It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of journaling as an awesome tool for dealing with life’s ups and downs. My collection of journals is huge, and having a regular journaling practice has been a constant in my life for many years.
The thing that is great about journaling is that it helps to heal our emotional wounds. We all face difficulties in life- breakups, the deaths of family and friends, job loss, rough days, and general sadness. These situations often leave us feeling heartbroken, confused and at a loss with how to deal with our emotions, and this is where journaling can play a major role in supporting us through these yet unpredictable and sometimes difficult to handle situations.
A tool for managing our emotions
For many of us, when we are going through low points, it is very easy to turn to food as a crutch or as a way to stuff down the sadness, loneliness or betrayal so we don’t have to feel the difficult feelings. It’s normal to want to avoid the things that upset us. It’s normal to want to do the opposite of writing them down- hide them away. It’s also normal for negative self-talk during bad times to really take over our thinking which can be extremely overwhelming and may make us feel worse for longer.
These feelings will stay in our subconscious minds until we can embrace and release the pain, which is where journaling comes into play. Getting out of our head and expressing our feelings on paper helps us to heal and also handle the difficulties in a much more productive way.
Journal instead of bingeing
When negativity or difficulty strikes, eating and drinking in excess are often the self-sabotaging behaviours that we turn to in an attempt to feel better. However, instead of relying on comfort foods and booze to try and feel better, I recommend using journaling as a way to clean up the mental garbage in your life- to declutter and reflect. By writing down your emotions, you’re letting go of those deep-rooted feelings and the pain you are experiencing which might otherwise never go away and just stay unresolved in your mind.
By writing down what you’re feeling and experiencing, you can then explore the connections and find meaning and insights to grow from. With a better understanding of how and why you feel the way you do, it’s much easier to heal the root cause (rather than rely on external fixes that are only temporary such as chocolate, ice cream and wine).
Release your feelings on paper (and not with food)
By expressing your negative feelings, rather than letting them boil up inside, you’ve allowed yourself to heal and express yourself on paper. You have started the process of strengthening your mental and emotional health. By journaling, you are helping to resolve your inner struggles before they overpower your day-to-day life and cause you to make unhealthy or poor choices.
Next time you feel like you might start to binge on junk food to numb yourself from what you’re feeling, give journaling a try instead. Don’t worry if you have never journaled before- it’s easy to get started.
How to start journaling
Purchase a blank journal and a nice pen to write with. Make a time slot when you will commit to journal for just 20 minutes per day. First thing in the morning when you just get up and before you check your phone and start engaging with the day is a good time to write. I also like to journal at the end of the day right before bed as a way to release the events from the day.
The key to journaling success is to make it a ritual and something that becomes part of your every day, even if you are not feeling bad. By committing to 20 minutes per day, you are giving yourself the freedom to express yourself after a hard day at work or the most wonderful day you have had this week. Either way, journaling through the happy AND sad times will establish a routine that is difficult to break. Before you know it, you’ll be established in your journaling routine and writing with ease, releasing your emotions and cleansing your mind.
If you’re stuck with writer’s block and you find yourself staring at the blank page, then these journalling prompts might help you to get started. Once you get going and into the flow with pen on paper, you will probably find it very easy to continue filling the pages.
For a printable PDF of these prompts along with some additional journal pages to help get you started on your journaling ritual, then be sure to enter your details below to download your free copy.
Give it a try! Grab your favorite pen, a journal and a quiet spot with some essential oils diffusing, or even light a candle to begin your journaling ritual.
Release and rejuvenate
Clearing up negative emotions will help establish a life full of self-love rather than self-pity. By withdrawing the negative from your life and overcoming emotional wounds, you are brightening up your life, and bringing strength into everything you do.
Find solace in your writing, peace in your heart, and happiness in your life. Journaling is the simplest and most effective way to tidy up your life. Tune into your feelings and be honest in your writing. There is truly no wrong or right way to journal and nobody but yourself ever has to read what you put on paper. The only way to heal an emotional wound is to clean it out, disinfect, and let it heal. Just 20 minutes per day could make the difference of a lifetime of health and happiness.