Journaling is like having a built in therapist.
The first journal I got was for Christmas in third grade. It had a fat orange cat on the cover, and a lock to keep out potential snoopers. Though, the most scandalous thing I wrote was in regard to the school lunch being served with an ice cream scoop. Later, I found it to be an outlet for fantasies about how I might meet the New Kids on The Block, or become the next big star on the Mickey Mouse Club. I assure you that this was in my tween years, and not last month. It took ages before this practice evolved into something I like to call a coping skill. Journaling is like having a built in therapist.
Coping skills are things like frappuccinos, whiskey, and power ballads. Not all of these are healthy choices. When you are distressed, do you go for a hike or eat a cheesecake? I like to keep a journal going at all times in order to have an outlet, or positive coping skill to get my feelers out. Here are a few from my collection:
Rage journal? Is that even a good idea? Of course it is. People that stuff their anger end up sick or worse. For me, when my frustrations or resentments start bubbling up, I know it's time to purge. Let it go! It's doing nothing to serve you and will eat up your insides. I had to use a rage journal for a while because I was processing some pretty heavy feelings. Guess what happened? My urge to start a fight club dissipated and I found myself smiling again. Like I said, therapy! In the last year or so I have started using gratitude as a journal theme. You can read more about the importance of a gratitude practice here. I stumbled upon a jewel of a book from The Secret series called The Magic. The Magic instructs you how to delve into your personal gratitude in a way that creates such joy in your life, negativity melts away like butter. That's the magic part.
Find a sacred time to be quiet with yourself...
I'm thankful for journaling because it has been a constant friend and companion, I have cried over loss, celebrated joys, explored fears, and reported miraculous personal events. My journals have documented the growth of my daughter inside this body, composed poetry, doodled daydreams, and expressed hopes. What a blessing. What possibility it creates. If you haven't tried journaling before, make it something special. Find sacred time to be quiet with yourself and write whatever comes to mind. There is no wrong way to express your feelings. You've got this. Journal away my friends! Happy Gratitude Tuesday.