It is not necessary to be a professional for writing nor is writing a process just for professionals. Anybody can write. It doesn’t have to make sense when nobody else is going to read it except for you.
Many people hesitate talking to someone for what’s on their mind, it’s like they have a lot to say but no one to listen. It can be true or even just a thought inside their head. In any case, what’s on their mind remains there. After some time, those thoughts start to become a burden, and the process of overthinking starts. Do we know for how long a person can overthink? The answer is Forever. There’s no end to it when it starts, letting it off the mind becomes essential.
Journal Writing is a very subtle and easy process and when it comes to the expression of feelings, it is a simple process of writing down the thoughts inside one’s head. Normally when people talk, they are afraid that the listener is eventually going to get bored or would think they’re just grabbing attention or in the best case start giving advice or even start an argument, if something goes against their choice. That’s exactly what those people don’t want. They just want a listener, or maybe a confidant not any adviser. That journal notepad becomes that confidant; it becomes a place to confess one’s struggles and fears without judgment or punishment.
Whether you’re keeping a journal or writing as a meditation, it’s the same thing. What’s important is you’re having a relationship with your mind. ~ Natalie Goldberg
JOURNAL WRITING HELPS TO HEAL
Normally when we hear about someone writing a journal, we picture a teenage girl writing about her student life, her boyfriend or her crush, and about friendships. But, that is just not what journaling is about. It is just the penning down of thoughts whatever they might be in whichever way you feel like explaining. There’s no age of starting to write a journal. It can be a 16-year-old or 40 years old. It’s just about the healthy connection with the mind and when that goes slightly off, journaling helps in getting that back on track.
Now, some would be thinking about how writing down just a bunch of words makes anyone feel better or does any good otherwise? Turns out, such a simple practice can do wonders, especially when someone is striving within itself.
One’s mind keeps fighting and conquering all day, every day with its incoming thoughts. They just keep coming, each time they go somewhere, or meet someone or face a traumatic situation, work pressure, or even by just walking on the street and wandering around. There’s too much to handle for that tiny brain, sometimes it just feels like it might explode, and that headache becomes unbearable sometimes.
When someone starts writing, they start to heal themselves of all the wounds, bygone, or current, the ones that aren’t visible. The millions of things that were locked up inside killing by the end of each day come out on a sheet of paper and it starts to feel like relaxing as if the burden is loosening up and the mind is opening up. It becomes the solution for one’s stress and anxiety which wouldn’t lead to depression but instead becomes a mitigation process.
HOW TO WRITE
Some people think that journal writing is some process with some structure but no, there is no such format of penning down one’s thoughts. It just has to come within oneself.
But still, if anybody needs guidance here are some tips from PositivePsychology that would clear some doubts.
Center for Journal Therapy gave a simple acronym to keep in mind while journaling: WRITE!
W – What do you want to write about? Think about what is going on in your life, what you’re striving towards, or trying to avoid right now. Put it all on paper.
R – Review or reflect on it. Take a few moments to be still, calm your breath, and focus. Try to start sentences with “I” statements like “I feel…”, “I want…”, and, “I think…”.
I – Investigate your thoughts and feelings through your writing. Just keep going! Take moments to refocus.
T – Time yourself to ensure that you write for at least 5 minutes or else set a possible goal. Write down your start time and the projected end time based on your goal at the top of your page. But, don’t go hard on yourself and never pressurize your mind either. If need be, set a timer or alarm to go off when the time period you have set is up.
E – Exit strategically and with introspection. Read what you have written and take a moment to reflect on it. Sum up your takeaway in one or two sentences.
Journaling isn’t a process which done once in a while would do wonders. It needs its own time and space, according to whatever suits oneself. But, these elements aren’t only meant for journaling like any other house or work chores need. It’s about spending time with oneself, reflecting upon itself and loosening up of the mind, instead of pressurizing the mind and making it a work that has to be done within a deadline.
For some effective journaling, Baikie and Wilhelm(2005) gave some tips one might be interested to have a look at :
Write in a private and personalized space that is free from distractions.
Write at least three or four times, and aim for writing consecutively ( at least once each day).
Give yourself some time to reflect and balance yourself after writing.
If you’re writing to overcome trauma, don’t feel obligated to write about a specific traumatic event-journal about what feels right at the moment. Just pour it out. Structure the writing however it feels right to you. There’s no exact form or rules of writing.
Keep your journal private; it’s for your eyes only - not your spouse, not your family, not your friends, not even your therapist. You can discuss and share your feelings with them, but keep the journal just to yourself.
By, now we know that even if someone isn’t there out there for us we always have to be available for ourselves. We can be alone due to circumstances, but lonely only if we choose to be. We just have to think positive, and if we cannot we WRITE!