In my experience mindful writing also known as journaling can be very therapeutic. It can help bring suppressed emotions to the surface to be dealt with. This is an extremely healthy thing to do. The great thing about journaling is that all you need is a pen and paper. It is a wonderful way of learning how to be there to support ourselves. In my opinion it is another form of true self-care.
If you really want to get serious about journaling, you can check out the International Association for Journal writing .
Journaling can be part of your daily routine and the great thing is that it is inexpensive, portable, and can brighten our quality of awareness, making sense of our thoughts, feelings, perspectives, and help us identify and become aware of our own behavioural patterns. It gives us a chance to slow down, relax, and be honest about what we are thinking and feeling. Journaling does not have to be restricted to writing words on paper. You can incorporate any form of art that you are drawn to like sketching or doodling. It is all about expressing yourself. I love doodling and sometimes I write about my feelings. It all depends on my mood.
Writing is GOOD for our Mental Health
Researchers have found that Journaling can decrease stress, help to level out your most turbulent emotions, and increase your sense of gratitude and optimism. I have a friend who suffers from anxiety quite a bit and she writes in her journal every morning to maintain her “inner calm”.
I think the main thing to understand here is that sometimes we have scattered thoughts swimming around in our heads. We can become anxious. The thinking mind plays tricks on us. I often tell my mindfulness coaching clients not to believe everything that you think. Journaling helps us see that sometimes our thoughts are just “crazy thoughts”. By being mindful, we learn to see our thoughts just like clouds in the sky. Journaling helps us become the “observer” of our own minds and that is what being mindful is all about rather than getting carried away by them. If we express our thoughts and feelings on paper it also gives us a chance to be kinder to ourselves. We can also learn to stop judging ourselves and reduce our self-criticism. We may also expand the kindness to others around us. The beauty of journaling is that It does not matter what you end up writing, or how many words you write, or how messy it looks. It is a practice just for you and your own personal development.
When you are journaling and if for some reason you are stuck, come back to feeling your breath and your intention to be honest and kind with yourself. Spending this quality time with what is real for you, is a beautiful gift to give yourself.