wasn’t anxious only made my anxiety and heartache worse.

I have found that crying is incredibly good for me and opens up more space for facing difficult emotions and feelings. It helps me to tap into a deeper part of my soul, to tune in to how my heart feels. It allows me to just feel and not judge myself for it.

I do have moments where I don’t know why I’m crying, but I know my soul and heart know. I trust the process and feel tension leaving my body when I let go of the tears.

For me, crying allows for time to pass, which is usually the self-care I need. Super simple, time.

If I try to do one million things on my task list, reach out to a bunch of friends or even distract myself, I start to feel irritable, grumpy and very anxious.

It’s when I allow myself to turn on a moody playlist, listen to the same songs on repeat, cry, take time, maybe even read, and cry some more that I feel some relief. I may not always feel 100%, usually I want to take a nap after crying and that’s okay.

Crying is exhausting like all of the difficult emotions it helps to release, but it creates space for vulnerability, for introspection. Crying has helped me to learn more about the things in my life that need some attention, some healing or some kind of change.

I cry and now accept myself as a pretty frequent crier. It has helped me and I’m so glad it has opened up a space for more self-love and compassion.

Challenge: Next time life feels overwhelming, don’t bury all of the emotions, grab some tissues and a cozy blanket or find a space that you feel safe, and cry until your heart feels just a little more at ease.

xo Joni Marie

The Power of Placing Positive Words Where You Can See Them

When bad days and difficult emotions present themselves, it’s easy to feel like giving up. I am on my on journey to overcome these bad days and embrace these emotions, but have been learning some awesome things along the way and practicing something so simple that has started to rework the way I approach life daily.

I was listening to a podcast focused on recovery for a specific type of anxiety disorder, OCD, and the therapist being interviewed talked about one of the best analogies I’ve heard for facing your fears and working to overcome the type of anxiety that couples itself with OCD.

I feel like this analogy is super relevant in everyone’s life even if you don’t suffer from anxiety or OCD. All of us have specific fears, reservations in life and absolutely everyone comes face to face with bad days and difficult emotions.

The therapist started to talk about the difference between cows and buffalo when a thunderstorm is coming their way. She said, cows being scared of the storm, start to run from it hoping they can ultimately avoid it altogether. The ironic thing is, that no matter how fast they run, the storm catches up and they still get stuck in it, but are now exhausted from running. Oppositely, buffalo decide to run towards the storm, knowing that if they run through it they will get out of it faster and will be able to rest sooner. How funny? I thought this analogy was so perfect for embracing fear, those bad days, and difficult emotions we can push down and bottle up. It is also so counterintuitive to how we are wired as humans, to run, to take flight and most of the time avoid what scares us.

I’ve been trying to fully embrace this idea in my life of running towards the storm. Another therapist puts it this way, “It’s a great day to do hard things.”

I decided to write down short mantras/ideas like the ones above I can read and absorb each day. I took some sticky notes and placed them all over my bathroom mirror. This way I read them and let them sink in more and more. At the top of the sticky notes I have the word Perseverance written. It’s the word I chose for this season of my life and it has been so life giving as I am reminded by it daily.

There is something so powerful about placing words that empower you to keep going where you can see them. It is a retraining of the brain, to run towards the storm, to read positive words even when you don’t feel like it, and to keep going, to keep persisting even through the worst of days and the most difficult emotions.

Some of the mantras I have placed on my mirror are:

  • Run towards the storm

  • It’s  a great day to do hard things

  • Trust in God

  • Even when you feel like you can’t, press on

  • Press through the pain

  • Practice Mindfulness

  • Practice Self-love & Compassion

  • You got this

What will your mantras be?

xo Joni Marie