A Guide To Journaling

A Guide To Journaling

I want to dedicate a full section to this one particular activity close to my heart and which I believe to be an absolute awareness and healing technique: journaling – the art of expressing yourself through private notebooks or diaries with no intention to be read by anyone, simply for the sake of expressing your feelings of all sorts and emptying yourself from any mind chatter before it gets detrimental.

I have been one who’s written in journals since early age. Soon as I learned how to write, I remember scribbling feelings and thoughts in the secrecy of my own pages, in my own bedroom or any private corner I could find and feel comfortable enough to write.

Health begins in the mind

Why journaling?

I have learned throughout these 30+ years of writing my life down and pouring myself out in words that journaling has been my saviour, my therapy, my guidance, my free space, my self expression, my light, my soul, my lessons, my clarity, my understanding, my wisdom.

Journaling has been one main inner light in my path. This has made me convinced through years of life experience, medical experience, working experience and beyond, that journaling is one of the most powerful medicines for the soul there are. Everything in the wellbeing of our existence can be reached through this practice, mainly because health begins in the mind.

Just like meditation, journaling allows us to become aware. Aware of our own behaviours, reactions, patterns, pains and joys.

How to journal?

It doesn’t have to be done endlessly and nonstop. It can be done as you wish and feel, no rules, no obligations, no nothing. It can be done through periods of life, on and off, and it’s perfectly fine. It can be for as long or short as you want. No pressures at all. Must be enjoyed like any other activity, say cooking, dancing, painting. Fully present in the moment and enjoying the moment of being with yourself alone, seeing through your soul and loving, accepting what you see.

The main thing about journaling is how it allows us to come fully honest and clear with our own selves.

Journaling is about self knowledge.

About knowledge within. Just like meditation, we will always get insights and powerful messages that unfold as we allow the hand and the pen to somehow take over as we express freely in those blank, non-judgemental papers.

As a doctor, I keep recommending people to journal – whether to patients or strangers who trust me with something any given time. To write down their feelings and see what comes. There’s never a clarity beforehand when we start writing down. It simply comes as we flow with it, without pressures of time or self expectations.

Journaling makes us pour out of our system any kind of feeling that’s held within, whether it be happy or sad, angry or constrictive, big or small. It’s simply an exercise of emptying ourselves and our minds to allow more free space within.

It’s true the most advice on journaling out there tend to spiral towards releasing your heavy feelings from within, which is indeed always helpful and it unlocks a sense of flow. It is not only emotional or mental but also an energetic flow. However, there’s another side that people barely talk about, and that is the power of happy journaling. Happy journaling equals to gratitude (grati-journaling!) as it allows you to also see patterns, behaviours and reactions in the good things from a positive angle. Because healing doesn’t have to be painful or long! Journaling the happy, grateful things you feel allows you to see where you’re at in your life, where you stand, what you love about it, about yourself.

It’s important to make conscious time to sit down and write. It takes courage and strength too, as it will always involve deep feelings, tears of joy or grief, a wide range of emotions that will only be showing us the most meaningful parts of ourselves that need to be seen or addressed at that exact time. It’s beautiful. And powerful too.

There’s no agenda to journaling. All it takes is for you to have a notebook or somewhere to scribble down any time. Be it while traveling, cleaning, cooking; while on a trip with family or on your own, while wandering the streets or while having a coffee, even while on public transport. It just suddenly comes and you feel the pull to write down those sudden thoughts and feelings. It’s important not to ignore these nudges because they are showing up exactly at a moment where a clarity wants to come. You could even think of journaling as nudges from above, like guardian angels. It just comes and you flow with it accordingly.

Benefits of Journaling – In Short

Journaling is therapy.

I’ve journaled through both difficult and happiest of times. Both times have always brought different awarenesses to my reality, all which was always gold in lessons towards growth and life experience. And it will do exactly the same for you.

Journaling is growth.

As you write, you realise there’s so much you can learn about yourself, about your life, the way you are and the ways in which you can change things for the better. In writing your experiences as they come and as you feel called, a lot will be shown to you. It’s like magic. And in that magic process, you will see how much you’ve learned and overgrown the past versions of yourself.

Journaling is awareness.

All that expression from within will give you awareness. You will be able to see things you’ve kept in your head or heart so many times, roaming around yet never fully processing to understand. As you write, you’ll learn to see your own patterns, how you do life, how you feel, what things you react to and why. All this awareness will be a big mind shifter that will level up your game, your mindset and your life.

Journaling is self expression.

As you express, you learn to recognise the things you like and dislike. The things that you want and don’t want. You learn to see boundaries where you haven’t put them before. In this entire knowledge, you learn to value yourself and realise that loving who you are is essential to leading a happier, calmer, fulfilling life.

Journaling is self knowledge.

Indeed, as you express yourself, you learn to know yourself. The one self that you truly are in essence instead of the one that you were taught to be. Most of us had been raised under conditioned societies where expressing yourself has come tied with a set of rules. And as human psyche works, all this leaves a deep imprint in your behavioural reactions towards building a life. It’s our own duty to become aware of this as we grow and become self responsible enough to shift these old patterns.

Journaling is gratitude.

They say gratitude is one of the main factors in happiness. Old dogmas have been speaking about gratitude forever and it seems these days, this practice keeps being reinforced. Why? Simple. Because in gratitude we find a sense of joy and acceptance about the circumstances, past or present. In gratitude we find ourselves in a calm spot where the present is enjoyed, vanishing away the worries. Gratitude truly can be seen as a chemical reaction generator within, as a calm mind will most definitely translate into a calm body – and less stress hormones will translate into better health in the long run.

Journaling is soul connection.

Ultimately, all these together will bring you to the place where you simply connect fully with yourself. As you learn to listen to your inner thinking, your feelings and your inner voice, there is no other path than to becoming connected with the source of all that is, which is you. You are in charge and responsible of your actions, your thoughts and your thinking. You have free will and through enhancing this connection to yourself there is no other outcome than to start living your authentic life.

Self knowledge is a lifetime journey. Enjoy the process! We will always grow, change, learn new things about ourselves and the world. Change is the constant, and evolution is our joy and duty. May we all learn to flow in this journey.

And so it is.

And so it is.

And so it is.