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May the world be kind to you, and may your own thoughts be gentle upon yourself. - Jonathan Lockwood Huie

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Try Daily Journaling - 7 Hints for Beginning a Rewarding Journaling Practice

If you have never experienced the practice of daily journaling, give it a try. I highly recommend it. When I say "journaling," I am not referring to a diary in which to record the events of your life, I am talking about a place to record your feelings - a friend with whom to share your troubles, fears, hopes, and dreams.

To get the most out of journaling, consider these suggestions:

1. Begin today. Like most everything that is life-enhancing, but optional, the practice of journaling is easy to put off. If you don't start today, you are less likely to begin tomorrow, and by the next day, you will have lost the inspiration forever.

2. Journal every day, preferably at the same time. Habits, whether healthy repetitions or unhealthy addictions, are the backbone of our lives. Support your journaling habit by reenforcing it daily.

3. Write longhand. There is nothing friendly about a computer keyboard. Let the movements of your pen be an extension of your being.

4. Honor yourself with a bound journal book and a smooth-writing pen. Neither has to be expensive, but they should feel good to your touch and inspire you to feel good about yourself and your connection with your words.

5. Just let the words flow. Don't pause, don't edit your thoughts, don't mind your spelling or your grammar, don't re-read what you have written. This is a time to release emotions. While there is value in reading your journal at a later time, the greatest value of journaling is in the writing. I am not recommending that you burn your journal book, but if you did, you would still receive vast benefit from the practice.

6. Fully express your emotions. Everywhere else in life, we censor our feelings. It becomes a habit to pretend that we are not really angry, not really regretful, not really hurt, not really afraid. Your journal is the one friend with whom you can truly share the depth of your emotion. Go ahead and say, "I'm afraid." Go ahead and tell your journal, "I'm panicked," or even "I'm terrified," if that is your feeling at this moment.

7. Write until you are drained. At first, it will seem that you have an endless stream of complaints, but you will be surprised to suddenly reach a moment when you find that you have named every trouble, and you feel drained. That is the moment when an unfamiliar peace descends, and the world appears as an empty canvas rather than as a hostile bully.

3 comments:

  1. I never thought of using journal, that way. It's quite amazing, I will start doing it from now...

    ReplyDelete
  2. thanks for the tips on journaling ;you
    can use a journal for every aspect in life;
    i write all the time this will help
    improve my writing skills
    again thanks

    ReplyDelete

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