Learn about yourself, relieve stress, and keep a personal history.
The most widely recommended tool by therapists and counselors to supplement therapy is journaling. Consistently writing in a journal can give you a better understanding of yourself, help you come to terms with the past, work through your feelings, and can help with worrying.
It’s something anyone can do regardless of age, and should be a place without judgment. Sometimes it can help you pinpoint what’s upsetting you in your life that you’ve had previous trouble identifying. Many journal writers say they learn more from their morning journal entries, because night entries tend to be simply a recounting of the day’s events. Journaling does not have to follow any form. Spelling is not important, nor is grammar. Journaling is not being written for others, so mechanics are not an issue. This is not a test. You don’t even have to use complete sentences if you don’t want to. Journaling is private, and your journal should be kept in a safe place. Express to family members how your journal is your private thoughts, and ask them to respect that privacy.
People who journal as a way of self-therapy usually report that at first, their journaling seemed to deal with surface issues, but after two weeks they were astounded at things they remembered or realized about themselves through journaling. The two-week point seems to be the magic point for most people when they notice their journaling take on new meaning. Many people keep their journal by their bed, or in a nightstand. Others carry their journal with them daily in a purse or briefcase. Like many valuable things in life, everyone’s experience is different and not every strategy works for everyone, but it doesn’t cost much and could do a world of good.