"Dear diary" is what probably springs to mind when you think of keeping a journal. But contrary to our middle school diaries, a journal intends to go far beyond the recording of our daily events and crush of the day. ‘Free writing’ in a journal can actually help bring out thoughts and ideas you never knew you had in you. It means that you allow a stream of consciousness to express itself on paper without erasing anything or going back to read what you’ve written. This is why it can be such a helpful tool to explore the depths of our subconsciousness and begin to understand ourselves better.
Journalling is a tool that can be used to write down your thoughts and feelings to understand them more clearly. And if you are going through times of stress, depression, or anxiety, a journal can help you take on more of an observer’s perspective. This can help you gain control over your emotions and improve your mental wellbeing.
Here are some of the benefits you’ll get from journalling:
Helps manage depression and anxiety
Helps prioritise fears and concerns
Creates an opportunity to recognise triggers
Allows space for positive encouragement and self-talk
As journalling becomes part of your daily ritual, you’ll begin to notice that it will become a healthy therapeutic tool for healing, growth, self reflection and change.
Tips to get started
Keep your journal private
Meditate before writing
Write quickly and without censoring yourself
Give yourself permission to tell the truth
Write however works best for you! (Paper or digital)
Tips for when you get stuck
If you don’t know what to write, just write “I don’t know what to write” over and over. The process of having your pen on a piece of paper will eventually draw out whatever has been stuck inside your subconscious mind waiting to be released.
Don’t worry about legibility. There are no rules when it comes to journalling. Just let it flow, don’t think about sentence structure or punctuation. We just want the words here!
It’s tempting to go back and read what you’ve written to see if it makes sense. This is not about writing a story for someone to read later, but it’s about exploring the depths of your subconsciousness that might not even make sense to you at first. Keep writing and just watch as it unfolds.