One of the ways to deal with an overwhelming emotion is to find a healthy way to express yourself. Journaling is a helpful tool in managing your mental health, says Rachael Lynn.
Have you ever had a morning (or week) where you can’t seem to shake a strange feeling in your chest? Or that it seems like your thoughts are running on overdrive, even though you so desire to feel present?
When life is happening around us, whether it’s a global pandemic or the pressure of a to-do list, it’s easy to let our thoughts turn into overwhelm and stress.
What will I make for dinner?
How can I be sure my child will be happy?
I want to focus on my business.
Will everything in the world work out?
I’m craving connection to myself, but there’s so much going on right now…
On and on we can go. How can we focus?
We know that yoga and meditation are cornerstones to our mental and physical health.
But when you can’t seem to sit still long enough for meditation or you don’t have time to step on your yoga mat, bringing pen to paper may bring the relief you’re craving.
Journaling is an excellent complement to your practices that helps you focus and de-stress, in much the same way both yoga and meditation do.
Give your thoughts a soft place to land
You may have heard before that the most successful people write down their goals instead of just letting them pass by in their mind.
Imagine that by journaling, you’re gently picking up the thoughts that have been circulating (including the sneaky ones you didn’t know were there) and placing them where you can see them.
Writing down our thoughts doesn’t make them real, but it allows us to see them for what they are and decide which ones we want to put our energy behind.
The running dialogue that only you can hear now becomes something tangible, more concrete…which actually slows them down.
Giving you more space to breathe.
In the same way you can feel some relief when you have a debrief session with a trusted friend or allow tears to flow after a particularly moving session, journaling lets you truly leave it all on the page.
This relief will help you to re-focus on the things that are important to you and prioritize where your actions will go next.
There’s no one right way
You can take to the page in a free-writing manner, or utilize open ended statements such as “Today I feel…” and “I’m Grateful for…” These statements will help to get you started, but it’s up to you to keep writing in whatever way you feel called.
Different from the diary you may have kept when you were younger, journaling will bring an awareness of your higher self as you write.
In fact, with enough practice, journaling becomes an active way of engaging with yourself and your thoughts, that when in flow, can lead to meditative state and even poetry or answers you didn’t know you had in you!
The best way to start is to just begin:
- Trust yourself to write what is meant for you to write
- Sit and write 5-10 minutes each day, any time you can
- One day, you will hit your flow – and you’ll be surprised what realizations you stumble upon
When you invest just a little bit of time with yourself and a pen, the clarity you get is special. And you are evoking the energy all the great leaders, artists, and philosophers have tapped into for thousands of years…The energy of our words.
Rachael Lynn is a Dubai based American-born author and community organizer who writes on personal relationship with self, family and love. She believes that sharing your truth is the quickest way to freedom and works to facilitate that in herself and others who are ready. Her book “At Home Anywhere” was written from personal experience, when Rachael moved from Toronto to Dubai and found it difficult to adjust, despite her years of experience in the world of self-help.