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Looking after ourselves

Casual Contributor

Journalling. Helpful or not?

Does anyone like to keep a journal? Do you find that it is helpful? I have been struggling with negative thoughts about myself lately and having regular vivid dreams (sometimes upsetting, sometimes just very random!). I would like to try something proactive to work on these and thought a journal might help. I am worried about putting my thoughts down on paper though, like it makes them too real. 


I would love to know your experiences with journalling. Thanks Smiley Happy 


Re: Journalling. Helpful or not?

This is exactly how I feel as well. I have thoughts that I really don't like and am ashamed of, on paper they are all too real. I also can see the benefits as well as they can track your progress and can be helpful when seeking counselling and support. 

Re: Journalling. Helpful or not?

Hi @Burgundy86 


I journal all the time.  I see it differently from your point of view.  I see it as if its written then you've acknowledge it was a thought only and we can let it go.


Its the same concept as write something on paper and send it to the universe (when you want something).


Also how I see it - is that its what you are thinking at this point in time and its the honest truth.  You face things as it comes but if you want to leave it at least its there and you can read back later and reflect.


Its always good to accept how you feel right now and if its not in a good space - acknowledge it and try to walk through it. 


Be kind to yourself and its Ok to be not OK..  

Re: Journalling. Helpful or not?

Thanks @Cin, it's nice to know I am not the only one. I completely understand where you are coming from. 


@MIFANTCARER thank you. Maybe letters to the universe might be a better option! 

Re: Journalling. Helpful or not?

Hi @Burgundy86 - you are never a burden to people who love you.  Also put it in a different way.  Your burdening yourself by keeping things as a lie!  Maybe now you should stop burdening yourself and start letting people into your feelings.  Just be cautious who you do let in though .. 


Sending it to the universe is awesome.  I usually write once a month of all my bad days and send it to the universe and thank it but no thanks!

Re: Journalling. Helpful or not?

> "Re: Journalling. Helpful or not?"

 I'm probably an expert on this subject now.  Since 1968, when I left home, I kept a yearly pocket diary.  Till smartphones replaced this.  About 1995?

These pocket diaries were then summarized, about 1985, after my 7-day coma, after a very bad traffic accident.  These summaries were used in the legal litigation, by all parties, in my court cases, following the cases.  They are also used by my potential employers, in the various bodies that need to check my Australian security clearances.

Since the internet, there are very detailed records about most of us computer geeks, including myself.  This stopped my formal "journalling".  My computer records, on & off the internet, shows my interests & activities.  The many organizations used & working with me have official records of my activities & involvements:  staff lists (including volunteers, members, students, etc), minutes of formal meetings, etc.

Now thatwe have smartphones & the internet, there arenow new methods.

Below are the ones I use still:

1) Australian counselling agencies, both phone & face-to-face.

These registered (via the many government departments) need to know my real name, phonre numbres. address, D.O.Birth etc.  They keep contact times & hours, issues discussed on my sessions.  If needed, legally, medically, etc, these records can be summarized, etc.

2) Internet records.  Google, YouTube, email, etc have permanent traces of my interests, buying habits.  Again these records can be used & are used by government agencies, if & when required.  Personally, I find it refeshing to track my purchases, interests, over the long time, back several decades.

3) Dedicated forums & websites, including this one site, SANEFORUMS.ORG

Living now in my government hospice, right now, for the last 29 years, severely crippled, my life should have ended in my car accident, 36 years ago.  In my heart-valve replacement operation, two years ago, I expected death or dementia (stroke, etc).  There are a  web sites in the USA where I have published: Reddit, "Lyf", etc.

4) Dedicated computer applications, on computer, computer tablets, and smartphones.

The smartphone "stores", such as Google Playstore for Android devices, has several "journalling applications.  I have tried these, waiting to use them.  But my live journalling", right now, is proceeding so fast, that my life can barely keep pace with the very rapid speeds.

5) "Speed therapy" means that all of the above methods are used.  This includes deliberate & very skilled "LUCID DREAMING".  Being a wikipediaeditor, if time permits, this entry might be expanded & updated, with necessary internet references, if time allows.

6) DRAMA THERAPY.  This is no longer in my current "journalling" duties.  "Drama" can be personaly expression, by voice, muscles, solitary & interactive, sole, dyad, or group.  The "therapy" is an extension of Australia's "Narrative Therapy", which is more properly taught in the USA.

7)  GROUP WORK journalling.  Did this for about ten years, as a single & very disabled man, between my ages of 35 to 45.  This involved organizing "self-help" groups, through traditional charity type of ortganizations.  My role was innovator, but not the obvious leader, since the supervising "charity" or "organization" covered thefinancials, legals, publicity, etc.  It is registered in their official records, publications, witnesses, participants & minutes.  Although I had been a professional photographer (daily newspaper, 1967), there are few photographs of my journalling journeys.

8) HARD COPY.  In Australia, formally printed, public materials are meant to be preserved by our National Archives.  Sometimes the internet materials are also archived.  Traces of my activities, publicatoins exist in these areas, for any persistent "historians", & government security agencies.

9) Friends, family, associates, co-workers, fellow students, neighbours, employers, government records, etc.  All these are accessible, by yourself & others.

Re: Journalling. Helpful or not?

Apologies for typos. Expected to be able to edit it, after posting. Seems not possible?

Re: Journalling. Helpful or not?

Hi @Burgundy86 

The closest I have come to journaling is sharing on a thread here on the forums. 

I started this in a time of crisis to help talk out some difficult emotions with people who understand. (Keeping in mind we have to be careful to stay within  guidelins). This was also with the view that my family journey may be helpful to others with similar emotions .

The added benefit I have found with this is that when I look back over notes I can see how far our family has come. This is a big help when things seem bleak.

As far as day to day. When things were really bad for our family and I didn't know how I was going to stay glued for my family when they needed me most I started a thread where every day I tried to find.

1. Something that I was grateful for

2. Something that made me smile

3. If possible. (Big ask) something that made me laugh. 

This had an amazing effect in my countenance. Some days were harder than others to find something to write down but searching helped to take my focus of all that was broken. (It was a time when my wife was unwell and I was not sure we were going to win the battle). 


Hope this helps. 

Re: Journalling. Helpful or not?


Here is the inital thread I started

It continues with a link on the last page.

It gets a bit off track at times but an example.of how journaling may help you. It does not have to be this public but this is what I needed at the time as while there ewers people.I could talk to there was really none who really understood. 


Diary of wife's hoapital stay


Re: Journalling. Helpful or not?

Hi @Burgundy86 I love to journal. I find it helpful for reflection but also to help me with processing my emotions and thoughts. I usually never read back over it but I feel like once I write it out its out of my mind.. its so weird to explain but its very helpful for me. I hope this helps.
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