This weekend I was thinking about all the writing I do. I don’t mean the blogging, but journaling, So the writing for my eyes only. I thought about the different ways I journal and what it brings me.
My latest writing experiment is writing first thing in the morning for about 15-20 minutes, just stream of conscious writing. So I write about how bad I slept, how tired I feel, about things I am looking forward to, dilemma’s I am facing, difficult thoughts or emotions. Literally I just write about what ever comes up. And I have been doing this consistently for the past 4 months. It helps me clear my head, it helps me process my emotions, it helps me to get clarity.
I also keep a gratitude journal. When I do this regularly I feel more trust in life, less anxious, and I experience more joy because I consciously notice the good things in my life. I also immediately feel a softness and joy when I sit down to do this writing.
I consciously also write about successes, learnings, how I handled difficult situations. How I felt after I have made changes or took actions. Why? Our brain (mine included) tends to remember the difficult and the negative. So I help my brain remember the positive as well. And in difficult times I can go back to this and see how I handled previous difficulties- which gives me hope, courage and sometimes concrete ideas for actions I can take. And it helps me to see my own growth, how far I have come.
I always start writing when I feel stuck or when I start ruminating. Getting it down on paper gets it ouf of my head. It helps me to untangle and articulate what I think, what I feel and what I need. Writing always brings more clarity and often ideas about how to move forward.
So my invitations for you this week is … start writing!
🌱Feeling, stressed, overwhelmed, sad stuck or worried? Write!
🌱Feeling content, happy, succesful or grateful? Write!
Experiment with it and see what it brings you.
Not only is my own experience of journaling very positive. Research shows there are many positive and healing benefits. Journaling not only improves your mental wellbeing but is also improves your physical health!
Want to know more: this is a great article on the emotional and physical health benefits of expressive writing.
Also check out the work of Dr. James W Pennebaker on expressive writing & health. Here you can also find some practical writing tips from his research.