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I have kept a journal of my life and feelings since 1972.
I have lived and relived my life through the words written and stored on pages in school notebooks that I treasure.
I have unloaded sad and happy moments, challenges, expressed the joys of my marriage and its hurdles, the birth of my son and his life as well.
I have seen how my handwriting has has changed! From being very childlike, loopy and slanted to upright, stylish and distinct. My handwriting matured as I did. I have recorded historical moments in time as they affected me. I have 15 volumes of treasured memories.
My Journals are my sanctuary.
My Journals are the story of a life that I will pass on to my son.
Reasons to Journal
Why keep a record of your days, your thoughts or activities? For a couple of reasons.
- First, and most important is that it provides an emotional outlet to express your feelings. It is very therapeutic.
- You are creating a written history of your life events
- You can look back through your journal to see the changes you have made in your life, the good, the bad, the indifferent, and the amazing
- A Journal is a gift to yourself, to express what ever you want, paste in it whatever you want, to read, and recall precious times
- Keeping a journal is a way to tap into your inner feelings, strengths, a mood changer, as well as a problem solving tool
- Journals move the “chatter” in your mind to paper releasing mental fatigue
With pregnancy, so much is happening all at once! It can be a very overwhelming time. Your body is changing, your relationship with your partner will change, and your “roles” will change from lover and wife to a mother (hopefully you’ll remain mushy lovers :-))
You’ll be concerned about your skills to be a mother. Mothering skills are innate and they will unfold day by day as you grow with baby as a mother. Reflecting on your own upbringing and what your experiences were as a child will influence your parenting methods and philosophies as a new mom or dad. Writing about your experiences will give you new perspectives about your life.
We often don’t recognize our feelings. We suppress them, and as a result they fester and jump out of no where through anger, resentment, depression, and even increase anxieties. Feelings never go away. They just piggyback on to another emotion or morph into new ones.
Expectant and new moms do not like to share their true feelings about being pregnant or a new mom. This is where the concern comes in for postpartum “Baby Blues” or depression. Journaling your feelings is private and you can write anything you want and no one will see it. It is a healthy, safe, practice to embrace.
Journaling is a way to :
- cope with emotions
- figure out what got you upset in the first place
- problem solve
- create a safe place
- praise and celebrate yourself
As you begin to write you unravel your mind clearing it of pent up clutter perhaps, releasing tensions and concerns. As you unload these feelings, you can gain valuable insights about yourself, and your life. A journal connects daily living with your inner-self.
It is communication with yourself. A journal is self discovery.
How to Journal
- Select a Journal: Make one, buy one, the choice is yours, but this is your special book! So create or purchase a book that makes writing in it special to you.
- Don’t worry about what you write in it, or how it looks! Penmanship goes out the window here. Besides, no one else is going to see this book, are they? Unless you want to share it with someone.
- If you want to share your Journal, be selective and share only with those you trust. These are your feelings you’re exposing!
- Be Honest with yourself when you write. If you don’t like being pregnant, write it down. If you fear labor, write about why. If you love being pregnant and can’t wait to be a mother, write about that too. It’s ALL important, good and bad.
- Relax before you write. Go get a cup of coffee or tea and calm down to discourage writer’s block, or journal newbie jitters. Hey! Write about that!
- Tell that inner voice, you know, the one that says your crazy for writing in a Journal, to take a trip somewhere while you write. We always feel strange doing new things. Don’t give in to the voice. Just start writing.
- Always date your entries.
- And, leave a pen in the book so you ALWAYS have one on hand so when that thought, feelings, or even a burst of ideas come to mind you’re ready to write
Want to know more about how to journal feelings? Visit, The Center for Journal Therapy
Next – #4 – The Cycle of Fear
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There are 3 questions.