Mark making is something that we adopt at a very early age. As we get older, mark making develops into writing and drawing. As young children, we enjoy the having absolute liberty in our creative expression. Then formal education comes into the equation, and slowly but surely this sense of freedom and exploration is narrowed as we conform to rational constraints.
Learning once again to let our thoughts drift and let our creativity reign free is a liberating and empowering experience that can facilitate the ability to spark new ideas, discover new perspectives and make connections that were not previously visible – and keeping a journal is a great way to do this.
The positive powers of journaling
A journal can also serve other purposes. It can preserve your musings and thoughts for posterity, as well as facilitating a cathartic release as you write it – which in addition to the creative benefits, is also extremely good for your mental health.
According to research presented in Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, journal writing has proven benefits when it comes to dealing with traumatic, stressful or emotional events. It is also known to be highly effective for people suffering from severe diseases such as cancer, as reported in the Scientific American.
Tips for effective journaling
The key to journal writing is to ensure that the date is noted for every entry. This means that in the future, you can review and chronologically reconstruct your journal.
Your journal should be truthful and natural – don’t be afraid to note down whatever thoughts come to mind, and feel free to doodle if you so desire.
You can have a completely freestyle approach if you wish, or opt for a more structured approach if it suits you better. In the latter approach, you might set yourself a task of writing for a fixed period of time, fr example, or completing a specific number of statements of a pre-defined nature.
A great resource to learn more about journal writing can be found at www.journaltherapy.com, the official website of the Center for Journal Therapy, whose mission is to make the healing art and science of journal writing accessible to all who desire self-directed change.