Journaling is something that comes up for many clients during readings. It helps us when we are lost, it helps us when we are grieving and it can help us with everything else from gratitude journaling to processing our emotions, processing our day, letting go of trauma and so much more.
Journaling is incredibly therapeutic because it affords us the opportunity to let stuff out of our brain. It is this “letting stuff out” that helps us the most. When we journal we are thinking about what we are writing, and we are also releasing these thoughts through the handwriting process. In essence, this is a wonderful way to let stuff go.
I was told once, if I had a ton of thoughts before bed and an endless to-do list (also in my head) to write it all down on paper. Then tell the brain that it is all written out and won’t be forgotten about. This will quiet the mind some, so we aren’t swirling with the same hundreds of thoughts. And the reason it works is because we wrote it down.
Does it work if you type? It does but it isn’t as strongly therapeutic in my opinion. The act of physically handwriting every word is what I think helps “get it out” in the most beneficial way. More often than not, it takes more time for you to handwrite something than to type it. This means you are thinking and processing each word slower than you would if you typed it. And, instead of you typing and thinking each word with great speed, you are slowly watching, listening and writing out each word slowly. Savor the process instead of letting it pass you by.
Another way to think about the therapeutic differences is – if you are in a car going 70mph and pass a farm on the way – you might say “hey! I think that might have been a cow!” But if you are in the same car, driving by the farm, at 10mph, you can say “hey! that’s a cow! It is so cute!” and you can savor that moment, take it in and just relish in it and purely enjoy it. When journaling, I think it is best to handwrite the words and thoughts because it is savoring, it is processing and it is highly a mindful act you are doing.
Give it a try.