Journaling helps us in all aspects of life. Whether it’s healing, self-discovery, career or something else entirely, therapeutic writing can help us gain clarity and balance. In contrast to keeping a diary, however, you take a slightly more structured approach. This can be intimidating because you may think you can’t get started right away – but that’s not the case. Also, the common methods of journaling are quite easy and can be used at any time.
Here are my personal top 3 methods of therapeutic writing.
I love the Brain Dump approach because you really tap into your subconscious. You set an alarm for at least fifteen minutes and then just start writing away. The special thing about it: you don’t set the pen down once during the entire time you’re writing. Can’t think of anything else to say? Then write exactly this: “I can’t think of anything right now.” You’ll notice that suddenly ideas start flowing again and want to be put down on paper. Put the pen and paper aside when the time is up and pick up what you’ve written again later. It wouldn’t be unusual if, as you read through it, you find yourself wondering about one thing or another that ended up on the paper – perhaps you read things that you weren’t even aware of before. This can be very revealing and bring aspects to light that deserve your attention.
We tend to focus more on the negative in our daily lives. You can change that by regularly maintaining a gratitude journal. By making a list of things you are grateful for every day, you train your brain to focus more on the positive. You’ll gain a keener eye for the nice things. And when you do have a dull day, you can pick up your gratitude journal and read about everything you’re thankful for – it’ll put you in a good mood!
I find this method to be particularly healing. Whether you’re writing to a living person or a someone who’s passed away, this is where you can express everything you’re afraid to say openly. Since the letter is not meant to be sent, you can be one hundred percent honest and get everything off your chest that is bothering or even burdening you. Even if the person will never read the letter, just writing it is a liberating, relieving process. Another wonderful alternative: writing a letter to your younger self and developing more compassion toward yourself.
Have you tried any of these methods? Which one do you like the most? Or is a completely different one your favorite? Feel free to share it with me in the comments!