I’ve been journaling for over thirty years. Journaling has been my constant companion through all of life’s ups and downs (and everything in between).
During this time I’ve discovered that journaling can serve many purposes. Today I’d like to share with you a few of the ways that journaling has served me and can serve you, too.
- Emotional dump – writing about how you feel, even the physical sensations you are experiencing during an emotional crisis can help ease the pain and anxiety and any other feelings you may be having.
- Gateway to the past – writing about the past can be both a process of discovery and remembering, as well as, a way to heal.
- Routine – journaling every day is one way to ease into establish a routine of putting yourself first and taking care of yourself.
- Imagining – asking questions and journaling the answers can help you think about and imagine a wide variety of possibilities and solutions.
- Self-Discovery – journaling about the past, the present, the future or some imagined time period, can help you discovery who you are and what is important to you.
- Decision making – journaling about how you feel about a decision you have to make, weighing the pros and cons, imaging the different ‘what-ifs’ and trying to get a sense of what you are feeling and why, can help you make better decisions; decisions that support who you are today, as well as, who you want to become.
- Play dress up – when you journal you can be anyone you want. You can try on different personas and see how they feel. You can experiment and play with concepts and ideas about who you are and who you want to be.
- Meditation – taking 20-30 minutes a day for you to quietly journal and free write about whatever comes up can be a very calming and meditative process.
- Love and acceptance – journaling is a way to get to know yourself and to learn to love and accept yourself, in this moment. You can write yourself letters even have a conversation with yourself.
- Forgiveness – journaling can be a way to process past events in your life and move closer to forgiveness. You can practice forgiving yourself and others in your journal and write about how it feels. You can do this over and over again until you begin to heal.
Journaling is a very personal process and serves as many purposes as there are people who journal.
The key is to make it personal, to take ownership of the process.
Pick a journal or notebook that makes you feel good and makes you want to write. Write on your computer if that feels better. Establish a regular practice. Take the time for yourself and consider it sacred time. Move into the process and move into yourself. There is no right way or wrong way to journal. The only thing is to put the words, the thoughts, the feelings, the ideas floating around in your head and your heart onto the paper.
One more thing, your journal writing is yours and yours alone unless you decide to share it with another.