THERAPEUTIC EFFECTS OF JOURNALING
The simple act of penning down thoughts connected, disconnected, immediately begins to alleviate one’s feelings of anxiety, anger, sadness or gloom and stats creating a space in an overcrowded mind. I presently work as a therapist, coach and a counsellor and I have personally practised, experienced and seen the effect journaling has had on me. For the last seven years, since my mother passed on painfully due to cancer, a time where I struggled with depression, anxiety, profound worry and fatigue, where I found myself alone not because I didn’t have any family but because I became inadept at expressing and talking to people around, I struggled with so much anger at the way things were shaping up, the apathy of the doctors and the struggle with money for my mother’s treatment and so much more. I didn’t have the courage or the strength for a dialogue, I feared judgement, I feared conflict, I was prejudiced and felt that no one really cared so they wouldn’t understand. I quite accidently began to scribble on a torn piece of paper while waiting outside the ICU and then forgot about it but that very night I felt the urge to do it again and again and again. Much to my surprise I began to feel an undefined comfort and solace every time I wrote down what was going on in my head. I did not realise but my pen and notepad became my friends and remain till date.
This one habit has held me in good stead since then and in more ways than one has been instrumental in my growth as a person. Journaling has empowered me with courage I never knew I had, I slowly began to open my world to people around me, many I knew and quite a few that I didn’t. I had always been a guarded individual till then and never allowed any person a peep into my world. I myself was surprised that my guards had come crashing down, I began to surface as a calmer, happier and more authentic person. There is an innocence and honesty that reaches across people and in turn has continued to heal me from within. I am, today more forthcoming, more confident and fearless. It no longer bothers me as to how I am being perceived by people around me, my internal connects and conversations with self are productive and have grown, they are more honest as well as intense. Journaling gave me the power to not succumb to fear and negativity. It would be incorrect to suggest that I do not have my low days or that I do not feel sad, angry or hurt, I do but I now have the most effective tool to help myself heal and bounce back soon, sometimes in a matter of minutes too. As a counsellor and a therapist, I have sensed this unique ability of empathy which I have further developed when I interact with clients and family and friends. Journaling had given me a wider vision and has made me more rational and a more peaceful person. These last few years have been transformative and reformative both. I was so caught up in a warp of my own messy thoughts and limiting stories as would be the case with quite a few of us. As a therapist and a change maker, I recommend this form of therapy across all sections of people with brilliant results. It gives me so much joy when I see clients, friends and family re-examine their stories as well as limiting beliefs that have held them back from experiencing happiness and peace, it is absolutely thrilling to see these lovely people getting ready to explore new ways of being. I strongly recommend this form of therapy to each one of you starting with just five to ten minutes each day thereby discovering the real you, it is cathartic and magical…!!!!
“Words are but pictures of our thoughts”
Dr Deepti Kathpalia (Therapist, Counsellor, NLP Master Practitioner)