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  • Writer's pictureAnjum Madan

When Journaling Hurts

As you know, I am a huge advocate for journaling – it has been huge for me during my healing journey. The truth is, that as helpful as it can be, there are times when it can hurt. You are writing about things that you may have been burying deep within or allow yourself to write about things you don’t want to face. That is important. However, it can be hard.

Here are a few ideas on what to do, if you find yourself feeling blue while writing.

NOTE: For me, sometimes I find myself avoiding writing about the hard stuff. That is not what I am suggesting here. Writing about the tough things is important. However, sometimes we can get stuck in that place, and that is not a healthy place to be. These suggestions are for those time.

  • Try and end each entry on a positive note. I know that can be really hard but find a positive. Ending on a positive note can create a subtle shift so that you do not leave the page feeling as blue. It may be:

“It is in the past and I am glad that I am not living that life right now.”

“I learned that I have more strength in me that I thought I did.”

“Today is a new day that has the possibility of being better.”

  • At the entry write what you would tell a friend if they had just disclosed these things to you. We are often (unfortunately) far nicer to our friends and loved ones than we are to ourselves. We show compassion to others but are pretty harsh to ourselves. Practicing self-compassion can make a huge difference.

  • Write a different ending. How do you wish the situation had ended? Write about it as if that is what happened. Where would you be? Who else would be with you? How would you feel? Describe it as fully as you can.

Sometimes, you may find that you are fine during your journaling, but at some point, during the day, you get caught up in that thought and it puts a damper in your mood. During such times, I have found a few things that help me:

  • Create a “Happy Playlist” of songs that put you in a good mood!

  • Ground yourself. Imagine roots from your feet going deep into the earth’s core. From the earth’s core, you are able to access the world’s strength. Bring that strength up through the roots, through your body and feel it filling you up. Feel your posture improving and your shoulders straightening up. Once you are filled up with that energy. This is even better in the summer if you can go out, take your shoes off and feel the grass beneath your feet.

  • Focus on what is happening right now. Take a look around you and name (out loud, if possible, otherwise in your mind)

5 things you see right now

4 things you can touch right now

3 things you can hear right now

2 things you can smell right now

1 thing you can taste right now

I hope these help for moments when things get rough.

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