“I’ll bet you write (or word process) daily. If you are like most women, you record only what you must. In an effort to change your mind and your habits, I’ll let you in on a well-kept secret: A pen coupled with paper can serve as a powerful life tool.” – Maud Purcell, LCSW.
Keeping a journal is believed to generate positive benefits. It can also aid in personal growth and development. Constant and regular documentation of thoughts, feelings, ideas, regrets, successes, and aspiration will provide an excellent source of insight into your inner self, your moods, and behaviors. Journaling may also be used for problem-solving and stress reduction. It’s has been proven that keeping the habit of journaling can improve both mental and physical health as well as increased one’s self-esteem. Experts claimed that the statistics on mental illness is only scratching the surface. It gives us an idea of how widespread mental illness is but the real numbers may reveal far worst. It is estimated that one in every three people might be suffering from mental illnesses at one point. Anxiety disorders, mood disorders, and substance abuse can be treated with medication and therapies.
Experts recommend journaling for individuals with mental illness as a form of an outlet and also as a tool for healing; however, many are hesitant in starting this hobby. Some claimed that they feel like they are in school and given an assignment by a teacher. Others might not be good in the written language. There are some of the tips to help individuals who are willing to start the habit but do not know where to begin.
Always start with your present situation.
It is so much easier to start with something familiar, before digging deeper you have to first start in the surface. Discuss your current statuses like living situation, routines, relationships and work. Share your hobbies and interests and your likes and dislikes.
Just allow writing in the stream of consciousness.
Express yourself in a free flow manner without any edits. Do not concern yourself with trivialities such as grammar, punctuations, and usage of vulgar words. This journal is for you only; therefore, it is a solace without judgment and expectations.
Jordan Gaines Lewis, Ph.D. says, “Writing, as many would probably agree, is therapeutic, and studies in the past two decades have explored the health consequences of secrets, expressive language, and the before-and-after physical and psychological symptoms associated with trauma—an area of research referred to as “writing therapy.”
Start a dialogue with your inner child
Recall all your doubts and fears. Examine your childhood. Is there any unresolved issue that dramatically affects your life now? Do you have hidden anger from someone you loved?
List all the things you are grateful for
Practicing a life of gratitude makes lonely days seem bearable. When you are feeling low, go through the pages of your gratitude journal, and it can alleviate your emotions. It can be a boost to happiness during troubled times.
Take in the scenery
Appreciate the wonders of nature. Document how amazing the natural scenery through portraits, pictures, and drawing or through your words.
Maintain a logbook of successes
Celebrate your success – big or small. It is put everything in perspective. When you feel like such a failure and in a state of stagnation. Go over your achievements and realize how far you’ve reached compared to day 1.
Write about your struggles or disturbing even in the third person.
Some might claim that this technique is counterproductive and somewhat in a state of denial; however, it is a method to somehow view the situation from a different perspective giving more insight into the individual.
Develop your gut feel
F. Diane Barth L.C.S.W. also shared how writing had affected her positively. She wrote, “I learned early on that writing my ideas out helped me clarify what I was thinking about, whether it had to do with understanding something about myself or finding the best tools for dealing with a client.”
Often, our instincts always give us the correct path to lead; however, since society taught us to reason with logical thinking, people second guess their decisions. Intuition, in ancient times, kept our ancestors alive and safe without the advances in science and technology. Try to regain or further develop your gift of intuition by writing down concerns and questions and taking the time to allow the universe or your higher self to respond. Write down the reply automatically without any filter.