Writing down your thoughts and feelings is a therapeutic activity. Paper and pen channel your creative expression, either joyful or melancholic and distressing. Journaling can be a healing process to help you get in touch with your deepest needs and desires, come to terms with problems, and deal with personal issues. Whatever type of painful emotion you are experiencing (grief, sadness, fear, isolation, etc.) expressing yourself in writing can help ease your discomfort.
I often provide journaling to my own clients who find it difficult to verbalize what bothers them. The tool has proven beneficial not only to them but also to myself, as I learn a great deal about their “internal, hidden world”.
Getting words down on paper can help clear your head of thoughts and ideas that are creating a mental swirl of confusion. The purpose of doing this exercise is to clear your brain of mindless clutter and discharge any emotional baggage connected to useless or negative thoughts. It is a process that allows you to reflect upon your emotions, thoughts, and behaviors during events in your life. It offers the privacy to examine the behavior and attitudes of others and even re-visit circumstances from multiple angles. In other cases, journaling provides the opportunity to write a “love letter” to yourself with inspirational sayings, reminders, and cheerful recollections.
When getting down to it, ensure that this activity fits your style. And, always remember that journaling doesn’t require proper grammar, writing skills, or expertise…it is your own “therapy” session with yourself, where you embrace yourself and your world in a positive, non-judgmental, and compassionate fashion.
MSocSc Prof Counsel, ProfDip Psych, GDAPP, GDPC