Friday, March 15, 2019

Tips to Combine Journal Prompts and Quotes to Heal

Journal writing has the power to heal. 

Recent studies indicate that journal writing helps people identify and process troubling feelings or events, and find good in a challenging situation. This post is Part 4 in my Healing Series.

One study where journal writers were divided into three groups revealed...

"Writers focusing on cognitions and emotions developed greater awareness of the positive benefits of the stressful event than the other two groups. This effect was apparently mediated by greater cognitive processing during writing.”  This report was published in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine 2002, authors Ullrich and Lutgendorf. 


Readers of this blog are aware that my adult son died at the end of last year, and it is a tragic loss.

Each day I choose to get out of bed, and find something meaningful, kind, and healing to do.

I notice when I'm consistent with self-care routines, I experience less stress, anxiety, and feel more present in my life.

In fact, I don't think I'd still be standing without amping up self-care.


I put a new twist on my recovery from this trauma by combining grief journal writing with uplifting quotes that I continue to recite, ponder, and visualize.

I'm sharing them with you, because I hope when or if you are grieving or feeling despair they can help you.

I continue to use prayer, body work including chakra aligning, meditation, yoga, and nature walks to come to terms with the loss of my loved one. 

Are you experiencing sorrow, whether it's the pain of going through a divorce, being laid off from a job, or other major life change?

The powerful pairing of journal writing and insightful quotations can bring comfort, and has led me to greater self-awareness. 


Designate a notebook as a grief or healing journal, and be sure to use paper and pen or colored pencils. This tactile way of writing will help you connect with your senses, and is a tangible, grounding way to discover the health of your inner life. 

Journal Prompt 1

Ask yourself: Am I willing to admit I need support and do I choose to speak with friends, relatives, a grief group, or a counsellor about my emotional pain? Explain.

Then, journal to record what your pain feels like in your mind, body, and heart. 

Journal Prompt 2

When you feel vulnerable (like now), you may need to keep your thoughts, feelings, and some of your reactions private. 

A grief/healing journal is a good place to write about those things you're not yet ready or comfortable talking about with others. 

Journal writing can help you vent intense emotions, and free up self-compassion for your frustrations, confusion, or troubling thoughts. 

"A grief journal is a safe, nonjudgmental place to share raw emotions about death, change, fear, anger, and heartbreak so let your feelings rip!" Nancy Andres

Journal Prompt 3

Do you think you have to be strong, silent, or grieve alone? Do you know that grief work has no rules or regulations about intensity, duration, or style? Share what you think or feel about this.

Journal Prompt 4

Are you willing to increase self-care while grieving, and do you need a reminder to treat yourself with Tender Loving Care (TLC)? Write about this now.

Journal Prompt 5

Do you regret past attitudes or behavior? You can't change how you acted then, but you can do things differently starting right now. Write about self-forgiveness. Use the quote below for inspiration.

Journal Prompt 6

I'm noticing a slight improvement in my outlook over the last couple of days. I sense that my practice of making a gratitude list and counting my blessings each day has improved my perspective. 

Do you think focusing on gratitude would work or not work for you and why? Write about that now.


Here are several links to illustrate how journal writing, meditation, self-compassion, color energy work, and radical self-care can help you move forward. 

Healing and Recovery through Self-compassion

Colors for Self-compassion, Healing, and Recovery

15 Healthy Ways to Nix Stress

Self-care Activities to Encourage Optimal Health

Journaling about stressful events: effects of cognitive processing and emotional expression

Use Crown Chakra Energy to Integrate Mind, Body, Spirit

Thanks for coming by and letting me share with you. It helps to know you're out there and care.

Please comment in the space provided below. I ask that you don't put links in your comments, or I won't be able to publish them that way.

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  1. Journaling is so very therapeutic. I began a prayer/gratitude journal and I love it. I used to separate them, but I have now combined them. I love having them both in the same place because there are time we can forget that prayers were answered and continue to ask for more without first expressing gratitude for what has already come to past. Great tips. TFS

    1. Thanks Clearissa for your visit and comment. The combo of prayer and gratitude is a powerhouse pair. Have a blessed day.

