A journal is a place for processing our feelings
Have you ever considered keeping a journal? A journal is like a diary, but with a difference. In journal writing, there can be a variety of different purposes that the writer might have. It is much more than a running record of what you did each day. Keeping a journal is a way of getting to know yourself better. It is an opportunity to share your innermost thoughts with someone you can trust: you.
In our busy lives we can get caught up in doing things and talking to others, with little time left for self-reflection. It is easy to become alienated from ourselves. In many cases, life has been a series of responses to others, including parents, teachers, friends, and the true self is buried under many layers. The prospect of beginning a psychological archeological dig can be a little bit scary. Sometimes it feels like turning over a rock in the woods, and you’re hesitant because you’re not sure if you really want to see what’s been hiding there.
But journal writing does not always make things quite that obvious. Herein lies an important purpose of the process. By writing daily about your feelings and reflections relating to whatever is happening in your life, you may notice, in time, certain patterns that emerge that you just don’t see on the surface. Sometimes, in the beginning at least, your journal may be the only place where you feel you can express your honest feelings. If you are not being honest in your journal, then you are not being honest with yourself, but that too is an interesting pattern that might emerge and is a very important insight.
As you begin to learn more and more about who you really are, you can begin to live your life in an increasingly congruent way. If you are spending your time in certain ways, and your journal reveals that it is not really satisfying, you can begin to shift your priorities. If there are difficult relationships in your life, a journal can be an excellent place to process your feelings so that you are less reactive in your interactions.
You can vent a lot of your strong emotions in writing, and decide then what you want to do about these feelings. You may tone done the message that you want to give to the other person, and be clearer about the outcome you wish to achieve. The most important person in the world for you to know well is yourself. The quality of your life depends upon that knowledge. Give journal writing a try.