Life is challenging and we all have coping mechanisms to help us deal with ups and downs. There are times when talking to a friend, taking a walk, or watching a funny show can help you shift your mood. There are other times when you want to take a moment by yourself to reflect on your feelings instead of moving past them. Journaling is an easy and effective way to delve deeper into your emotions and explore the source of your stress or sadness.
Journaling, or the act of writing a thoughtful reflection about your life, can transport you from vague discomfort to connectedness in a matter of minutes. With only a notebook or even just a piece of paper, you can transcribe your thoughts into words and find clarity. Always start with the first thought that comes to mind and continue writing as your mind guides you from one observation to another. Have faith that your subconscious is eager to be revealed if you are patient. Journal writing often begins as a summary of menial tasks or simple updates and then slips into heavier emotional attachments and substantial insights. Just stick with it- keep writing!
Journaling is considered self-care because we need space to feel our feelings, learn what triggers us, and process through that information. Taking care of yourself includes your mental and emotional well-being. Journaling is one tool, among many, that you can quickly incorporate into your weekly schedule. Set aside some time this week to check in with yourself and see what you learn!
Amy R. Brooks is the co-founder of Oakland Mills Online, a community organization founded to serve neighbors near and far by providing a multi-generational social learning environment with workshops led by community volunteers. She is also the host of Journaling with Amy, a workshop series hosted by the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation that is devoted to your overall wellness and peace of mind. Register for the next session of Journaling with Amy, and be sure to check out some of our other health & wellness offerings!