Finding a safe place to express your honest feelings can sometimes be challenging.
You can do it through finding a counselor or psychotherapist that you trust, through developing a deep friendship with someone in your life, or you can learn to express your feelings in your own journal.
Any way of releasing your feelings is good, so long as you don’t express them in negative ways that hurt someone else. But when no one else is available to support you, the one thing you can always do is write in your own journal.
Your Personal Journal
The good news about writing in your own personal journal is that you can literally say anything you want. You don’t have to censor what you say at all. Whether you write in a spiral notebook or on your computer, your personal journal is for you alone.
In order to keep your journal private, it’s important to protect your privacy. You can do that by keeping your personal journal in a very safe place or by using a password on your computer that no one knows but you.
For me, writing in my journal is what got me through a lot of difficult times in my life. Too many times when I needed love and support, there was no one there to provide that for me.
By journaling about my personal feelings, I learned how to express and release my feelings and how to come back to a place of inner peace. That simple skill proved to be invaluable in my life, because I learned from my own experience that no matter what was going on around me, I could always count on the comfort I got from writing in my journal.
No Evaluation or Critique
There’s no need for perfection when you write in a personal journal. No one else is going to evaluate or critique what you say. No one will grade your paper and put a red mark at the top!
The only person who will read your journal is you, so you can write any way you want. You can doodle or use colored pens if it makes you happy. You can swear or use bad language if it helps you express what you really need to say.
There are no rules about journaling, except what works for you. There are, however, some guidelines that will help you get the most out of your journaling experience.
How to Write a Journal
- Most important of all, just let yourself write, write, write! Don’t censor or critique anything that you’re saying. You can come back and read it later, but for now, just let your feelings flow however they happen to come.
- Let yourself write in a ‘stream of consciousness’ manner. That means if your mind goes from one thing to the next, it’s important to let it go wherever it goes. You may find that the associations you make naturally are helpful to you in sorting out what you feel.
- Write about what you feel, not just what happened. If you’ve never thought about your feelings, this could be challenging at first, but as you practice, you’ll get better at it. You can write about what happened for hours on end and nothing will change, but when you write about your feelings, it will help you experience the relief that you really want from journaling.
- Write letters you won’t send to people who upset you. It helps to write letters directly to the people who have hurt you or wronged you in some way, even though you will never send the letters. Expressing the feeling helps you get it out of your system so that you can think more clearly about a healthy way to handle what actually happened.
- Write letters you won’t send to people who have hurt you in the past. Anyone who still upsets you when you think of them is holding a part of you. When you clearly express how you feel about what they did that hurt you, it helps you to free yourself from the past and move forward in your life.
- Write kind, loving letters to your wounded inner child. Your inner child is that little girl or boy inside who was hurt by the unkindness or lack of unconditional love in your life when you were young. You know better than anyone what loving words s/he needs to hear. Write a letter telling her or him how you would like to show your love and support today.
- Let your ‘Angel,’ your ‘Higher Self’ or your ‘Future Self’ write letters back to you about changes you could make to improve your life today. It’s fun to pretend that you are your spiritual self or your future self. Then let yourself write any thoughts or ideas that come to you about changes you could make that would improve your life today. You may be very surprised at the knowledge and wisdom that flows through your pen.
Your New Best Friend
Most important of all, just have fun writing! You’ll probably find that journaling helps you become your own ‘new best friend.’ When you realize that no matter what happens, there is always a way to find comfort and unconditional love for yourself, nothing in your life will be insurmountable anymore!
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