Journaling can be Therapeutic

Do you have something that you did as a kid, but it fell out of habit as an adult? 

Journaling is one of those things for me. I’m not sure what got me into journaling. Could have been my older sister and seeing her fancy notebooks. Maybe it was a show that I was into at the time? I just know that I was journaling about things at a decent young age. Over the years I have had journal entries in notebooks, in Word documents on the computer, or even scrap papers. I even have one in an app on my phone, and vaguely remember one online somewhere. (I wish I could remember the website from the mid 2000’s that I used because I would love to check it out and see what content is there).

Journaling has always been therapeutic to me. I usually wrote when I was angry or upset about something. Often it would lead into mentions about the good going on at the time as well. Journaling has a way of getting it all out without fears of being judged. It eliminates any pressures of hurting feelings, or coming off as an awful person. Sometimes you gather new insight or clarity on a matter that you didn’t have before. It also helped this Gem moon gal to brain dump when needed so I could maybe get some sleep. Multiple resources speak on the benefits of journaling. Emotional processing is definitely a big one from that list for me. It can improve your health and well being both physically and mentally.

I always free-journaled my thoughts and feelings. There are other kinds of journaling out there that I do not have a lot of experience in. Bullet journaling or question prompts. I have started with some of the journal question prompts on occasion these past few months. It is helpful for trying to find out more about yourself.  I love all the options that are available for journaling now. 

I know I fell a bit out of the habit in my twenties. I had different priorities and some unhealthy ways of handling things. On one end of the spectrum I was getting my life together, but on the other I had a bit of a partying side that shadowed my growth. Consequently things like journaling, writing, creative pursuits, and more fell to the wayside.  As I have mentioned before I feel like there was a shift, or an awakening that started when I turned thirty. Do others feel that way about turning thirty? 

Want to get started in journaling? The first step is finding out what source is best for you to use. Classic pen and paper in a notebook or journal? Or maybe you are more into technology and an app would be beneficial. Or you could be chaotic like me and switch it up often between different sources. There is no right or wrong to this. Just like there are no length requirements. You can leave any fears of judgement for subject matter, spelling, and grammar behind (unless it does matter to you). 

After you have picked a source that you’re happy with . The next step is to decide what kind of journaling you want to do. You could focus on a specific topic like gratitude for the day. You could find pre-made journals to focus on specifics or that have ideas/questions to be answered. Then there is free hand journaling. This means you just write about whatever is on your mind or is plaguing you.

Finally, just set one moment aside for journaling. Again, there is no time frame to this, unless you only have so long to fit it in. After the first session, schedule the next one. If being specific about a date and time works for you, do that. If you can say, “ I am going to write again in two weeks before bed,” and can keep it? Great! Go ahead and do that. I would just make sure you gave it a fair chance or several writing sessions before declaring that it isn’t for you.

Let me know in the comments if you are someone who journals or someone wanting to start!

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