A clearly practical application of journaling is to use it as a way to get a grip on your financial worries.

Our current economy is challenging, to say the least, and many of us are obsessed with financial concerns. Physical side effects from money stress - like sleeplessness or headaches, or worse - can become intolerable.

While we're more aware today about what's going on all over the world, we also feel increasingly helpless. There's so much over which we have no control. We can't affect interest rates; we can't snap our fingers and find work.

We can, though, keep that well-worn notebook close at hand, and use it every day for a while to explore our attitude towards money. By identifying the roots of fears, you can begin to work with them. By working with your fears, you can begin to conquer and move past them.

You may think it's obvious why you worry about money: you never have enough! But really taking the time to examine closely why it's a problem can yield rich rewards. Your relationship with the green stuff may be both more complex and more workable a situation than you think.

Your emotional response to money, like your emotional response to food, cleanliness, religion, and most everything else in life was first founded on experiences you had as a child.

Here's a sequence you can use to start your Money Journal.

1. Spend some time reflecting on your early memories of money within the context of your family. Try to remember many details, however small.

2. Write in your journal as you consider the following:

• What is your very first memory around money as something that has power? How old were you? What was the scene and what were your emotions?

• Did you receive an allowance when you were a child? Did you have to do chores to earn your allowance? Did your friends also get allowances? What are your memories around getting and spending it?

• Did you spend or save your money when you were young? When did you get your first bank account?

• Did your parents work? What are your emotional memories around their work situations?

• Did your parents discuss family finances with you? What was your awareness of their money concerns?

• Do you remember feeling envious of other people's possessions? Did your family have more or less than others, or were you mostly on a financial par with your peers?

• What advice did your parents give you about money? What does that advice mean to you now?

• When you think about money and your family when you were growing up, what three words come to mind? Write out those three words and continue in free association writing for a timed five minutes.

3. As you reflect on your writings, do you see patterns from childhood still active in your psyche today? Some of these are healthy, but others cause tension and fear. Let your musings and your pen tease out the details.

Facing the problem of money squarely like this and dealing directly with your phobias and tensions about it gives you power over your subconscious reactions. Your journal will gently work with you to leave negative habits behind so you can rethink your relationship with money, and make it productive!

Author's Bio: 

By Mari L. McCarthy - Journal / Writing Therapist. You can use journaling for a thousand different purposes. I discuss many of them in my blog at http://www.createwritenow.com/journal-writing-blog/. My most recent book is titled Peace of Mind and Body and you can see more about it here: http://www.createwritenow.com/peace-of-mind-and-body---27-days-of-journa.... Write On!