You think you know - but do you? What is Journaling?
Journaling is one of those tricky practices where you simultaneously know what it is and how to do it yet when the pen hits paper you start wondering, how do I start? I feel you.
After journaling daily for almost twenty years, there are some days where I fail to write more than three sentences. Over the decades I’ve experienced many roadblocks and enlightenments through journaling. In this three-part series, we’re going to unpack what, why, and how to journal.
So, Alicja, what is journaling?
Glad you asked, friend! (or rather, I’m glad I put those words in your head ;)
My very non-official, non-Google definition is:
The act of putting yourself first to focus on your inner life via writing. Often used to untangle emotional knots, gain perspective, and process feelings, thoughts, situations, or circumstances.
The phrase “emotional knot” is how I describe feelings. It’s akin to a tangled necklace chain (I know you instantly feel that stress). The chain is so tight, the same color, and very small that it feels impossible to untangle it. Emotional knots can feel much the same way. Unlike chains we can toss then replace, we can’t do that with our hearts.
Journaling helps us to untangle emotional knots. Be warned, however, that it takes time.
One knot of mine took years of untangling. And on rare occasions, journaling isn’t the sole answer.
Sometimes our thoughts can go very dark and cloudy, and it’s hard to focus on ourselves. When that happens, our thoughts cycle and it’s hard for a new path to be discovered. That’s when counselors or finding sources addressing your specific topic are critical. Just attending or reading isn’t enough, though. In order for knots to start unraveling, after consumption of information must come processing said information.
And we’re back to journaling, where you put yourself first by focusing on your inner life via writing.
Next in this series, I’m going to share why. I touched lightly on it here, but there’s so much more on the topic.
Have journaling questions? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll share our answer within a post!