Have you found the treasures of journaling?
There was a time when writing in a diary was seen as the domain of teenage girls. It was supposed to be this book covered in pink and purple, where they jotted down the pains and pleasures of adolescence. It was seen as more of a fad, to be buried as soon as ‘real life’ set in. However, diary-writing or journaling has seen a surge in popularity in recent times. Today, it is considered as an important and effective tool in dealing with problems and helping in improving overall quality of life.
Journal writing is a voyage to the interior– Christina Baldwin
Journaling can be for a specific purpose, like an exercise diary or food diary. But free writing seems to be the most therapeutic kind of journaling, and helps in achieving peace of mind and even in healing past hurts. Here is a closer look at how journaling can help you achieve inner peace and true healing.
The Treasures of Journaling
1. Releases Anxiety
One of the most basic benefits of putting down your thoughts in one place is the feeling of release. A journal provides us with a safe environment to let out our thoughts, fears and desires. A paper by the American Psychological Association says that expressive writing tends to reduce negative thoughts and increases the mind’s ability to deal with daily troubles.
2. Encourages Self Assessment
As we write in a journal, we are forced to look inwards and examine our feelings. It provides us an opportunity to actually get in touch with our thoughts, and perhaps get a more objective view of them. Keeping a journal has also shown to help us become more aware of our achievements and strengths, therefore increasing our self esteem. This confidence of our deeper understanding can have a profound effect on the healing process.
3. Improves Clarity
Journaling helps us break down complicated thoughts and intricate emotions as we write about them. The time spent on journaling is usually one of deep mindfulness, and this helps us focus entirely on the task at hand. Putting down all our problems on paper improves clarity and gives us a better perspective.
4. Displays Patterns
As we journal regularly, we may begin to notice certain patterns – in our thought processes, in our communications and our decisions. We may also be able to notice similar patterns in other people’s behaviour towards us. This can be greatly helpful in helping us fix relationship issues, and we may suddenly find simple solutions to problems that seemed too complex.
5. Journaling Promotes Gratitude
American researchers Emmons and McCollough conducted a study where people were asked to keep a daily gratitude journal. Those who did it sincerely were found to have better energy, attention and peace. Journaling helps us focus on the small joys of life – things that we often tend to ignore or take for granted. Even if you’re having a really bad day, a quick journal entry can help us realize how much good there still is around us.
Journaling works best when it’s done in a quiet, focused environment. You can choose any time of the day, but for most people the evenings work best, and helps in achieving restful sleep. When you begin to write, do it freely. Forget about being eloquent or even grammatically correct – let the thoughts flow uninterrupted. If done correctly, journaling for peace and healing works pretty much like unburdening yourself to a friend, albeit one who will not judge or offer opinions. In short, your journal will be your best friend, companion and therapist – all in one!