• Sandy Jolles

The Power of Journaling

What Is Journaling?

As a writer, I wanted to include a post about the power of journaling and communicating our experiences on paper. As someone who can internalize some of the emotions that stir in my head, writing provides an avenue for the expression of thoughts and memories, and thus, can make me feel a bit lighter.

How Does It Work?

Studies have found that if we express feelings about a time in our lives that was very stressful, our immune function strengthens, we become more relaxed, and our health may improve. Writing about these processes helps us organize our thoughts and create closure to an event that our minds have a tendency to want to suppress or hide. Journaling can be done in the privacy of our own home and can be done with pen/paper OR on the computer if you prefer.

Does Anybody Need to Read It?

You are welcome to share your writings with others, but no one needs to read what is written. The most benefit comes from the physical act of writing the document (not sharing). In fact, deleting or destroying the document can sometimes bring closure to a difficult time in your life.

How Is It Done?

There are many different ways to let go of dormant emotions through this process. Many times, people attach the physical act of writing with journaling, however, as someone who prefers to let my fingers do the writing (instead of a pen/paper), I think journaling can take on many forms. If you're struggling with the first step, I've outlined a few tips below for you to try:

• Find a quiet place where you will not be disturbed.

• Using a pen, pencil, or computer, write about something that has affected you deeply and that you have not discussed at length with others.

• First, describe the event in detail. Write about the situation, surroundings, and sensations

that you remember.

• Then, describe your deepest feelings regarding the event. Let go and allow the emotions to come across on paper. Describe how you felt about the event then and now.

• Write continuously. Do not worry about grammar, spelling, or sentence structure.

• Before finishing, write about what you may have learned or how you may have grown from the event.

• Write for 20 minutes daily for at least 4 days (but this can vary based on time). You can write about different events or reflect on the same one each day.

• Consider keeping a regular journal if the process proves helpful.

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