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Find Inner Peace With Journaling

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Our minds are often bustling with loads of thoughts we don’t even notice - we don’t realise they are draining us. We have things on our mind, but they stay stuck without release when we are busy trying to work and focus on something else. Your mind can become very heavy and you don’t even know it.

Dr. Robert Collins, Psychologist at the Free Thought Association says “People who journal have fewer physiological illnesses. Recording their experiences causes them to become exposed to what's going on and to examine it in a more rational way at a time when the hot thoughts are not overwhelming.”

If you haven’t heart the words ‘brain dump’ before read what Scott Ginsberg says about it here. He is a big fan of morning writings “As soon as you wake up, dump out everything you possibly can possibly for three pages. Clear you mind. Liberate yourself from those (mostly negative) thoughts. Once you’ve cleared your mind of all the crap, let the floodgates open and make way for the good stuff”

A fabulous thing about journaling and brain dumping is nothing is left bottled up. Thoughts you didn’t know you had about a topic get let out and explored. With all of it out of you its like your mind is tidier and cleaner – making you more ready for the world and just living. Journaling like this can bring huge clarity either while you are doing it or afterwards when your brain reorganises the information a different way and brings a new perspective or idea.

Dumping and writing is also great for cementing learnings in your mind. A lot of the stuff I blog about are things I’ve learned/needed to learn in my own life. By writing about it, I start to remember it more deeply and really take my own advice. My blog actually keeps me accountable to my self in a fantastic way. If I’m being petty about something I think “gosh and to think I wrote a blog about how not to be petty… and look at me!” Instantly I change my state and thinking.

Another great journaling tool is forgiveness letters.

Add a Comment8 Comments

WOW WOW WOW FANTASTIC STORY KRISTIN!!!! Thanks so much for sharing it. Really proves that everything happens for a reason doesnt it! I'm so glad journalling changed then made your life!

April 1, 2009 - 2:02pm

I can totally attest to the power of journaling. Back in 1996 when I was suffering from postpartum depression, my psychologist suggested that I start to keep a journal. I thought she was the crazy one -- how could I possibly find the time when I was caring for a 13-month-old and a newborn, not to mention being horribly ill from PPD at the same time?! But, I grudgingly followed her advice (I would have done anything to get through the PPD, whether journaling or standing on my head!), and it turned out to be a real lifesaver. As you and others have mentioned here, it allowed me to release and express feelings that I didn't even realize I had pent up deep inside.

I enjoyed writing in my journal so much that I joined a moms' writing group at a local library (that provided free child care during the meetings!) and from there joined a more serious novelists' writing group. I ended up writing a fictional novel and then got up the nerve to pitch a column idea to The Arizona Republic. The paper hired me, even with no newspaper/reporting experience, and I ended up writing the longest running feature column in the history of the paper (ran for nearly 4 years). During that time, I wrote a cover story on EmpowHer's founder, Michelle Robson, and before I knew it I was working with her to create a really cool women's health web site. Now, three years after meeting Michelle, I truly believe that if I hadn't opened that blank journal and started writing, I wouldn't be where I am today -- part of an incredible team of people dedicated to improving the health of women. So, yes, journaling can be quite powerful....

March 31, 2009 - 10:54pm

Dear anon, wow thanks so much for your comment - I can see how valuable journalling is to someone in a situation such as yours - good on you for using it as such a useful tool. I hadnt considered its application in a situation like yours before, so thanks for sharing - you really taught me something. :)The letter writing you talk about is such a great idea - I do that too and it really helps 'process' feelings and perspectives.

March 31, 2009 - 6:45pm
EmpowHER Guest

You are right on with your views about writing, journaling and blogging. Not only do I engage in those helpful, anxiety-relieving and stress-reducing activities but I do others you mention. When I am angry with someone and cannot express myself, I sit down and write them a letter about how I see things. Sometimes I write angry responses to interactions which took place, or to someone who is angry with me and I do not understand why. These letters, no matter what they contain, never are mailed to the people I am addressing. They sit on my computer until I get over it and am ready and have had whatever discussion I needed to have with the person. Also, since I have been quite ill, with, among other things, severe bipolar disorder, it has been a blessing that I have been journaling all my life. This has helped me with my remember situations that have occurred a long time ago. I have everything written down. I know what happened in any situation from the even recent past, and I test this by talking about certain things with people and they say that they remember that and they talk about it and it is as I have it written in my journals. It is very helpful. I have no memory with all of the meds I am taking, and journaling does so many things for me that you mention. Thank you for an interesting article on a subject I sometimes find, not too many people are interested in. I am sure you have recruited people with your article. Thank you.

March 31, 2009 - 5:51pm

No not a strange question. I journal when I've got something on my mind - something that is going on in my life or family/friend relationships. It helps me gain clarity, and later when I read back I can see how I felt and add updated perspectives on it. It is my 'brain dump' tool rather than just general daily chat, though people DO write about their days (i.e. not just when they need something).... well I've seen it happen in the movies!

March 31, 2009 - 2:21pm

The one thing that I journaled most consistently was "4 things that I am grateful for today". It really helped to think beyond myself (and my stress-inducing, awful job of the time), and realize I had many positive things in my life, as well as gave me some perspective that my tiny bubble is important but not "everything".

I have a question for you: do you think people journal when they are not "needing" something? I hear about women journaling because they are feeling sad, or negative, or lonely, etc. Are there people who journal because they simply enjoy it? (is that a strange question??) :)

March 31, 2009 - 2:13pm

Hello to a fellow 'Alison' :)I read your comment on that page and it was great. Your article is also fab. I love (and have never heard before) "dont believe everything you think" that is so powerful and very true. Things like journalling have to become a habit. My 'habit' list is pretty long though! Daily...gratitude lists, visualisation, meditation, written affirmations, journalling.... well I suppose thats WHY I write a self growth blog!

March 31, 2009 - 2:07pm

I loved this post. Thanks!

I have always believed in the power of journaling, although it is something I do not do very often. My favorite book on this subject is called, "Opening Up", and I wrote about it when another EmpowHer user asked a question, "What is the best way to overcome negative thought processes?"

Thanks again for the great reminder to journal, and all the positive health benefits that can come from it.

March 31, 2009 - 1:58pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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