A journal can be used to find your voice, to share your thoughts, emotions, feelings,
ideas, inspirations, reflect, explore possibilities and rant.
A journal can be your best friend, a confidant even your therapist, or your supporting
self where you pose questions to your mind, body and soul, understanding yourself
There are many ways you can use a journal and all is individual. There are those
who like to write and document their day. There are those who write poems, doodle
They can be written in beautiful journals or in an old scrap book. Personally, I have a
few different books, note- books, art paper and even my phone and lap top.
Sometimes recording a poem helps to integrate the meaning, sometimes all that is
needed is the process of writing.
Sometimes, it is for myself, sometimes it is an idea to share. All relevant as what we
write is from ourselves and it is never wrong. Sometimes, of course it is best to keep
private to reflect on and to allow to germinate and grow into the idea thought
emotion, plan, future you desire.
Following are some examples if you are new to journaling to try
- Create lists
- Draw adding words
- Poems that rhyme and don’t rhyme
- Drawing cartoons with captions
- Music, lyrics, rap
- Mind maps
- Letter writing
- Prayer writing
- Mind maps
- Dream writing
The way you set up your journal is up to you.
Below are some ideas:
- Design the outside with your name and things that you like
- The first page write/draw the year adding your dreams and intentions
- Use a double page; left for drawing the right for adding words
- Date the page
- Title the theme
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I like to have a beautiful journal for my thoughts and musings, where poems may
appear or just a documentation of my thoughts about the day. I have an art book
where I express emotions that have no words yet, through art, collage. This
stimulates the subconscious and adding prose and words becomes easier. For
ranting I use a note- book where I can write unedited and unashamedly then tear it
up and symbolically throw away the chatter in my mind. If it is something that needs
attention whilst I am on the lap top I will open a document and write without stopping
to read. Sometimes, I save it for later or sometimes I delete.
As one of my clients says,
‘when you print it out on paper you see it in black and white for what it is, as
sometimes you cannot see it because the mind is so cluttered with other stuff.’
‘Once I write it down, I feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders and I feel
I can breathe again.’
Christina is an author and Writing for Wellbeing practitioner, using the power of writing to help people feel better from the past and re-create their lives. Christina uses expressive writing techniques such as poetry, metaphor, journaling and unsent letters. She combines scientific knowledge with her own and other’s experiences of how expressive writing can assist with psychological and physical healing.
Christina writes and runs workshops and works one to one for non- profit organisations and her private practice. She has used these techniques with cancer patients, MS and ME sufferers and is currently running a course at Birmingham and Solihull Mental health NHS trust. Christina is researching how early childhood trauma impacts our mental and physical health, through the lifetime and how ‘writing our story’, can help re-create our lives. Her background is in counselling and psychology and works freelance as a teaching assistant in primary schools.
“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” ― Anaïs Nin.