Did you have a diary when you were young? Maybe you wrote about the events of the day, how your day was spent or what you accomplished. How about a journal? A journal is different. It’s more personal. A journal contains emotions, an exploration of your thoughts, issues you are working on and insights gained through self-examination. Journaling offers an opportunity to write about your inner feelings and circumstances in a private unedited manner. In doing this you can more fully learn from these experiences while reducing the emotional charge it holds.
Journaling can be a valuable tool leading to personal growth and insight.
On the back cover of his book “Writing to Heal” psychologist Dr. James Pennebaker describes his research findings: “The simple act of expressing your thoughts and feelings about emotionally challenging experiences on paper is proven to speed your recovery and improve your mental and physical health.” He also states that journaling strengthens immune function.
A 2011 study by Ramirez and Beilock published in Science magazine revealed that writing about their anxiety about upcoming math exams helped young adult students to do better on the exam.
So why not give it a try!
Begin by choosing a process that’s right for you: Type, write, dictate or talk and text.
Pick a journal that feels special to you: Whether it is the font on your computer or the colorful cover of your hard copy journal. Lined paper? Spiral bound? Let it be special. If you decide to hand write, go buy
yourself a nice journal.
Choose your best time of day to journal. Most of us will choose either first thing in the morning or right before going to bed at night. Set aside at least 20 minutes to journal every day. Find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed. Mark it on your calendar to support your commitment.
Is there a theme you would like your journaling to center around? A dream journal, a gratitude journal or a vision journal? Or perhaps your topic will change each day to include something that’s on your
mind or something that concerns you. Put one feeling down on the page and let it flow. Don’t hold back, let go and allow yourself to explore. If you are feeling stuck try stream of consciousness journaling. Just start
to write. No need to edit, just keep writing.
Remember that your journal is YOURs. Set down the judgment and write whatever you like without regard to ‘correctness’. This is private, not to be shared with others.
The more you journal, the easier it gets.
Let it be fun!
Check out Journey to Access Your Passion, a 21 day journaling program intended to assist you in becoming aware of your passion and desires, remove blocks to accessing your inner dreams and begin to take steps toward living your Best Self.