• Dr. Nicolle Ionascu guides readers down a path towards insight, showing them how to broaden their perspective on life by helping to teach coping mechanisms with life’s difficulties. Her book helps adults of all ages who may not naturally have a full insight for grasping how they think, feel, and act. From relationships to stress and anger issues, The Power of Journaling helps the journaler to identify and overcome individuals issues.

    ZestNow: I appreciate your inspiration in this area. Tell us the benefits to journaling, especially for women over 50

    Dr. Ionascu: Journaling allows individuals to gain insight into their thought process. Without really taking time to sit down and reflect on the day, it is hard to learn about the inner workings of our minds. For women over 50 this becomes especially important as life roles tend to change during this time period: Children leave the home, career advancement occurs and goals begin to shift. Women at this phase in life need to stop and think about who they are and what they want as they leave middle-age.

    ZN:How can one best start to journal?

    Dr. I: Carving out daily time is the most difficult, and most essential, part of journaling. To start a journal, allow yourself a quiet ten to fifteen minutes each day, and begin to sort out daily thoughts and reactions.

    ZN: How is the journaling you’re recommending different from a diary?

    Dr. I: Yes, our journal is quite different from a diary. A diary tends to be a record of the days events. This journal provides prompts and related questions to help the writer record and track reactions and feelings based on their day.

    ZN: Is it important to have a special time or a special place to do it? How often should one write?

    Dr. I: I think having a quiet place either in the morning or at night before bed is important. This journal has questions for everyday, and ideally one would write ten to fifteen minutes daily.

    ZN: How long should each entry be?

    Dr. I: We’ve given one page for each entry. Certainly some questions may be shorter and others may inspire the writer to expand her thoughts in an additional notebook.

    ZN: Do you recommend a specific method? A type of book? Are people journaling on their computer now? Would that be more or less useful?

    Dr. I: I think that journaling using a book encourages looking at patterns in behavior. While a computer journal works fine,but  it does not provide the same type of tactile interaction that pen to paper does.

    ZN: I understand that you recommend journaling to provide the chance for real insight and long-lasting change – a form of therapy. How can we use it in that way?

    Dr. I:  Journaling becomes a form of therapy when the writer has prompts that challenge them to look at people and events from a new perspective. Tracking seasonal changes in attitude, as well as noting feelings during times of transition are what make journaling

    ZN: What  journaling techniques help us gain perspective on our lives and relationships?

    Dr.I: The main techniques include consistency and stopping every three months to review previous entries and look for patterns. People tend to overlook interpersonal patterns because they simply do not stop and look. Journaling provides a useful way to review our choices and emotions, which has the potential to lead to positive change.

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    Article by: Dr. Nicolle Ionascu

    Dr. Nicolle Ionascu is a clinical neuropsychologist and therapist in the San Francisco area and author of the upcoming book, “The Power of Journaling: A Guided Pathway to Insight,” in stores September 10th. 

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