Whichever way to spell it…. I admit that I was very reluctant to start journaling myself – I thought it was for people with lots of time and a leaning towards poetry … and American teenage girls… not me at all! It turned out that I was being too quick to judge.
You can buy yourself a beautifully bound notebook to capture your personal experiences and insights in writing, set up a WordPress blog with this intention 😉 or simply open a document on your computer to allow you to capture all the things going on in your head or to vent your frustrations.
Journaling is about taking what is in your head and heart and putting it in writing.
No matter how you choose to do it, it can be powerful and beneficial!
- Research shows that writing about stressful life experiences boosts our emotional health and also improves immune function both in healthy people and in those with chronic illness. (It feels good and does you good!)
- It gives you the freedom to express anything and everything that occurs to you, in whatever way you want to do it.
- It can start a new train of thought or give you a new perspective. It opens space for creativity and new ideas.
- It allows you to unburden yourself without complaining to other people.
- It’s private and only between you and you, other people’s reactions don’t need to be considered.
- As well as documenting your actions, plans and progress through life, it can be an indispensable healing tool in times of transition and stress.
- Its a way to bring you to your Middle Ground. A place to connect with your Self. A place for centering and refreshment.
My Own Experience
I decided that I would spend 5 minutes every day writing my thoughts and ideas down in a word document before I opened my e-mails. The first day I spent 5 minutes expressing how uncomfortable and unsure I was about it.
The second day I captured all the new ideas that had come to me during the night that I didn’t want to lose. It felt good to know it was there and I could refer to it later.
The third day was 10 minutes of venting my frustration about a disappointment and then an other 10 minutes on an action plan to move forward with an alternative course of action. Now that felt great. It can be a self coaching tool – and it saves spouses, friends and colleagues from being the recipients of the vent.
I found it works really well for me when I am over thinking and overloaded, or when something is happening in my life where I have little control over.
My other experience of journaling has been while at my Kripalu Yoga Teacher Training programs. It was introduced as a mindfulness practice. Writing by pen and capturing what came up during a particular exercise or practice. I found writing by pen was a different experience and allowed me to capture my stream of consciousness in the moment.
I came to see that my reluctance to start came from judgment and a fear of “digging up stuff that is best left alone”. What I found instead was buried treasure.
If you are like I was – just try it with an open mind and open heart and see what gems are there to be discovered.
Please share your own journaling or journalling story here if you like!