The first time I came across the idea of journaling was on a meditation retreat.
My friend Andre, the host, said it was something he did to manage the effects of stress release.
Most people think a meditation retreat sounds peaceful and soothing, and it can be, but it can also be tough at times.
When we calm the mind and rest the body deeply, suppressed emotions rise to the surface to be felt, processed and released.
Sometimes it happens quietly in the background and sometimes it’s a heavy and difficult experience.
This is what I mean when l say “stress release,” and sometimes the stress being released will have the same flavour on the way out that it had on the way in.
It’s not unusual to shed some tears while on retreat, but it’s OK. Letting go of old emotional baggage makes us feel lighter, happier, and more free in life.
Journalling can facilitate this process too. It’s a great way to move uncomfortable thoughts out of the mind and onto paper.
And there’s some good research to back up how effective journalling is too.
For example, this study showed writing in a journal could be as effective as cognitive-behavioral therapy when it comes to reducing the risk of depression in young adults.
But how do we fit journalling into a busy life on top of everything else?
Won’t it add more pressure and stress?
No it won’t. Not the way I do it. And I’ll explain exactly how it works now
Deep meditation won’t always bring up suppressed emotions. Oftentimes, that process happens quietly in the background so the meditation experience itself feels peaceful and serene.
However, sometimes the stress being released during meditation will have the same flavour on the way out that it had on the way in.
This is where journalling can be useful. This is how I do it:
A big thank you goes to my friend Andre Berry for tuning me into this practice.