The Power of the Pen

pen and journalIf you want to stay emotionally on track, why not consider journaling? When we experience a traumatic event or painful transition, our thoughts often keep us up at night. Translating these crises into language can help us get a better grasp on how we feel and what to do about it.

Journaling is a fluid form of writing where you can record your concerns, explore personal issues and clear your head. It’s a way to connect to your feelings and clarify your thoughts.

Want to tap into your stream of consciousness? Close your eyes and pay attention to your breathing. If there’s tension in your body, let it go with each exhale. Then keep your hand moving across the page and write about whatever comes to mind.

Need more direction? You may want to make some lists or answer questions about: What’s stressing you out at work? What’s the most frustrating aspect of your marriage? What are your greatest disappointments? What goals do you want to set? Through writing you can discover a different perspective and uncover new options.

When you have pent up feelings, journaling is cathartic. It can help you regulate your negative emotions and savor your positive ones. If you let go of judgment and trust yourself, you’ll open up to a deeper, more expressive experience. Read between the lines and find ways to resolve conflict and gain closure as you build on your relationships.

Still skeptical? How about challenging the what ifs:

If you’re concerned about not being disciplined, that’s not required. Write when you can or when you have something to say. It’s not necessary to write daily.

If you don’t think you have anything to write about, start with ‘Today I want….” Or “Today I feel….” and finish the sentence. Then write another one, and before you know it you’re journaling.

If you’re worried about exposing yourself, don’t be. Your journal is for your eyes only. Besides, you’ll discover that it’s loyal and listens, just like a good friend.

Studies show that journaling keeps you healthy by releasing mental toxins and deepening awareness. Besides, it’s a great example to set for your family. Their respect for you will grow as they see you taking care of yourself. And there’s something magical about putting pen to paper—some of them may even want to join you!

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