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The Healing Powers of Journaling

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author:Christin Snyder
source_url:http://www.articlecity.com/articles/self_improvement_and_motivation/article_606.shtml
date_saved:2007-07-25 12:30:18
category:self_improvement_and_motivation
article:

For the past several years, I have found joy working as a motivational writer and speaker. One of my greatest passions has been the gift of sharing my deep love and respect for the written word. Words are powerful. They provoke thought, stimulate creativity, and most importantly, they hold within them the power to heal. Most people do not realize the incredible life-changing potential writing has.
Journaling is a practical tool that anyone can use to enhance personal well-being. It knows no limitations and it is available to anyone willing to make a commitment to themselves. It only requires minimal investments of time and money, and provides fast results. From the practical to the artistic, there are many varieties of journaling styles, all providing healing benefits.
Through this series of articles, I will explore how journaling heals, journaling styles, and the keys to successful journaling.
How Journaling Heals:
Journaling helps clear the mind
Journaling is an excellent method of clearing mind-clutter and managing thought patterns. The “untamed” mind tends to wander about aimlessly. At any given moment, we have a multitude of thoughts and internal conversations. Our random thoughts can turn into worries, which turn into stress, which can then manifest as conditions like depression or illness. The act of addressing our thoughts and acknowledging our inner voice allows us to clearly express our feelings, motivations, and desires. When we do this, we gain the insight needed to effectively manage them. What many fail to realize, is that even seemingly random thoughts, hold powerful energy. All energy seeks an outlet to express itself, therefore what we think and believe manifests.
Spend some time today consciously paying attention to where your thoughts go. Notice the ratio of positive to negative. When engaging in self-talk, what does the inner voice express? Is it primarily negative self-talk, worry, or other energy zapping emotions? If so, journaling is a positive first step that can be immediately taken to help understand and then redirect these sneaky self-sabotagers.
Journaling Sparks Creativity
It is very important, particularly for those of us in creative fields, to always have an outlet that enhances our creativity by challenging us to think in new ways. Journaling provides that, because it causes us to purposefully express our thoughts and emotions. Through reestablishing a conscious connection to our thoughts, emotions, and experiences we provide the challenge our mind needs to keep its creative spark.
Writing prompts and exercises are a great way to wake up the inner muse. They keep us thinking on our toes, and often become the launching points of bigger projects.
Journaling Keeps Us Honest
When we approach journaling with an open mind and heart, and we commit to being completely candid with ourselves, we open up to limitless opportunity for growth and healing. Through total honesty, we begin to peel away the layers of our psyche. The masks we wear begin to fall away , revealing our true nature – who we are when we aren’t “the parent, the employee, the friend” and are just ourselves. Many spiritual paths have taught the importance of knowing yourself. The soul mate in the mirror is worthy of our utmost integrity.
Journaling Allows Us to Express Ourselves Without Judgment
Journaling provides a forum where we can express ourselves fully and completely. If we approach this honestly, a journal can become a best friend and confidant. It won’t give needless advice, is never too busy to listen, and is always there for you when needed. Acceptance is a quality we all seek , we have a deep drive to find it. The truth is, the majority of us seek in others what we cannot give ourselves. Journaling opens up the doors to a process of self-acceptance, without which true healing cannot occur.
Journaling Gets Us Organized
By keeping a day planner type journal with notes, it is easier to keep track of “to do” lists, as well as record notes each day of our thoughts, feelings, experiences. Mixing the “practical” with the art of journaling allows us to keep track of everything in one convenient place. Our grocery lists and goal lists, records, and sudden inspirations can be stored electronically in many instances, allowing us instant access with the touch of a button. (Just don’t forget to backup ! )
Journaling Enhances Conscious Living
Writing in a journal can have similar effects to meditation, in that it allows us to bring our attention to full and present awareness. This state of awareness shifts our perspective, and allows us to tap into reserves of creative energy. Many find themselves stuck in routines where the creative spark can become lost in the shuffle of the daily grind. When we run on “auto-pilot” we desensitize to other stimuli. Opening up to daily journaling allows us to reflect on the unique beauty of the present moment, and allows us to experience life more fully.
Journaling Shows Progress At A Glance
The key to staying motivated is usually being able to see progress being made. Journals can provide much-needed encouragement for those working towards life-changing goals. When in the doldrums, it’s easy to flip back to the beginning to view the path of progress, providing the momentum and motivation necessary to ensure success. Journaling can be a great tool for the instant-gratification junkie in all of us.
All of these are examples of the many ways that journaling can provide the necessary tools for personal empowerment. Journaling is a wonderful journey in self-discovery. I hope this inspires others to take this self-healing challenge, pick up that pen or sit at the keyboard, and make a commitment to enrich life through the healing power of words.
In the remainder of this series, I will cover the keys to successful journaling as well as different journaling techniques. I will show how anyone can use journaling as a tool for transformation.
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