I kind of feel like a hypocrite as I write this because – much to my surprise – it’s been 5 months since my last blog post. I know how healing journaling can be, whether it takes shape online, in a lock-and-key diary or some type of recording. I also know how challenging it can be to keep up with it.
I took a little time off from my blog during a recent transition in my life, favouring a beat-up paper journal I’ve poured my thoughts into on and off for many years. I needed to process and reflect privately and that’s okay, too. But, here I am now: ready to re-enter the public sphere with a newfound appreciation for this self-reflective art. Have a look at my top 5 motivations for journaling. I hope they encourage you to get your thoughts down on paper, keyboard or phone and free yourself one step at a time.
Seemingly insurmountable problems become doable challenges when we go from thinking to self-expression. By putting it all out there, we can shift our experiences into the bigger picture and often, see what needs to be done to move on in a calm and mindful manner. Inner peace and relief are for the taking.
Let’s great real: it can be hard to speak the truth when we’re stuck in our minds or try to explain ourselves to others. Journaling gives us the opportunity to be honest about what we’re going through without fear of judgment or shame. If we want it so, our entries can be completely private and for our eyes only. Where there’s privacy, there’s freedom to be exactly who we are.
3. Emotional Distance
If we give ourselves the time and space to reflect on our past or current experiences, we can create some emotional distance from them. Instead of feeling consumed by our challenges we can take the time to gently understand what’s happened or is happening and heal, one day at a time. Traumatic, difficult or life-altering moments can be hard to talk about, let alone move past from, so journaling gives us a safe space to look at the hard stuff, at our own pace…and slowly separate it from ourselves.
Growth goes hand in hand with the above 3. When we take the opportunity to express the stuff we’re facing we can ultimately learn from it. Much like in meditation, we can observe our experiences from an outsider’s perspective, non-critically and discern where to go from there. We’re the masters of our lives, so we can create and re-create anything we’d like, choosing to step forward and not stay stuck in what was.
How cool is it to be able to look at your journal and get a snapshot of where and who you’ve been in the past? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read entries from a month, year or many moons ago and laughed out loud or applauded myself for how far I’ve come. We can’t truly appreciate our progress if we don’t look at our journey. Journaling gives us a picture of our life story and that, my friends, is priceless.