A journal is a most helpful tool when healing from any emotional trauma. You don't even have to like writing to benefit from writing thoughts, feelings, beliefs, desires, needs, and memories in a notebook.
The benefits of journaling during the healing process are huge! Putting on paper the things that have been buried inside yourself, acknowledges reality and thaws denial's icy grip. Identifying beliefs in a journal, opens up new possibilities for choosing which beliefs we will cherish and which ones we are ready to dismiss. Journaling emotions helps release you from their silent but pervasive control.
So, how does one journal for maximum results? Try these guidelines whether you are brand new to journaling or whether you've been doing it for awhile:
1. Involve God in your journal efforts. Pray asking for wisdom, discernment, and healing.
2. Give yourself permission to write honestly. Don't censor yourself.
3. Forget writing rules. Your journal will not be graded.
4. Protect your journal as a private place. If you live with an abuser, hide it.
5. Share something specific from your journal with a friend or counselor--when you want to.
6. Experiment with different types of entries (fairy tale of your life, poem, letters, compare and contrast charts, etc.)
7. Reserve a set time of day to journal.
8. Commit to 10 minute a day minimum if you are reluctant to journal.
9. Use both sides of your brain. The right hemisphere will be engaged by any creative writing, writing with a crayon, or doodling. The left hemisphere will be engaged by analytical lists, charts, or pie diagrams.
10. Just do it. Journal daily for two weeks and see what happens.
If you've had success with different journaling techniques or exercises, please post a comment. I'd love to keep on learning about this marvelous healing tool.
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