As a therapist, I often ask clients and friends if they journal. I know a handful of people who do it regularly and I know a lot more who have tried it and say they've benefited from it, but find they don't do it as often as they would like. Journaling can be a great tool on its own or in addition to therapy.
Some of the benefits of journaling include: de-cluttering the mind, gaining perspective on a situation in your life, processing emotions, thinking through a problem, re-connecting with self... the list goes on.
So, I found myself wondering -- if its so helpful why don't we do it more often?
I don't know the answer to that question, as it's personal to each one of us, but I do know that sometimes a little encouragement can help. I wanted to share some some tips that will hopefully jumpstart a desire to pick up a pen and paper... or if you prefer to express yourself using a keyboard, there are quite a few online journaling options now as well.
~ Find a quote that inspires you.
There are so many quotes and inspirational phrases floating around the web nowadays that could help get you thinking about your own experiences. Find a quote that resonates with you and what is currently going on in your life or with someone you love.
~ Spend time alone.
So often we are consumed by the daily grind. There is so much to do, work, kids, activities.... but it is so important to spend time alone. Without this time for yourself, it is easy to lose yourself in the chaos. Take 15 minutes for yourself when you can and take this time to check in with yourself through journaling.
~Celebrate the good.
Sometimes when everything is going great, it can feel like we don't have anything to write about. Those times where everything seems to be going well are also important moments to stop and reflect. Paying attention to what's going right in our lives is just as important as trying to fix something that feels wrong.
Maybe there's something that's been bothering you but you can't put a finger on it. Maybe it's an underlying discomfort or maybe you've been feeling a bit sad/mad/frustrated (insert emotion here) lately? Writing can be a wonderful tool to help you uncover what might be going on with you. Just writing your feelings down however they come up, without judgment can often lead to surprising insights.
These are just a few suggestions to getting your journaling process going... if you have any more suggestions that have worked for you, please feel free to share them!