Quiet Heart Journal Writing: Journal Writing As A Form Of Self CareFebruary 4, 2019
Journal writing is a profound practice for helping us with our self-inquiry work and increasing our self-awareness. It can also be a powerful self-care tool as it supports us in processing our emotions, practicing forgiveness, and capturing the good.
1. Processing emotions. Pay attention to what you’re feeling and what triggers you throughout the day. When you feel emotions arise such as irritation, frustration, resentment, anger, stress, or overwhelm, your journal can help you process these more deeply. I like to write about the situation – what happened, what specific action triggered the emotion, what emotion I’m feeling, and how I reacted to the situation. I also explore WHY I felt so triggered by the situation. Was one of my beliefs or values violated? Was a fear triggered? Was a need ignored?
My journal has helped me release old beliefs, stories and fears that have been keeping me stuck in my past. Once I fully explore the situation, it is easier for me to release it and move on in a more productive manner. In order to let go of what’s holding us back, we need to see it clearly first and journaling is a great tool to help us do just that.
2. Practicing forgiveness. Your journal can help you with your decision to forgive. You can write a letter to someone who has hurt you (romantic partners, friends, acquaintances, relatives, strangers, or even yourself). When we write these letters in our journal, we know we have no intention of sending them. This creates a safe space for us to be honest and get everything out on the page. We have no need to hold back because the person will never read it. When I write these kind of letters, I like to express how I have been hurt, how the situation impacted me, and the emotions I felt. I express my current state around forgiveness – am I ready to forgive you right now? Do I need a little more time and help before I can forgive you? Or have I already forgiven you and now I’m moving on?
Writing about who you need to forgive is a power exercise to help you see what you are still holding on to, which pieces you are ready to release, and when you need help letting go. Sometimes we need to ask our higher power for help with forgiveness. And sometimes, we just aren’t ready to take that step. It’s important to remember that forgiveness is for US – not for the other party. Choosing to forgive means we are choosing to no longer allow the situation to have power over us.
3. Capturing the Good. I have spent too much time in my past focusing on what was wrong or broken in my life. I didn’t spend enough time or energy acknowledging or celebrating what was good or right. With the help of my journal, I’ve brought more awareness to the positive things in my life. We can do this by journaling about what is going well, our successes and wins, or what we are grateful for. We can also capture sources of beauty and inspiration, or moments of surprise, joy and delight.
No matter how you are using your journal, keep the following tips in mind:
-Journaling is a practice. Some days it will be easy and other days it will be really challenging. Whatever needs to happen in your journal will happen as long as you show up and write.
-Park the inner critic while you are journaling. Don’t worry about grammar, spelling, or even making sense. -The key to journal writing is the writing – just write and don’t worry about what or how you are writing.
-Challenge yourself to write non-stop for a period of time. Start with maybe just 5 minutes and build up to 10 and later 20 or more.