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Journaling--A Tool for Healing

Updated on July 8, 2012
Two very different styles of excerpts from my personal journal.
Two very different styles of excerpts from my personal journal. | Source

Journaling down thoughts and ideas, dreams, life events, or feelings can be a great way to get in touch with your inner self, back in touch with God, or de-clutter your mind. Journaling is one of the most powerful tools to gain insights you may otherwise not have seen.

Journaling can be a healing process to help you get in touch with your deepest longings, resolve problems, as well as deal with personal issues. No matter the pain or emotional roller coaster you may be on, expressing yourself in writing can help bring clarity and ease pain or sorrow.

Despite the hurt, pain, sorrow, or grief you may be experiencing journaling can provide that brighter beginning you are looking for. Paper and pencil are a great tool for creative expression and diving into the feelings of pain and joy alike.


A simple binder, one of my many journal options. This one contains poems, and devotional studies.
A simple binder, one of my many journal options. This one contains poems, and devotional studies. | Source

Types of Journals:

There are many different types of journals and diaries. Each with their own purpose and unique qualities.

  • Daily Journal--This journal communicates with your inner self and helps you balance your emotions. Writing about the day and the emotions and feelings that you had can help you begin to understand how your inner self works and thinks.
  • Dream Journal-- Keep writings, drawings, or ideas of dreams for your future in a journal. The journal makes your dreams come alive and gives you the drive to reach for and eventually achieve these goals. Making short and long term dream goals is not only uplifting, but gives you the feeling of accomplishment.
  • Food Diary-- If you are counting calories or watching your weight you can create a food diary that tracks your emotional triggers and eating habits.This diary will allow you to fix and change your eating habits so you can begin to live a healthier and happier life.
  • Memories Journal-- Creating a journal of keepsakes from your childhood memories is a great way to pass down and share memories with your children. You can add pictures, and stories from your grandparents and parents to ensure that family tradition and memories will not get lost generations from now.
  • Devotional Journal-- These journals are specifically for devotional time with God. They may include bible verses, your thoughts on specific passages, applications for real life, or guided book studies.


Tips for Journaling:

Don't know how or where to even begin journaling? No problem, These 5 simple and easy tips can help you become more comfortable and open with journaling.

  1. Find a quiet place: This may sound obvious, but it's not always easy to find a place that is quiet and peaceful. Once you find a quiet place to free your mind of the noises of everyday life you are ready to start journaling.
  2. Say anything: Don't worry about what a journal should look like, focus solely on writing. Take 5-10 minutes to simply write, don't think about what you're writing just write. Don't fix grammar mistakes, edit feelings or thoughts, don't stop to think. After ten minutes reread what you just wrote, many thoughts you may not have even realized you were thinking. Writing in a stream of consciousness brings things to the surface you may never have found, this type of journaling allows you to fully dive into your inner self and begin to contemplate what you just wrote.
  3. Don't stop if you feel nothing changed: Results are not going to happen after the first journal entry. Like anything it will take time and energy to reach the healing outcome you are looking for. Focus on long term goals and what you want to get out of journaling to keep yourself positive and focused on journaling. Some days journaling will give relief from the emotions of the day, other times it will be just the beginning of taking a deeper look into your inner self and dealing with problems or issues.
  4. Just start: Journals do not come to you as great healing tools, you need to develop your journal to meet your needs. Write, experience, and dive into the healing power of writing. You might just be surprised how easy writing comes to you and how it can heal.
  5. Give yourself prompt questions: If you are having an especially time starting a journal entry or starting a journal period asking yourself questions can be a great way to get yourself comfortable with journaling.


The tree I sat next to as I wrote this poem.
The tree I sat next to as I wrote this poem. | Source

Journey of a Lifetime:

Not only is journaling great for healing, but it is also a place to express feelings that you may not be ready to verbally communicate. Journaling provides a safe and private haven to reveal and explore your inner self.

Personally I use journaling for most of my poetry, and devotionals with God. It's a great way to use my creativity while learning and understanding my inner self.

This poem is one of the many I wrote after my break-up. It's personal and full of different emotions, many which I could not express to my ex, however through journaling I was able to write, understand and heal from the heartache of this rough break-up.