  2. I'm so sorry for your loss - to lose a child would be devastating and I'm glad that you've found some solace in journal writing. I've always found journallying to be a good way to work through life's issues and questions. I'm in a bit of a change of season atm and writing my thoughts down certainly helps clarify my direction choices.
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I've shared on my SM :)

    1. Thanks for your kind words Leanne and the visit. Happy journal writing is so useful to you. Love the idea of using journal writing to clarify our direction choices. Wishing You a Happy Day!

  3. I am sorry about the loss. Not everything in our lives is in our control. But it's important that we engage ourselves fully with those that are in our control.
    Indeed, blogging does have a therapeutic effect. I have felt that myself.
    (#MLSTL visitor. I have shared the post on my social media.)

  4. I'm a regular journal writer now (for 3 years) but have not had to deal with grief like you have. Wonderful insights as to how that could help, which since life has a way of happening, I am sure I will need to refer back to at some time. Thanks for sharing at MLSTL.

    1. Thanks Patricia Doyle for the visit and comment. Yes indeed, as you wrote, "life has a way of happening." Wishing us both a happy weekend and good health to carry us through.

  5. Thanks so much for your comment. I'm grateful I blog as well as journal write with pen or colored pencils and paper. Both are therapeutic and create greater self-awareness and healing. Be well and make it a good day!

  6. Hi Nancy, it must be devastating to lose a child and I'm so sorry for the loss of your son. You are showing such bravery as you push through the nightmare and helping others by sharing your strategies to cope. I find it difficult to journal but I like you prompts and I'm so pleased to hear that you have found self-care helpful in coping. Thank you for your honesty in sharing your story with us at #MLSTL. Sending you best wishes from Australia xx

    1. Thanks Sue for the visit and comment. Yes self-care is an effective way to deal with the feelings and effects of grieving and today I am going for a long walk outdoors to nourish my spirit. Your kind words and best wishes mean a lot to me.

  7. Hi Nancy, your post was very therapeutic to read through and the prompts honest. Grief is a rawness that never seems to leave you and I think it's great you are sharing your messages and thoughts in this way. Thank you for sharing with us. Visiting from #mlstl and have shared your post.

    1. Hi Debbie, So glad for the visit and thank you for your comment. Think what you wrote about "Grief is a rawness that never seems to leave you" is true for me now. Thanks for sharing that. Love #mlstl because posts are so helpful. Be well and enjoy this day!

  8. I am so very sorry to read of the death of your son. There can be no worse pain. I am heartened by your insight and wisdom about journalling. As well as blogging, I also keep an on-line journal, do some art each day and take a small moleskin art diary with me when I go out and muse in that. I too love colour and it helps me gain strength and healing following my diagnosis with cancer in May 2017. Sending the warmest of wishes to you from Australia. I also have a link up on Mondays with optional prompts which may interest you too. Denyse #MLSTL

    1. Thanks you for visit and comment. I use art too for healing and we can be color/colour buddies. Color energy works at the cellular level to comfort, nourish, and heal. Have a beautiful weekend and I might drop by that link up soon.

  9. Nancy, What I find most important from your blog is you sought out a strategy and technique to help you grieve your son's loss. Taking action is the crucial step, when one is ready. Sometimes though we may not feel ready, but can still benefit from a bit of self push to transition to that next stage. Whether it be journal writing, nature, music, art, learning, cooking we must find a way to tap into what innately brings us joy and peace for these are our steps toward healing, fulfillment and peace. I am so happy to know Nancy you are moving forward after a personal tragedy and want to reengage with life's opportunites that can bring you happiness despite the painful feelings and sense of loss I assume you carry in your heart.

  10. Thanks for the visit and comment. Appreciate the support. I didn't realize that the Happy Vegan Couple are on Blogger. We must chat about this soon. Yes, I am doing whatever it takes to recover. Wishing us all a beautiful weekend. Hugs, Nan

  11. I am sorry to hear about your great loss, Nancy. You chose a solution that works for you, writing, journaling and all the things you are doing are just perfect for your soul.

    1. Thanks for the support Valentina Cirasola. Wishing you a lovely day!