Keeping a Journal
Journaling to Express Emotions
In my practice as a clinical psychologist, I often suggest to my clients that they keep a journal of their emotions during a time of crisis. It provides a safe place to put the strong feelings that are coursing through them and it relieves them of expending the energy required to keep track of the important feelings they are having. If they wish to recall an important insight or feeling from days before, they have only to consult their journal.
One writer refers to the journal as a "79 cent therapist", referring to the cost of a cheap spiral notebook. There is truth to this: it can be enormously helpful to express strong emotion, within a safe context. This can be with a trusted friend, a therapist -- or in a journal.
Journaling, an Any-Time Invitation
Journals don't interrupt you with tangential questions, and you don't have to worry about being a burden or wearing them out. They are available to you at any time of the day or night -- you don't have to make an appointment!
Your Journal -- Partner in Discovery
Journaling is also useful when you are not in the midst of a crisis. Your journal then becomes your partner in self-exploration, the log or chart of your voyage of discovery.
The self help books listed in the section on Journaling are full of helpful ideas about using your journal to further your process of growth, discovery and expression.