Back to the place where it all began.

I risked everything as You held out Your hand.

Singing through the trees,

A gentle love song floating on the breeze.

Water rushing through the rocks,

Geese where flying in a flock.

I remember the colors, sights, and sounds,

Delights of fall were all around.

Today, clear blue skies

Not a cloud in sight.

I'm ready to rise

To God's light.

Alone on my knees,

Asking God and praying please.

Everything began here

Was it suppose to end in tears?

I remember his smile

And that walk, it must have been miles.

It started the journey of a lifetime

Seems so long ago.

Applebees and a wedding band,

The first time he asked to hold my hand.

I always thought that he'd be mine

Hard to believe that it is time.

Where is the joy, hope, and love?

I know it comes from above.

What does He see when He shines down?

Does He smile or wear a frown?

What is in His heart?

Together forever, or are we meant to part?

We were so perfect for each other,

Complementing true lovers.

Times got hard and life's not fair,

If we make it through he should care.

He held us close in His hands,

Promising a great future to woman and man.

There was so much He had planned,

Wishing we could turn back time and stand,

Stand for Christ, for us, and true love.

This love was made to last from above.

Forever and a lifetime

You always will be mine.


Journaling is different for everyone, and each person will have their own unique way of journaling and writing down thoughts. The key to journaling however is the same across the board no matter what type of journaling you are looking to do. Remember to be consistent, and take the time to be open and honest with yourself.

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    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      This is such a nice read. I often wish that I had done loads of journaling throughout my life time. I could have a novel by now!

    • Nikki Major profile image

      Nikki Major 4 years ago

      great hub! I agree that journaling is a great way to deal with what we are feeling.

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 4 years ago from Western NC

      Journaling is such a cathartic experience. I have done this for a long time because over the long term, it's much better than paying for a counselor. Ha! No, really, it's amazing to read what you wrote ten years ago or when you were younger. It's such a gift to yourself, too. :)

    • brenda12lynette profile image

      brenda12lynette 4 years ago from Utah

      I used to journal, but sadly I've gotten out of the habit. It is such a great way to relieve stress. Great hub!!

    • Shesabutterfly profile image
      Author

      Cholee Clay 4 years ago from Wisconsin

      It definitely is interesting to go back and re-read what you wrote many years ago. Unfortunately I stopped journaling a few months ago, but I'm looking forward to starting back up again very soon :)

    • cardelean profile image

      cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan

      The power of words is incredible, whether spoken or written. I was never good at keeping a journal as kid and wish that I would have been much more committed to regular journaling. My daughter (5) has a journal and loves to write in it so I'm hoping that she will continue with it as she grows.

    • Shesabutterfly profile image
      Author

      Cholee Clay 4 years ago from Wisconsin

      cardelean--I completely agree, words are one of the most powerful tools I think we as humans have. That is very cool that your daughter has a journal at such a young age. I hope she continues to enjoy it as well.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

      I started a diary when I was 12. It was my first journaling experience. It wasn't consistent, but it was picked up throughout my adolescence during those 'what is life all about' stages. Flash forward to early 20's, married, struggling with marital discord and the journaling began once more. Journaling has been an important part of my life as a way of healing and gaining insight.

      I now keep many of those 'subject' journals: food, memoirs, poetry, dream, etc that you mention here. I love to journal as it is my 'me' time...that intimate time shared with myself, God, Cosmic Intelligence, the Inner Self, ...whatever one wants to call that inner guidance. It is an opportunity to investigate and inquire into deeper recesses of the soul, or to bring awareness to the ordinary self acting in the everyday world of food, communication, relationships, etc.

      This is a well presented hub that is Useful and Interesting and voted up. I like the ease in which you write and enjoyed your poem. Namaste. Best wishes to you and your fiance...I take it this is not the same one presented in the poem?

    • Shesabutterfly profile image
      Author

      Cholee Clay 4 years ago from Wisconsin

      Denise-No he is not the same man presented in the poem, but oddly enough they share similar characteristics, hobbies, and features. The poem was a fair chance at healing, and letting go so I could move on. Thank you for the sweet comment and votes, they are much appreciated.

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