Self-Discovery through Journaling

Self-Discovery through Journaling

Journaling has regained popularity in recent years in mental health.  It has once again become a popular treatment tool for a variety of mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression and managing stress.  Whether you are in therapy or on a path of self-discovery,  journaling is a great activity. 

Research has proven that strategic, committed journaling can actually change the way one thinks, feels and behaves.  Studies reveal that individuals who commit to 30 days of writing daily in a gratitude journal, report significant improvement in their positive outlook on life. The best part of journaling is that success is not impacted by financial circumstances, education, age, or writing skills.  Journaling only requires a desire and commitment to the process.

While there is technically no wrong or right ways to journal, there are strategies to help get you motivated to begin.  Ask yourself about the value you see in journaling and if you can to commit to the process.  If you are unmotivated or resistant, discuss this with your therapist or someone who successfully journals.  Following are some general tips to help get you started. 

Tips for Journaling:

  • Buy or find a journal you’d like to use-keep it in a secure but accessible place.
  • Commit to writing every day for 30 days. (Keep going if you enjoy it)
  • Set a consistent time aside each day for journaling.  Journaling doesn’t need to be 1 hour; start with a 5 minute commitment.
  • Once you begin writing, keep your momentum going: write anything that comes to mind… 
  • Write honestly. While journaling is a creative form of writing, in order to gain self-awareness, it is not intended to be fictional.
  • Accept that journaling is not about using correct grammar or perfect writing skills. Allow yourself to be spontaneous.
  • Be confident that no one is going to read your journal. (If you believe there are boundary issues in your home, learn how to set boundaries.  Keep your journal at work or a locker at school if you must.)
  • If you feel blocked in writing, use prompts from journaling books or websites.
  • Try gratitude journaling, or focus on journaling about something of interest to you. (i.e. parenting, relationships, childhood memories)
  • Do not critique or judge your own writing.  The key is honesty and spontaneity.
  • Make sure you are not censoring your writing. Ask yourself if you are writing what you think should do or feel or if it is what you really feel, what really happened or what you wish happened?
  • Look forward to the self-discovery in your writing. Even facing hard truths leads to a more peaceful way of living.
  • Do not be stingy with yourself about journals if possible.  Buy a cover you enjoy and replace journals frequently.  When you are ready to start a new journal, do it.  Some people ceremoniously burn or destroy journals when complete.
  • Develop your own traditions with journaling.  Have fun with it and enjoy the process.
  • Just get started.  The longer you journal, the sooner you will develop a routine and style that works for you.


Allow yourself to discover your truth through Journaling. It is an excellent tool in the process of self-awareness and change.  Self-awareness can help you understand your emotions and behaviors and can create opportunities for change. 

Journaling is easy, inexpensive, and well worth the effort.

 

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