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This 10-minute daily ritual helped me overcome trauma and changed my life

Transformation expert and author Tess Cope reveals how journaling changed her life.

Stock image of someone journaling
5 October 2023
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Ever found yourself wanting to become the best version of yourself, but felt unsure how to do it? Meet Tess Cope, founder of the Transformation Agency, who empowers her clients to unlock their utmost through coaching. 

The best-selling author, who has just released her second book, Your Team Is Not The Ossue: Unearth the Systemic Roots of Team Dynamics, reveals how one daily ritual changed her life for the better. 

Tess, what's the one thing you do each day that's just for you?

People notice that I'm my best self when I do daily routine of journaling. I've received comments such as, 'you look different - you seem very serene' and to be honest, I feel different too when I make time to journal. 

Tess Cope© Tess Cope
Tess Cope on how journaling changed her life

Why do you think journaling makes you feel so much better?

This daily rhythm of prioritising time for me, allows me to feel like my feet are on the ground. It creates some inner space to make sense of the internal chatter and allow clarity and inner calm to emerge. 

Like many good habits and routines, it's only when you go off-piste that you realise how much you were actually benefitting from them. 

When your job is all about helping others, it feels like a real treat to dedicate a small amount of time and space just for yourself. 

Some mornings I just need ten minutes and typically no more than 20 minutes. Sometimes, I will even bookend my day with journaling - rounding off a busy schedule by downloading what is tumbling around my mind. 

Why do you love journaling?

The process of journaling is about allowing the conversation that you are having in your head to arrive in a physical form, on paper and separate from yourself. 

One of my biggest personal breakthroughs happened when I took time to fully explore traumatic experiences from my formative years. In addition to exploring them with my coach, I also used my journal to let the emotions pour onto the page. For the first time in decades, they were given a place and they were allowed to be seen and fully acknowledged. 

tess cope© Tess Cope
The author has penned Your Team Is Not The Ossue: Unearth the Systemic Roots of Team Dynamics

I allowed the previous versions of me, which had kept the container of emotions watertight, to have a mini vacation and as a result, a whole new level of capacity was unleashed. I gave myself permission to relax and open the lid - initially for myself and in time, I became more comfortable talking about it with others. 

I strongly recommend journaling as way of processing to all my coaching clients. It is a process that actively supports our mental health on a daily basis - especially when we are undergoing intense introspection. 

This is not a radical idea. Keeping a diary has been around for centuries - this development of reflective writing was introduced more formally in the 1960s in the field of psychology. The phenomenal value arrives when it is incorporated into your daily routine. 

You can incorporate this daily practice easily and quickly. All you need is a pen and a notepad. I would recommend it is written rather than digital. May I encourage you to give it a try for 21 days - as we know, it takes time to develop and embed a new habit. This one will be worth it.

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