One of the main tools I have used in my life, to get to know myself and to improve my mental and emotional health, is journalling. People often underestimate the power of writing, but to me it has been the best friend and therapist one could ever ask for.
If you have never journalled before, it may feel daunting to sit down and write about your life. Many wonder where to start. But when you sit down in a quiet space and put pen to paper, it usually comes naturally after just a short while. It’s as easy as starting with “Today I have done…” or “Today I feel…” and see what follows.
It’s an exciting journey inward and a great way to reach insights about yourself and your life. By having it in black on white, it becomes clear and concrete. An issue which before seemed insurmountable, suddenly feels untangled and manageable.
A day of your life is so full of impressions, thoughts, feelings, ideas and problems. Journalling allows you to take a step back and reflect on all of this – and reflection is essential if we want to learn from our experiences. In writing, you can examine your thoughts and patterns, and begin to release those you find unhelpful.
It’s also a way to vent. We all carry suppressed feelings of anger and sadness, feelings that are often difficult to express. When you write, you can let out all these frustrations without censoring yourself. It’s important for two reasons – this way you will let out your feelings in a safe space and not risk spilling these onto friends and loved ones, thus harming your relationships; and also, when you vent in writing, you are actually releasing these feelings from your energy field, leaving room for new light to enter.
Since you are writing only to yourself, you can be as honest as you want – and you may surprise yourself. Honesty leads to insights, and insights lead to change and growth.
Other than daily journalling for pleasure or insight, here are a few other types of journalling for specific purposes.
♥ Journalling to release negative feelings
Sit down somewhere where you feel at ease. You can light a candle for atmosphere if you wish, or use a specific colour candle for your intended purpose. Write on paper or on a computer, whichever you feel more comfortable with.
Begin to write about the situation you wish to solve. What is it like, how do you feel about it? Don’t worry about punctuation, grammar or in any way censoring yourself. This is to release the rubbish you carry inside you, so just let it all out. Don’t pause to think, just keep writing. This is called freewriting or stream-of-consciousness writing. This is pure venting, and extremely healing. You may feel that afterwards you want to scream, cry, or punch a pillow. By all means, do!
After you have done this release, do something nice that brings you peace or comfort – have a bath, a cup of tea, go for a walk, watch a movie; anything.
♥ Journalling to solve a certain situation
Simply write about your situation answering these four questions:
1. What is the situation?
2. How do I feel about the situation?
3. How would I rather feel about the situation?
4. What can I do to change things, so that I will feel that way instead?
♥ Journalling to connect with your Higher Self
Journalling is also a great way to receive clear guidance from your spirit guides and Higher Self. Write down the questions you have, and then wait for the answer to come. It may come immediately, and you find that the pen is almost moving of its own accord. Or it might take a little bit of time and focus, in which case don’t give up, just keep writing until you feel like the answer is coming.
In this type of writing it’s easy to be sceptical, to stop and say, “Well, isn’t it just me writing these things?” But think of it this way – whether you are channeling your higher beings or just reaching deep into your subconscious to find answers – if the answers are helpful, does it really matter? Your Higher Self would much rather see you continue this practice with curiosity and joy, rather than questioning the process and doubting yourself. Play with it, have fun and see what you can learn!
♥ Journalling to converse with your Inner Child
Many of us have some unfinished business with our inner child. They may need healing or conversation. You can journal to reach out to him/her, and see what issues may still be affecting your life today, or work on a specific memory which is still hurting. Try writing with your subdominant hand when writing the voice of your inner child. See what comes up, and soothe and heal the wounds your inner child bares.
Finally, I’d just like to mention that your journal is a great place to write down your gratitude lists (seriously powerful way to improve your life, I promise!), and also your goals, ideas, and things you’d like to achieve. Again, by having them transformed from vague ideas in your mind to concrete words on paper, you are giving them power and weight. This is the first step to success.
I hope you give journalling a go, and see what wonderful things, ideas, and healing may come to you, and the many ways in which it can empower you and change your life.
Until next time,