Journaling has been a lifelong journey of self-reflection for sanity that continues to this very day. I come from an era where the concept of emotional intelligence didn’t exist. Also not in existence was the concept of sitting down and talking through differences. It was not quite the era of “be seen and not heard, ” but it came close. Rather we were expected to listen and obey, a lot, and not talk about what we saw or heard. “Keep it secret, keep it safe” was more suited as my family motto. Can you relate?

Dysfunction came down the family tree on both sides. Consequently, many hours were spent writing out how I was feeling, observing others actions and reactions, and doing my best to transition through teenage years whilst being called “Elizabeth Taylor” after every mild emotional outburst. Yes, expressing emotions in my family was akin to being the Queen of Dramatics. I encourage all of my clients to Journal. Once they begin journalling the benefits become clear very quickly making it an easy habit to establish. In my experience, women embrace the practice of journaling as a time of solitude, where the day’s noise takes a backseat. Thoughts and emotions can be dissected and clarified, experiences recorded and a clear slate appears for the day ahead. Defining emotions can sometimes come more naturally to women due to socialization. Men and masculine identified individuals, however, as my best man friend tells me, have a hard time identifying their emotions, let alone what they might mean.

Therefore men and masculine identified individuals have yet to fully embrace the world of journaling. Men and masculine identified individuals, generally speaking, are off having adventures and during said adventures, they’re solving world problems. My observation is that world problems can get solved at the expense of clarity of their own mental, emotional and spiritual challenges. The challenge is to take on learning the skill of self-reflection to know their inner world at greater depths, thereby also understanding women and feminine identified counterparts with increasing depth.

And you? Have you also discovered the secret joy of writing down your thoughts, feelings, and dreams, of self-reflecting and gaining astute answers unique for you? Or are you yet to put pen to paper and unleash everything you’re holding within you? Consider it time to begin.

Written by Linda Turner.

Originally Published Voices of Mental Health

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