Healing happens for people everyday whether they realize it or not. This is the nature of life itself because people heal when they process their emotions. Life gives them these opportunities through their everyday activities. Even simple experiences such as going to the grocery store or driving through traffic.
They are faced with healing when a situation elicits an old emotion or memory from their past. They can't settle until they work through it, although many will find themselves stuffing their feelings down rather than healing them.
Often it's not intentional to stuff feelings down. It's something that has become second-nature in society to not feel feelings. When people don't feel their feelings they can get confused by them and not be able to work through them easily. They can misunderstand what's happening and can make themselves or others wrong rather than getting to the heart of why they're upset.
If you've ever had a situation that festers in your mind that you can't seem to let go of, journaling can be a helpful way to unravel this. It offers both emotional healing and a greater understanding of your situation.
There are a variety of ways to journal and each person will resonate with different approaches. The purpose of this article to bring awareness to how you are feeling when you're journaling because this will shed light on how the healing process is working for you or whether it's keeping you stuck and what you can do to try and shift that.
First off there is no right way to journal, however some journaling can "feed" the trauma which is the opposite of what is needed for healing. This happens when a person gets stuck in their head and writes about the issues and what happened rather than working through their feelings. This type of journaling "feeds" the mind and what it thinks happened which is usually accompanied by a feeling of adrenaline. Doing journaling this way will typically have you looping trauma rather than feeling more complete afterward.
Second, be real with what you are writing. There is a false trend in the world to "keep it positive" to be happy. This couldn't further from the truth. What keeping it positive looks like in the energy field is a "bandaid" effect where the trauma is stuffed down. When your feelings are invalidated and left unattended they become bigger wounds and will eventually no longer be repressed as they burst to the surface.
Emotions don't hurt anyone, but repressed emotions that have been there 20 years... that's another story. It's the repressed feelings that elicit the reactions that hurt people. So too does this happen with you when you repress feelings by bandaiding them with positivity. It's not just emotions like anger, but people with depression & anxiety are often told the same thing: "think positive." It's healthy to actively work on remembering the good you have in life, but to avoid your others feelings will just amplify them until it's hard to think of anything else.
A healthy way to journal is to let your writing flow from your heart. This is different than journaling from your head. Your head thinks it knows the reason you're hurting, but your heart knows there's likely something deeper because your hurt isn't always logical. A deeper layer of pain is what you are working to access so it can be acknowledged and healed.
An example: A person could feel offended that they weren't included in an important decision. If they are journaling from their mind, they could make the focus of the journaling on how that other person is wrong and they never listen and so on, feeding the trauma. However, if that individual is writing from their heart, it will take a different tone. That person will write why it hurt them so much. They will write that they felt invalidated and that they didn't feel important enough to be included. They'll write how easily they feel forgotten a lot and how it reminds them of feeling that their needs never mattered as a child. They will be with their feelings and breathe with them, allowing them to finally process & begin to heal.
When people have journaled from the heart, they will feel a surrender of sorts at the end when they have hit the deepest layer. Sometimes this doesn't happen for many weeks, but the continual opening of each layer helps the healing process.
If you have been doing this journaling for weeks or months and begin to feel like you are missing something or like you're hitting a wall, this could be a subconscious block. This is where seeking other methods of healing can offer you the shift needed to work through that block. Sometimes there are very deep layers a person cannot access on their own, but most of the time it's the way the trauma is layered or connected with another trauma that can keep it stuck. This is why it can be helpful to work with a professional or find a subconscious healing modality that resonates with you so you can get out of your head and into your heart. After this shift it's easier to get back into the rhythm of journaling or other self-healing techniques you prefer.
Remember, you are healing everyday whether you realize or not. It is the nature of life when you are willing to look at yourself and connect with your feelings.