By B. Lynn Goodwin.
How can journaling help you through the stresses of your life?
If you are like many people, you offer help to your spouse, boss, kids, and maybe your parents and siblings. You spend time carpooling kids to school and dental appointments, making sandwiches, answering questions, paying bills, cooking dinner, entertaining, and if you are caring for parents as well as your immediate family your work load increases exponentially. At work, you do what the boss asks. As you help others, stress can build.
Why write about it? Journaling allows you to vent, process, explore, discover, and rejoice. It offers a safe place to explore, express yourself, dig deeper, analyze, and discover truths. It gives you the “me time” that keeps you whole. It creates a record of the story that only you can tell.
Over the past ten years my journals have been:
- A record
- A place to spew
- A place to delve and see where the pen takes me
- A place to hone my thoughts
- A place to sharpen my craft, and figure out what I really mean to say
- A place to make discoveries
- A place to find story ideas
- A place to find resolution or the next step on my journey
- A place to make lists and cross off what I accomplish
- A place to look back on what was once important and gain perspective
- A place to record my reflections
I write my journals in longhand. I like the smooth flow of a pen on paper. I like the progress of moving from left to right, line after line, traveling down one page and on to the next. The rhythm of longhand soothes me.
You may prefer to keep a file of journals on your computer. Do what works for you.
In addition to the fact that university studies have shown that writing saves lives, here are a few other reasons to journal:
- I write to share
- I write to pull out secrets locked in place in my brain
- I write to see what happens if I release my private truths
- I write to move to a new level of comprehension or analysis
- I write to tweak life and imagine happy endings
- I write to tweak life and imagine worst-case scenarios
- I write gratitude lists to feel better
Though it does not always seem like it, journals have the power to pull you off the hamster wheel of obsession and into action. They are a safe place to heal. Healing does not wipe out old problems or past actions. It washes over them, helping you cope, change your attitude, and move forward. Heal your spirit by writing in a journal.
What are your reasons for journaling? What do you journal about? Please comment below. I’d love to hear.
Photo Credit: Curt Fleenor