Journaling Your Way

Writing in a journal reminds you of your goals and of your learning in life.  It offers a place where you can hold a deliberate, thoughtful conversation with yourself.  -Robin S. Sharma

One of my tools that has helped me the most through my life is a journal.  It is also probably the thing that gets the most resistance when I talk to other people about the topic.

When I was first told to journal by a counselor I saw 6 years ago, I immediately thought, “Nope.”  I was a math teacher.  We don’t journal.  Writing is not my thing.  I am glad my counselor pushed it.  She said “It is your journal.  Write what you want to write about.”  I thought about what I usually did when I was feeling sad or needed to deal with something.  Listening to music was always where I turned.  So I started to write song lyrics in my journal that were relevant to me at the time.

As I went through life,  journaling served other purposes for me.  Going through one particularly awful relapse where everything felt new and scary to me, I started to journal my symptoms and responses to certain treatments.  I kept track of my blood pressure and mood in my journal.  The first time I did this, I didn’t really have a reason for it other than to bring into my doctors if they wanted a record of my data.  How it has been most beneficial to me now, is that when I am going through a relapse, I can look back when I feel like something is not right and see from the prior data that, “Yes.  This is what day 10 looks like for me on Solumedrol.” It gives me a perspective that I wouldn’t have if I had nothing to look back to.

I have also gone through stages where I have done different programs that asked you to use a journal for a different purpose.  I always try it and see how it feels.  If I like it, I keep it up.  If I don’t, I stop.

My newest passion with journaling is art journaling.  I have been delving into it for the past year and a half.  I can lose myself for hours in exploration of my feelings or things I am going through with a paintbrush.  What a stretch from my days as a math and science teacher.

A final reason why I like to journal is it gives me something to look back at and identify triggers.  If I can identify them, I can usually get a handle on them quicker.  Like any of the other tools I have included in this blog, all I can say is to try it on. Your journal should look like what you need it to look like. . You may find it helpful for you in your journey.  If you have other journaling techniques you have used and found useful, share them.  Maybe others will find them helpful.


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