In my search for best self-care practices, I’ve recently learned some things about journaling that gave me pause.
Some of my journaling practices may have been harming. Eurich explains in her book about self-awareness that journaling has some traps that can suck insight out of experiences.
Her research showed that it can increase self-reflection, but not insight.
The Right & Wrong Ways to Journal
One researcher who has studied journaling for decades found …
- journaling for learning and growing yields the best results.
- journaling used as an outlet to discharge emotions or for ruminating on the negative creates a trap.
When experiencing a challenge, journaling can be a good exercise to explore one’s deepest thoughts and feelings while mining for new directions. Best practices were
- 20-30 minute intervals
- every few days (not daily)
This kind of expressive writing was found to improve:
- grade point averages
- tennis games
- immune systems
Those who benefit most tend to start with an incoherent , disorganized perceptions of a problem and finish with a coherent, meaningful narrative.
“Gratitude is the third eye of seeing” – a statement I recently heard that has stuck.
Gratitude journaling is a practice that I recently read about used with new grads for experiential learning, personal growth and professional development.
We know that Oprah has been professing the benefits of Gratitude Journaling for years.
” … what we focus on expands, the more we celebrate gratitude, the more blessings come into our lives.”
Gratitude journaling steers us away from wallowing in self-pity. Maya Angelou once told Oprah, “Stop crying right now and say thank you. You know that God always puts a rainbow in every cloud.”
Here’s to finding your rainbows in journaling.