Over the last 20 years, I have kept diaries that I journal in as a way of gathering my thoughts and to reflect on my progression through life. The power of journaling has brought great benefits to my life and has helped me overcome many challenges left behind in the aftermath of sexual abuse.
Journaling, or keeping a diary involves writing down your thoughts and feelings to explore events surrounding your life. It has given me the freedom to express myself without fear of judgement and constructively reflect on any challenges or issues that I am facing. I try to consistently journal every day at a time convenient to me, and that is the beauty of it; I am in control of this expressive process that has given me personal freedom. I have discovered another powerful thing about journaling; it has given me the courage to find my voice. Because I have found the confidence to express my thoughts on a variety of difficult issues on paper this, in turn, has helped me to openly share them with other survivors around the world through different mediums. I have learnt from keeping journals that my voice and experiences are valuable and seen tremendous personal growth in all areas of my life.
If you have never kept a journal, I want to share three benefits that the power of journaling could bring to your life.
If you are a survivor of abuse, you may have found the violation you have experienced has affected your ability to assert yourself over choices and decisions concerning your life. Journaling provides a great starting point to empower self, it is something you are in control of. You can be honest about how you feel about certain situations and it can help you to get to know yourself.
Journaling allows you to keep track of your progress. For me, it is always wonderful to see documented my progression in personal growth. For instance, in earlier diaries, I talked about my fear of never being able to achieve the things I knew I was capable of because of my past struggle with depression, yet twenty years later I have achieved all that I wanted to do and more! It is a great encouragement when you accomplish things that you didn’t think you could do.
Identifies areas that need improvement
Journaling is good for identifying patterns, triggers and habits. This could be negative self-talk, how you respond to certain situations or confidence issues in doing particular things. At the end of each year when I reflect back through my journal entries I can identify common themes that have come up. Once I have identified these areas I challenge myself to try a different approach to deal with it or talk to someone I trust about the issue. Self- improvement is empowering because it allows you the opportunity to be the best you can be, and like progress, it is rewarding to see a positive overcome.
To journal is not expensive- you can buy an A5 notebook buy a specific one for this purpose, so get started to today and unleash the power of journaling!