| Journaling can be described as a deliberate act of recording personal experiences, ideas, or reflections regularly for your own use. It can also be done unconsciously, such as by doodling on the side of a scrap piece of paper, drawing an image that reflects your current mood, or writing down a word or phrase on your napkin that comes to mind while you're having a conversation over coffee.
There can be many benefits gained from taking the time to write down ones thoughts or musings. Studies have shown that writing about stressful or traumatic situations can have positive outcomes in psychological, emotional, social and even physical ways. Need more reasons to consider picking up a pen, buying a cool, old-school typewriter, or opening that word document?
Here are some of the benefits of journaling:
Want to start writing but finding it hard to get started? Not sure what to write about? You might want to consider Googling journal prompts (here is an example from Tiny Buddha: 10 Journaling Tips to Help you Heal, Grow, and Thrive). These prompts can be helpful nudges to help you get started in order to feel the benefits that journaling and self-expression can offer.
Feel like expressing yourself in more creative or unconventional ways? Your journal can be anything you make it to be because it's for your eyes only (unless you want to share it with others). This means you can scribble, draw, write poetry, or find any other medium of expressing your creativity.
Journaling can also be helpful in deciding whether the thoughts or feelings that you're now exploring on paper might also benefit from exploration within a conversational, therapeutic setting. A counsellor is skilled at asking questions that can help push you out of your comfort zone, and that might also help you to gain a different perspective of your situation to enable positive changes to happen in your life. Journaling about any insights that happen between counselling sessions can also be helpful to bring up and explore in a safe way with your therapist.
Is writing already a part of your self-care or insight exploration?
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Want to find out more about how journaling or therapy can help you?
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