The Reason Why I Journal
I started journaling in 2015.
I was having a really hard time with work and life. I kept hitting walls. Nothing was going as planned. Nothing felt right. I had landed my “dream” job but I was still miserable.
I saw my first therapist. This therapist did nothing for me. I was working at a domestic violence shelter. I thought I was doing my life's work. I just wasn’t ready yet.
I started a new job and went to another therapist. I was drowning. I constantly had panic attacks. The second therapist helped me more than any other therapist would. She told me that when you write down things that have hurt you it helps you process them.
She showed me how to separate my life from other people and how to worry about myself instead of everyone else. No one else’s opinion mattered except my own. Unfortunately, I was only allowed three visits with her.
The rest of the therapists are a blur. I went to an income-based facility and they changed therapists regularly. I stopped because I needed some consistency. Always seeing someone different was really messing with my anxiety. I stopped seeing therapists in 2018. I decided to look within.
What journaling does for me.
It helps me process my feelings. This helps with moving on and getting past trauma.
It helps me take action in my writing. It inspires my writing. It helps me stay connected to myself. I love this aspect of it. I find my own inspiration within.
It helps me hash out my problems. It helps me get through my bad days. It keeps me positive.
It keeps me from burning out. When I am overwhelmed and emotional I just journal. When fear has me paralyzed, I just write it out.
It keeps me from doing something stupid. It helps me stay sane with three kids. It keeps me from overreacting when I get upset.
It keeps me in line with my goals. I write my goals regularly. It keeps me in line with my bigger picture and my why.
The University of Texas at Austin’s psychologist and researcher James Pennebaker believes journaling can improve your health and your mind.
He says that having a consistent journaling practice can strengthen your immune cells, called T-lymphocytes.
He has published several books on the benefits of writing.
He talks about writing accesses your left brain which is the analytical side. While your left brain is busy, the right side is free to create and feel.
Mr. Pennebaker also believes that journaling can improve your memory.
Practicing gratitude can set you up for positive thinking.
It puts things into perspective so you are not thinking about all of the bad things in your life.
A gratitude practice is jotting down 5 things you are grateful for every day.
This takes 30 seconds.
What journaling can do for you
Journaling can help you understand your thoughts and feelings.
Writing about built-up anger and negative emotions can help you release them. It can help you feel better almost immediately.
When I am having a bad day I will journal about my feelings and why I feel this way. Most of the time this eliminates negative thoughts.
This helps you find an intuitive solution. We normally try to solve problems with the analytical side of the brain.
If you journal about your problem first you can come up with an answer without racking your brain for days.
If you are having a disagreement with someone journaling about it can help you process your feelings. It can also help you understand the other person’s perspective.
When you keep negative emotions inside you allow yourself to boil and this can lead to you overreacting.
Help you see how far you have come
Journaling daily can show you a timeline from where you were to where you are. This helps if you have goals or if you are trying to overcome trauma.
Keeps memory sharp
Journaling helps with this by keeping all of the excess information out.
If you have been through loss or trauma your mind does not know how to process it effectively. Journaling gets all of it out, so your mind has room to grow.
It allows your mind to be able to recall more things.
If your mind is clear then you respond better, you communicate better and you listen better.
Journaling at night can clear your mind so you will fall asleep easier.
Journaling in the morning can clear your mind for a more productive day. It sets you up for success if your mind is not cluttered.
Journaling has changed my life.
I have dealt with all of my monsters and demons through journaling.
Now it helps me keep things in perspective and it helps me stay on top of my goals.