About this Journaling Series by Eric Maisel

Inspired by Contributors to The Great Book of Journaling

This series of guest blog posts on various topics related to journaling, was created for a series called “Journaling for Men” that appears on the Good Men Project blog. It is designed to help everyone, and especially men who may be unfamiliar with journaling, learn how daily journaling can help them improve their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. It brings together ideas from two of Eric’s recent books, Redesign Your Mind, in which I describe how you can upgrade and redesign “the room that is your mind,” and our co-edited book The Great Book of Journaling, in which we gathered contributions from scores of journal experts and enthusiasts. Please enjoy this series.

We hope that you’ll begin to include journaling as part of your daily self-awareness and self-care program.

Feeling stuck and in a rut? Chapter contributor A M Carley suggests in The Great Book of Journaling that you use a Becoming Unstuck Journal to help you get unstuck. She explained:

“When you feel burdened, stuck, depressed, despairing, anxious, or worried, ask yourself whether the feeling belongs to you. Often, the answer is a liberating “no.” Let that burden go.” 

-A M Carley

Here are some ways to approach your Becoming Unstuck Journal.


1. Write Grumpy – In a crabby mood? Habituate yourself to reach for your journal anyway. Even if it’s only a few minutes’ writing, you’ll give yourself a gift, if not now, later on when you revisit the words you wrote on that grumpy day.

 2. If I Already Knew How – When you’re feeling stumped, ask yourself: “If I already knew how to take the next step / solve this problem, what would I do?” It’s amazing how often a part of you who knows more than you can admit will step up, when invited, and tell you what you need.

3. Notice – What specific things do I notice at this moment? Describe the small details: sounds, smells, noises, sights, textures, emotions, ideas, inspirations, thoughts, memories, etc.

4. Events – What happened in the last 24 hours that I’m grateful for? What do I appreciate about those events, and what do they mean to me?

5. Let Go – What can I let go of now? (Some burden, energy drain, wasteful behavior, inessential task, worry, etc.)

6. Listen to the Doubter – Exiling a part of yourself, or an inner voice that you dislike hearing, can be futile and short-sighted. Instead of giving yourself a pep talk, try sitting down for a chat with the doubter. Write down the dialogue that ensues. Quite often, that inner doubter is actually trying to help, perhaps based on out-of-date information or context, and an open dialogue will reveal valuable insight.

7. Beginner’s Mind – Cast aside your expertise and instead approach a problem as if you knew nothing about it. This can give you the way in. 

8. Is It Mine? – When you feel burdened, stuck, depressed, despairing, anxious, or worried, ask yourself whether the feeling belongs to you. Often, the answer is a liberating “no.” Let that burden go. Re-center yourself to your purpose, your feelings, and your day.

 9. Undelivered Communications – In your journal, take Rick Hanson’s advice and write out an entire conversation with the person, real or imagined, you’re struggling with. Say all the unsaid things. Then write out the conversation again, with all the other person’s responses. Pause and take in the result.     

Give these ideas a try. They might just get you unstuck!

Get your copy of The Great Book of Journaling: How Journal Writing Can Support a Life of Wellness, Creativity, Meaning and Purpose

Discover many different journaling techniques, prompts, and activities that can support you to enrich your life and health with journaling.

Buy now and be inspired to journal!

Great Book of Journaling

About the Authors:

This blog article is inspired and informed by A M Carley’s chapter entitled The Becoming Unstuck Journal in The Great Book of Journaling.

A M Carley is a creative coach, author, teacher, and editor based in central Virginia, USA. Anne has been journaling since childhood and considers the practice a rich resource for creative people. Her nonfiction books, FLOAT • Becoming Unstuck for Writers and the forthcoming CALM • Bold Creative Confidence, encourage writers and other creative people to connect with and trust their inner guidance. One of the best ways to discover and follow that guidance, as her books, courses, and workshops encourage, is through a journaling practice. Her forthcoming Becoming Unstuck Journal workbook and its related online course provide an incubator environment where writers can expand their creative journaling practice. Visit annecarleycreative.com for information and to be notified about future publications and events.

Eric Maisel

Eric Maisel is the author of 50+ books. He is a retired family therapist, active creativity coach, lead editor for the Ethics International Press Critical Psychology and Critical Psychiatry series, and featured blogger for Psychology Today, where his “Rethinking Mental Health” blog has received 3,000,000+ views.

You can learn more about Eric Maisel on his website.>>>

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