Writing one’s way to health

Writing one’s way to health

In the teenage years it is quite common for girls as well as boys to keep a diary or notebook to jot down thoughts and ideas. It might be in the form of drawings rather than words which is fine because it’s also a form of self-expression.  When I was a teenager diaries or journals only came in paper which also included finding places to hide it so interested eyes didn’t start reading.

Some of the reason a diary was kept was to note the things that might be annoying, frustrating, exciting and scary along with other emotional expressions. It would also be a great place for teens to figure out why adults behave the way they do even though it may be different from how you behave. It may also be a way of wondering what you want in the future or what you going to do after leaving home.

Writing is not just with teenagers as journaling has become really common for adults to keep memories or to relieve oneself from anxieties. It may also be a place one can talk about coaching, counselling or being at a retreat. There are actually writing retreats which happen in various countries but usually not during a pandemic. So how can one get started in journaling which can be used in a beneficial way?

The first step even before the writing starts is to actually choose a journal and they can be anything from a regular notepad to something that looks quite luxurious. There may also be some decision-making over the pen you’re going to use and as someone that journals I like purple ink pens. You might decide paper-and-pencil to old school and you’d rather write on your computer or using a writing app on your phone.

There may be various reasons in wanting to write such as coping with the new diagnosis, nervousness over a new job, life with your new child, living through a pandemic, bereavement or a wide range of reasons which may include just writing to see what comes up. As a psychotherapist I also encourage some of my clients to write a journal if they find it helpful which they don’t need to bring to session unless they want to.

So, what does one do if they looking at a blank page and don’t know what to write? This is actually quite common sometimes it can help to have writing prompts or do the Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron https://www.amazon.co.uk/Artists-Way-Julia-Cameron/dp/0143129252 She takes you through a series of questions for you to respond to in writing that can take you on an emotional journey. One learns that by releasing words for 20 minutes can actually help at work or with the kids because you are less likely to emotionally spill onto others. It also brings a sense of balance if one has been feeling overwhelmed.

Olivia Djouadi 

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