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"Write down the thoughts of the moment. Those that come unsought for are commonly the most valuable."

...Francis Bacon

Journal Writing

As part of my own desire to heal, I found great comfort and release in writing down my thoughts and feelings as things were happening. I could then forget about the tough and confusing times until I was ready to revisit the events. I discovered that this process removed the constant mind chatter and replay of the situations and circumstances of my daily life that wouldn't stop trying to find resolution. It also gave me time and distance and helped me to calm and refresh, and then to realize new perspectives from other viewpoints.

I also discovered how fallible the memory is as a resource. While we are in the moments of emotion, fear, excitement or even trauma we feel it is something we will never forget. The reality, however, is that our memory mind adds and subtracts from fact while trying to make sense of our feelings and situations until, like the old game of broken telephone the end memory bears little resemblance to the initial incident.

Through my hypnosis work with clients, I have found that by holding onto a memory we sometimes are holding onto an emotional fabrication that prevents us from healing. It is the memory holding us hostage and not the actual circumstance. Another benefit to journal writing is in the ability to re-read about our life moments to compare situations or see repeating patterns. When we are stuck or feel ourselves going around in circles, our own words can help us to see our strengths and weaknesses as well as our triggers. Our words can also help us to see how we set ourselves up for failure or disappointment, or even to set unrealistic standards.

Whether your journals are used for goal setting, recording of events, a dieting aid for an accounting of food eaten, or even practicing your literary skills, you will find it to be an impartial, non-judgmental place to shed your hurts, tell it like it is, and be real.

Helen Sladden


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