While physically spending time in therapy with a counselor each week can be extremely important in many patients’ recovery process, this limited time is often simply not enough to discuss everything, or work through all the issues they hope to explore. More frequent appointments or longer sessions may be one solution to this problem, but another extremely effective option is portable, flexible, and virtually free of cost: journaling.
Journaling can be extremely therapeutic for many counseling patients, and keeping a written log of experiences, thoughts, and feelings is often a crucial component of healing. If you are currently searching for a way to get even more out of your counseling experience, developing a habit of journaling is one of the most beneficial things you can do for yourself. Below, we explore the highly-therapeutic practice of journaling, and five reasons it is so beneficial.
Journaling allows you to organize your thoughts.
Our minds can easily become jumbled, and often we do not even know what is truly bothering us, until we write it all down and sort everything out. Getting to the root of our problems takes time and work, and journaling provides a consistent way to track your thoughts and “map out” solutions. Taking the time to journal each day can provide increased clarity, which in turn allows for reduced stress and worry.
Journaling is completely private.
While you may not always feel comfortable disclosing 100% of your thoughts or fears to your counselor, your journal is a private, entirely judgment-free zone. Journaling enables you to write down memories, stories, conversations, hopes and questions as they come to mind — without having to worry about everything looking perfect, or needing to be presentable for the eyes of someone else. A journal is a place where you are free to just be you, and knowing you have a safe home for your secrets provides a great therapeutic comfort.
Journaling can happen wherever you are.
Unlike formal therapy appointments, which occur at a designated place and scheduled time, journaling works as a portable, on-the-go counseling session that can be with you wherever you are. Whether your journal is a physical pad of paper, an online blog, or an old-fashioned “diary” with a lock and key, you can have access to your journal at any time. There’s no need to wait until a later date to address your problems or concerns – and this sense of immediate resolution can have a powerful calming effect.
Journaling helps you gain insight into yourself.
Writing your stream of consciousness down, and keeping a tangible record of your daily thoughts and emotions, allows you to gain greater insight into yourself and your emotional well-being. Often, journaling is the place where people come to truly know and understand themselves better. They develop a deeper understanding of who they are and what makes them feel, think, and act certain ways. It may take a while to develop a consistent habit of journaling, but once the practice is engrained into your life, you’re better equipped to handle difficulties as they come. And more prepared to work through issues when you do attend counseling appointments.
Journaling becomes a permanent record of your life’s journey.
Unlike spoken conversations or insights that may be weakened or forgotten over time, journals create an immortal record of your life, and the developments you make throughout your recovery journey. If you consistently allow your writings to help you heal, you will have created a beautiful, permanent account of everything you have been through and survived. Journaling allows you, and anyone you choose to share your journal with, the opportunity to gain insight and understanding for years to come.
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