LifeJournal™ Newsletter – October 2011

Our most recent software update, LifeJournal 3, is now available! Learn more about what’s new in LifeJournal3 at www.lifejournal.com/lj3.  Our journal software is getting rave reviews, such as this one:

“I downloaded and installed the upgrade LifeJournal3 with no problems, as well as the two additional add-ons. I’ve had LifeJournal on my computer since the first edition! Awesome program! Not another one out there quite like it and I love it! Keep up the great work!”
— JoAnne Pommier

We currently have eight Add-Ons with LifeJournal 3.  Add-Ons “flavor” your LifeJournal program with additional Prompts, Quotes, Tips, Topics, and Daily Pulse scales, written by some of the top people in their fields on a particular subject. Sprinkle some of these Add-Ons into your LifeJournal:

In the next few monthly newsletters I’ll be focusing on particular Add-Ons.  This newsletter has two articles:  The first article is an interview with Beth Jacobs, the creator of the Emotional Balance Add-On.  Most of us, at some point, use journaling to work out emotional issues—to get through a difficult bump in a relationship, to be more at ease with our emotions, and to vent and rant about our overwhelming emotions in a safe place. For decades, in her Chicago psychology practice, Beth Jacobs has been helping people write to balance their emotions. Find out what Beth’s perspective is on journaling and emotional balance in this interview.  It’s a lot more than simply write about your emotions.  She’s developed techniques that work!

The second article is about LifeJournal Add-Ons, honoring that we’re each snowflakes!  Make LifeJournal more you with Add-Ons that interest you.

There are some other very cool events about journaling that I’d like to tell you:

Warmly,
Ruth Folit
www.lifejournal.com
www.facebook.com/LifeJournalSoftware — If you haven’t yet, click the LIKE button! It’s a great place to get journaling news, tips, quotes, in between monthly newsletters.

Journaling and Emotional Balance: An Interview with psychologist and author, Dr. Beth Jacobs

Ruth:  Most of your work focuses on the theme of emotional balance.  What exactly does that phrase mean?

Beth:  Emotional balance is a flexible state where people feel emotionally connected to their experiences and also are able to process feelings and make decisions based on more than their immediate emotions.

Ruth:  Why is that important and why is that so hard to do?

Beth: Researchers are finding out more and more that emotions dominate brain function.  Yet researchers are also discovering that the most evolved part of the brain, which is the part that integrates experience and judgment can develop better connections to the more primitive and emotional part of the brain.  More and better connections mean that emotions are experienced as less dominating and less fragmented.

Ruth:  How does journaling help that process?

Beth:  I thought you’d never ask!  Journaling is a tool that is tailor made to help you integrate emotional processes with other brain processes.  You have to focus and use fine motor coordination to write and you have to use symbolic, language, and narrative abilities to write.  When you apply these kinesthetic and thinking skills while writing about things you feel, you almost automatically help yourself more fully integrate your emotional experiences.

Ruth: So are you saying that the very process of writing helps you integrate your emotional experiences?

Beth: Yes! The physical act of writing combined with imagination and rational processing of your emotions brings you closer to emotional balance!

Ruth:  What can you do when you are in the more overwhelmed side of emotions?

Beth:  It’s really helpful to actually plan for those states of being emotionally overwhelmed, because we are human and these emotionally challenging times will happen.  When you are caught up in troubling feelings, it’s best to vent by writing for a specified period of time and then finish your writing with something more analytic or reassuring, such as writing a series of questions to ponder about your emotional reaction or an affirmation that you have managed it as best as you can at that moment.

I created the Emotional Balance Add-On to provide a format for helping you learn more about your emotions by writing about them.  The Prompts, Quotes, Tips, and Topics List were designed with this in mind. By regularly focusing on emotional balance, you also raise your threshold for emotional flooding.  Every bit of emotional work you do, including writing and responding to the components within the Emotional Balance Add-On, builds more awareness and more pathways and connections in your brain.

Ruth:  It sounds like acceptance is an important part of emotional balance.

Beth:  Absolutely!  Our brains are wired to feel strongly and to use these strong feelings as markers — registering important information and learning for survival.  Emotions make life rich and interesting, that’s for sure.  We need to accept two things to help our emotional balance: One is the fact that we are feeling creatures, and two is that feelings change all the time and every emotion will eventually evolve into another one.

LifeJournal Add-Ons: Honoring that we’re each snowflakes!

Here’s the Wikipedia explanation of snowflakes: Snowflakes are conglomerations of frozen ice crystals which fall through the Earth’s atmosphere. They begin as snow crystals which develop when microscopic supercooled cloud droplets freeze. Snowflakes come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Complex shapes emerge as the flake moves through differing temperature and humidity regimes. Individual snowflakes are nearly unique in structure.

Here’s the LifeJournal explanation of people:   People are conglomerations of blood, sweat, and tears who learn, dance, sing, and toil through their days on earth.  They begin as bits of DNA which develop into full-size feeling, thinking, and doing human beings.  People come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Complex people emerge as the person lives through differing familial, geographic, socio-economic, psychological, and relational regimes. Individual people are nearly unique in structure.

Honoring that each of us is a snowflake, um… rather, a unique person, it’s crystal clear that journals should be made to allow and reflect individual different needs.  So we’ve created some of the highest-quality Add-Ons that extend your journal and focus your thinking and writing on a subject that has meaning for you. Here’s how they work:

LifeJournal 3 comes with about 2,000 quotes, hundreds of writing prompts, and about a hundred tips about how use LifeJournal and suggestions for journaling, in general.  Add-Ons seamlessly give you more—more quotes, more writing prompts, more tips about a particular subject.  This is like adding flavors to a snow-cone.  You are keeping your journal in LifeJournal, and there is added flavor to your journal about writing, or about emotional balance, or creativity, etc.  And, of course, you can add more than one flavor to your journal. How about Emotional Balance and Spirituality?  Writers and Creativity? Christian and Writers?  Divorce and Emotional Balance?Staying Sober and Emotional Balance?

Here’s how it works: Add-Ons only work with LifeJournal 3. You don’t need to download more to add an Add-On, but you will need a key for an Add-On. You can buy one from www.lifejournal.com/ordering when you purchased the program.  Or, if you want to buy an Add-On after you have already purchased LJ3, go to www.lifejournal.com/addon to learn about each of them.  At the top and bottom of each individual Add-On there’s a “Add to Cart” link.

Once you purchase the Add-On for $19.95, you’ll receive an Add-On key via email. The next step is to Activate the Add-On.  Here’s how:
1. Go to the File menu>Manage keys and copy and paste your Add-On key in the Add Key text field, and click Enter Add-On Key button. 2. Then click the Manage Content button  and select  the Add-On that you are activating and click the OK button. You’ll see a progress bar showing that the Add-On content is being activated.

End Quotes:

““For me, keeping a journal was a spontaneous act, when a friend and I started journals on a whim, when she edited the high school newspaper and I the literary magazine.  We both simply had discovered how gratifying it was to have a place to air our feelings….especially  if nobody but ourselves would ever see what we wrote!

Indeed, that privacy was the intriguing element, keeping this quite separate from all the other writing we were doing. It consisted of the stuff that was too personal  to be printed in what we wrote for the school publications.  And it was  precisely that, that opened the floodgates.

Keeping a journal has remained a lifelong, gratifying source for self-expression, and has enriched all the other writing that I have done, and still do, at 97. Reading some of those journals now, as I have been doing lately, is an extraordinarily rewarding experience.”
–Ethel Booth, long time journal writer