The Power of Journaling: Part Two
This week we will explore some creative ways to journal. The most common form of journaling is to write about daily activities or about one’s emotions and thoughts. Gratitude journaling is also popular. Reflecting on people, events, or things we are thankful for has been shown to increase optimism and improve overall health. These types of journaling are more traditional. So now let’s look at a few lesser known, creative ways to write.
Non-Dominant Hand Journaling
This type of journaling can be frustrating at first but incredibly powerful once you get the hang of it. The psychology behind this approach is when writing with the non-dominant hand, the brain is forced to slow down and focus on writing. That focus allows for more unconscious or guarded emotion to emerge.
One activity you can try is to use your dominant hand and write a question. Then switch to your non-dominant hand and answer. A second activity is to ask a part of yourself (inner child, inner critic, etc.) to write and begin (using your non-dominant hand).
This is a fun way to express yourself! Grab some magazines and randomly flip through. Cut out pictures or words that grab your attention. Paste them in your journal as you see fit. Take a moment to reflect on what the collage says to you. And if you are so inclined, write about it. Do the symbols, images, words provoke a certain emotion or thoughts? Let your mind flow. Sometimes these collages won’t make sense but come back later and notice if anything comes up.
Stream of Consciousness
Stream of consciousness is all about writing whatever comes to mind with no concern for punctuation, grammar, or neatness. It is a free-flowing exercise. To achieve the greatest benefit, it’s important you do not stop writing. If you can’t think of anything, write “I can’t think of anything to write” over and over until another thought comes into your mind. It’s best if you set a timer (between 10 to 20 minutes) or write until you have filled 3 or so pages of your journal. Find a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted and if possible, journal at the same time and same place daily. You can pick a topic, emotion, thought, problem, or nothing at all. Begin and enjoy!
Terri Kutchera is a Patient Consultant for Ketamine Wellness Centers