Are you one of the many people who journal? Or have you thought you’d like to journal but aren’t sure how or where to start? 

A stack of 3 journals - the covers read "I was born to be wild. (but only before 9pm or so), one is blank, and the last reads "always look up"

Join us as we explore ways journaling can help us in our healing journey at our March 15 session of FamiliesConnect: “Putting the Pieces Back Together Through Journaling with Johanna”

A journal can be many things… It can be a way to organize your “busy-brain”, or a reservoir to articulate your most painful and private thoughts. It can be a safe place for you to vent your fear or anger, a way to try to sift through all of the conflicting emotions you might be feeling, a creative outlet, or just a place to record the events of your day-to-day life. 

Some people like to keep their journal private – even under lock and key!! Others journal very publicly, creating interesting blogs to share with the world. (Wikipedia – “A blog (a truncation of “weblog”) [1] is an informational website published on the World Wide Web consisting of discrete, often informal diary-style text entries (posts).” )

It can be a place where, sometime down the road, you can look back and see just how far you have come in your journey, whether that is a healing journey, a spiritual journey, a personal journey, or even a real (physical) journey!!

Or it can be something you close when you have filled the last page and never look at again.

I love how journaling can be as individualized as you are. You can free-write your journal, type it on your computer, or download a journaling app to so you can do your journaling right on your smartphone! If you’re not into writing (or aren’t ready to articulate your thoughts and feelings) there many other ways to journal, and some don’t necessarily include writing at all! 

How about a Goals or Intentions journal where you start each day by stating 3 – 5 goals for the day? These can be personal goals, professional goals, task-oriented goals, or any type or combination of goals you choose.

Art journals aren’t just for artsy people. If your thoughts flow easier in a visual format, grab a pencil, or some pencil crayons, and experiment on paper with sketches, collages, doodles, and random thoughts.

One of the most powerful journaling techniques, with proven studies on its life-changing possibilities and ability to help increase happiness and well-being, is a Gratitude Journal. The goal is to cultivate a spirit of positivity and appreciation. All it takes is 5 minutes at the beginning or the end of your day to write down 3 (or 5) things that you are truly grateful for. (Struggling with feeling grateful? My personal tip for those days is that I “fake-it-‘til-I-make-it” and write down three things I feel like I should be grateful for – even when I am not in any state of mind to be grateful.)

So I encourage you to find yourself a notebook, grab the writing or doodling implement of your choice, and experiment with whichever style of journaling appeals to you! Who knows where your thoughts or doodles could lead you!

Johanna LeRoux