Recently, I was thrilled to read a New York Times article confirming that journaling is “one of the more effective acts of self-care,” explaining that articulating and processing difficult experiences and emotions through writing is healing:
Keeping a journal, according to Dr. Pennebaker, helps to organize an event in our mind, and make sense of trauma. When we do that, our working memory improves, since our brains are freed from the enormously taxing job of processing that experience, and we sleep better... “There’s no single magic moment,” Dr. Pennebaker said. “But we know it works… journaling about traumatic or disturbing experiences specifically has the most measurable impact on our overall well-being.”
This is great news for all of us diehard journalers out there, right? Simply writing about our challenges is therapeutic.
But I think we can take it a step further. I observe in myself and others a tendency to feel that we should only write about our difficulties. We start to see our journaling practice as a sounding board for complaints, a way to download our problems.
While a sounding board is sometimes needed to process our difficulties, it is decidedly not the only way to use journaling to our benefit.
Writing about your breakthroughs, a-ha moments, and your progress in yoga is a powerful way to articulate, process, and integrate your successes so you can fully step into them.
The next time you crack open your journal or take time to reflect on your yoga, I invite you to articulate a positive, expansive, or freeing breakthrough you've experienced through your practice recently. Acknowledge yourself with gratitude for a shift you created through your own effort so you can really own it as yours.