Clinical trials have shown that journaling boosts your immune system, reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, increases feelings of happiness and diminishes symptoms of depression and anxiety. Indeed the Journal of American Medicine Association (JAMA) reports that writing about stressful experiences reduces physical symptoms in patients with chronic illnesses. There are those that suggest journaling prolongs life.
Journaling can help us heal from traumatic events, deep sorrows and disappointments. Journaling can also help us come to a better understanding about ourselves, who we are and where we are going. Life is busy and we don’t always have time to examine our feelings and emotions. When we begin to write in our journals we can release our deepest feelings and refresh our spirits.
Are you a list maker? Checking off on a list of to-dos can generate the most wonderful feeling. You feel a sense of accomplishment, relief and motivation to move beyond the list. Journaling is a little like that in that you can write out everything that you are thinking or feeling and leave it there. The writing itself leads to insights and understanding while the leaving it there leads to a sense of relief and freedom, check!
Journaling is a no risk, no cost therapy session. You can do it in your own time, when and where you want to. You don’t have to be a great writer possessing poetic skill or even a former spelling bee champion. Journal writing is a tool that is available to all of us.
On these pages dedicated to journaling we will begin to explore this healing art form and we will share with you what we discover. Here you will find guidance, tips and suggestions.
Let’s get started!
First we need a notebook to write in. I don’t know about you but I have a hard time writing in fancy notebooks especially the ones that are bound like books. Yikes, I’m not going to pour my heart out into one of those for fear of messing it up too much! I feel much more comfortable and at ease writing in a simple school notebook. Remember there are no rules here, you are in control and you possess power over the notebook. It may be helpful to start slow, just take 5-10 minutes a day to jot some thoughts down. Be sure to create a quiet, comfortable place with enough privacy to allow you the freedom to deal with emotions that may surface. Starbucks is okay of course but just be aware of the possibility of unresolved feelings coming to visit. Pay absolutely no attention to grammar or spelling….who cares? This is your journal. This actually may be a rule now that I think about it; you have to be honest to get real answers and real healing.
Lastly, enjoy the process, tell your story. We know far more than we realize, all of the answers are there somewhere deep in our subconscious minds. Be fearless and trust the process. There isn’t anyone who isn’t helped by journaling.