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Archive for October 9th, 2007

Plant (c) Lynda Bernhardt

Why have little girls from many different eras kept diaries? Because they are healing!! Keeping a diary or journal, particularly during emotionally turbulent times like puberty, is such a healthy way of working through the emotions that are swirling around in your head. Journals can be an amazing healing tool for abuse survivors as well.

My therapist told me that the brain processes information differently when you speak versus when you write. So, even if you are talking about your past with a therapist or a trusted friend, you might not feel the same relief that you would feel if you also wrote your feelings down.

As a writer, putting things down on paper (or, more accurately, a computer screen) is immensely healing for me. I will have many thoughts swirling around in my head that only become clear when I write them down. After I see those thoughts in writing, I can let go of the anxiety.

I type very fast and my handwriting is atrocious, so journaling on the computer works best for me. However, many people prefer to have a pen and paper when they journal. Most bookstores carry books with blank or lined pages that are perfect for journaling. You can also buy yourself an actual diary, complete with a little lock and key.

You do not have to write in your journal every day. I might write things down daily or even several times a day and then go for months without writing again. I just write when I feel a need to write. I like to record vivid dreams and flashbacks. I also like to write down any big “aha” moments so that I will remember them and can share them with other people.

Journals are also nice because they help you to remember where you have been. When you get frustrated and fear that you are not making any progress along your healing journey, you can go back, read your entries from six months or a year ago, and see how far you have come.

Related Topic:

Positive Coping Tools for Healing from Childhood Abuse

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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