Angela Douglas, LPC
Find the Thing that Brings You Joy
What do you find therapeutic? Gardening? Cooking? Just being outdoors? Different people find comfort in different things. That's just the way we're wired. For some people painting and sculpting helps quiet the mind. For others meditation works wonders to alleviate anxiety and stress. When it comes right down to it, anything that brings you joy may be considered your personal therapy. Despite that notion, there's still a great number of people out there who haven't found what works for them. Most of the time, for those individuals with no discernible therapeutic habits, it's only for a lack of trying that they haven't identified their preferred personal pastime. If you're one of those individuals, and you can't seem to find the thing that works best for you, consider going off script by trying something that's not typically your thing.
Journaling is one type of therapy that isn't necessarily for everyone but is for anyone who wants to try it. The practice of journaling has been around for centuries and is the basis for the modern-day diary. The idea behind journaling is that it gives the author total control over what information is shared and with whom it is shared. Unlike face-to-face counseling, the author of a journal can deposit their innermost thoughts, feelings, and fears into their journal without saying a word. Journals can be used routinely as part of a more structured mental health regimen, or they can be used as needed during times of heightened stress or anxiety.
Like most other forms of healthy therapy, the benefits of journaling are backed by science. Some studies have shown that journaling can improve an individual's immune function, and it's widely known that journaling increases an individual's overall emotional and mental well-being.
If the benefits alone don't make journaling worth trying, consider the fact that it's one type of therapy you can do for fee and without any fancy equipment. Some paper and a pencil or pen are all you need to jump-start your journal therapy.
Before you try journaling, keep in mind that there's no right or wrong way of doing it. Simply sit down to a blank page and try to fill it. Write about nothing or something. It's all up to you. If feelings float to the surface and make their way onto the page, great! But, if all you end up with are the lyrics to a crappy song, that's okay too. Either way, you've found something to bring you joy, and that's all that really matters. Happy journaling!