How I discovered “The Surprising Power of Journal Writing”?

The core intent of self-healing is a common reason for everyone who is into journal writing.  Writing a diary/journal is a powerful form of self expression and healing. 

In this piece of writing, I would like to share some brief, precise yet powerful tips that have helped me better heal through regular journal writing. 

A simple quote read on the internet resulted in my paradigm shift. I hope this simple journal writing hack helps some more people reading it.

Being a student of Counseling Psychology and Counseling practitioner, diary writing (Journal Writing) is something much recommended in most therapeutic practices. Yet, it took me a long time to realize its magic on emotional healing, until I can be know about this:

If you wish to forget anything on the spot, make a note that this thing is to be remembered. — Edgar Allan Poe

This marks the actual lesson to take away.

  1. (a) The tough day was about to end. I was struggling with a heavy, painful heart. I wrote in my personal diary. “To Be Remembered: I had a tough time processing the words of my boss today. I don’t know, how long will it take me to forgive him? My heart felt heavy all afternoon, all evening today.”

I could indeed rest well after making the short note. Further, the next day I could let go of yesterday. The next morning was a fresh start.

(b) Avoid any expression beginning from “To Be Remembered” on days when you keep note of positive events, emotions, actions. Use plain sentences those days.

It is because we would not want to let go of the good days. We would want to accumulate, create synergy of good days to build a purposeful living.

2) If you are not a person who likes writing and yet you have an urge to heal yourself, 

transform your vibration, struggling to break the cycle of obsession or sadness. Writing paragraphs, pages may be another struggle for some people. 

Here is a brief trick that actually worked with me. For the next 30 days, write 3 sentences beginning with I love……. Keep in mind to compose 3 unique sentences beginning with “I love” for the next 30 days. You compose 90 unique sentences in a month about stuff you love. 

It indeed helps rewire your mind for happiness, build hope and optimism back to life. 

Let’s take a look at a sample of how the first 4 days journaling may look like. 

Day 1
I love pizza. 
I love blue sky. 
I love my bedroom curtains.
Day 2
I love my voice. 
I love my sister. 
I love to swim. 
Day 3
I love the weekend.
I love the evening rain.
I love playing with children.
Day 4
I love mango. 
I love white color. 
I love soothing music. 

Standard understanding of enforcing any new practise, belief for at least 21 days can work here too. You can sense noticeable change in yourself within 21 days. Yet for much confidence 30 days make you feel like a pro. 

Choosing in between 21 days or 30 days can be a personal choice though. Good to practise this exercise for 21 days. Better to do it for 30 days. 

3) Routine and schedule are a part of everyone’s life. Even non-routine professionals, workers have some minimal routine for everyday self-care chores, providing a sense of contentment that our body, mind is well maintained amidst any other hussles and chaos at work or relationships. 

What if there is a specific format developed for journal writing that may help us develop some schedule. This can be best effective when used by teenagers and college going students struggling to begin. You just have to fill in the blanks on a self designed format of journaling.

A format that I developed for high school students looked like this. 

This schedule surely helps portray worthy self-awareness. 

4) A quick advice we get from people on beginning to start a journal, “Just do it.”, “You just need to start.” 

This advice may not connect to many people in turmoil, adolescents  with privacy related insecurities at home, people  struggling with possessive relationships, people living in toxic relationships and households. Maintaining a journal (diary) is a real problem. Irony is, this real problem people are in need to journal writing to ventilate themselves. 

For them an alternative could be : Don’t maintain a separate Journal book. Don’t leave space for insecurities, if this can make you feel insecure. Just write a few lines when needed on random pages of your office notebook. Just write down at a random space in your school notebook. Let the words, events and emotions get lost. Even you may find it difficult to find them later but you will definitely find yourself expressed, healed. That’s what matters more at lonely or hard times.

These techniques have come through personal experience. Several trials of journal writing and failing to impress myself, these four techniques have helped me and my willing clients to attain a degree of healing.