Writing down your thoughts or journaling is known to help give you clarity and improve wellbeing. So what are the benefits to spending time journaling when you're pregnant and throughout pregnancy when you and your body are going through so many changes? Intuitive Life Coach Ali Ford (www.alifordcoaching.com) reveals how journaling whilst pregnant and at all times can make a huge difference to your life:
It was 2007.... I’d finally become pregnant after what seemed like an age. I was thrilled, excited and very, very, VERY nervous.
As a Type 1 diabetic, I needed fortnightly checks throughout my whole pregnancy. These check-ups took 3 hours each time, and every appointment was filled with dread, fear and stress.
You see, I was probably already on the cusp of anxious thinking. And then when I experienced the rigmarole of extra scans, extra bloods, vigilant monitoring of my blood sugars (which were increasingly hard to control) and thorough (and very caring) scrutiny from my medical team, it all became too much.
I lived in fear that I would be doing my baby harm. I was constantly reminded that the slightly increased risk of complications meant I would need to be induced early. And despite all the fabulous care and reassurance by my consultant, specialist nurses and expert midwife, so began an eight-year foray into an increasingly anxious existence.
My anxious thinking only really disappeared when I discovered journaling. It had been an incredibly controlled experience of recent life – one where I felt everything had to be ‘just so’ in order for me to cope. Journaling opened up my world again. Allowed me to tune into my feelings, my needs, my wants, and it exposed the anxious thoughts for what they were – just fearful stories, NOT factual predictions.
Journaling has literally brought me back home to myself, albeit some considerable time after I would have most benefited from it! But find it I did, and I have never been more grateful for this gift that I stumbled across.
Why? Because establishing a regular journaling practice has become an integral part of my journey of self-discovery, self-love and growth. I continue to journal on a daily basis in order to stay connected, honest, soul-led and to weave practical magic into every area of my life.
What it all about?
Journaling is an incredibly simple and cheap self-care, self-connection practice.
It literally involves WRITING STUFF DOWN...!
For me, the practice of putting pen to paper - to air my worries, my wins, my intentions and share my most pressing thoughts honestly with myself, has genuinely been life-changing.
Through journaling we get to check in with ourselves, to create space for our heart, mind and soul, to explore our feelings, thoughts, experiences and opportunities. Journaling offers a genuine landscape for mindful roaming. Roaming with purpose. Because journaling, although gentle, is an incredibly purposeful activity. It’s a type of self-connection that holds no restrictions or boundaries. Just pure, authentic attention to self.
Why journal during pregnancy?
One of the things many women notice during pregnancy is the huge shift in focus towards doing what’s best for the incredible little life that’s developing inside us. It’s magical! And hugely transformational for all concerned.
But the ‘focus on the foetus’ often means that we end up becoming far less connected with ourselves. I almost forgot who I truly was, so consumed was I with ‘doing the right thing’ in order to preserve life and grow this new human to the best of my ability.
Journaling, however, calls us to stay anchored deeply within. To connect with our truest self and honour what she needs. This doesn’t mean we are self-centred or selfish - far from it. If nothing else, journaling helps us fill up our own cup so that we have enough to give others, especially our growing baby.
Journaling – had I found it during my pregnancy – would have elevated me above my too-narrow focus and allowed me to embrace myself as a whole human with my own needs. As a result, I believe I would have had the opportunity to connect better with my developing baby too.
So how can you start journaling if it’s all new to you?
If you’re interested in exploring journaling as a practice, the best place is always to start small. Perhaps take 5 minutes a day (or every couple of days) to ask yourself one question. For me, this would always be “How am I feeling and why?”, or “What do I most need right now”
Write the question down in a notebook (I always recommend treating yourself to something that you’re really drawn to use, but this never has to be costly). Next, let your answers flow out onto the pages. What this offers you is exploration, expansion, connection and creation. The answers you allow yourself to hear, have the capacity to revolutionise your day, your choices, even the way you choose to live – in the smallest and biggest of ways.
There are some specific questions you could choose during pregnancy, which help you bring about what you most want:
How do I want to connect with my baby today?
What am I called to honour for myself and my baby today?
How do I want to feel before/ during/ after the birth?
Who can I lean on for support right now and in the future?
Perhaps most importantly with journaling, the thing to remember is that there are no right or wrong answers. Only your own Truth. And that always needs honouring if you want to experience a healthy, happy and connected pregnancy.
For more journaling advice, see Ali’s Soul Journal: 90 days of journal prompts to elevate your soul connection, access your inner guidance and deepen your connection to yourself. With guidance about journaling and its benefits, suggestions for establishing a soul-led practice, and with 90-days of specific journaling prompts and reflection opportunities, this journal will provide you with not only the learning you’re seeking, but the inner wisdom that enables you to step into your power.
Other ways to connect: Connect with Ali via Instagram, or join her Facebook Group ‘The Soul Squad’ and learn to connect even more deeply with yourself.
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