If you’re anything like this Daddy, you’ve got a little girl that’s just a bundle of emotions. Sometimes, she doesn’t know what to do with those feelings, and her mind is scattered all over the place. It can be difficult to sort through all of this, and occasionally it’s helpful to write all of that down. Here are some reasons it may be helpful for your little (and yourself) to journal:
- Clarify your thoughts and feelings.
Do you ever seem all jumbled up inside, unsure of what you want or feel? Taking a few minutes to jot down your thoughts and emotions (no editing!) will quickly get you in touch with your internal world.
- Know yourself better.
By writing routinely, you will get to know what makes you feel happy and confident. You will also become clear about situations and people who are toxic for you — important information for your emotional well-being.
- Reduce stress.
Writing about anger, sadness and other painful emotions helps to release the intensity of these feelings. By doing so you will feel calmer and better-able to stay in the present.
- Solve problems more effectively.
Typically, we problem solve from a left-brained, analytical perspective. But sometimes the answer can only be found by engaging one’s right-brained creativity and intuition. Writing unlocks these other capabilities, and affords the opportunity for unexpected solutions to appear, sometimes addressing seemingly unsolvable problems.
- Resolve disagreements with others.
Writing about misunderstandings rather than stewing over them will help you to understand another’s point of view. And you just may come up with a sensible resolution to the conflict.
In addition to all of these wonderful benefits, keeping a journal allows you to track patterns, trends and improvement and growth over time. When current circumstances appear insurmountable, you will be able to look back on previous dilemmas that you have since resolved. In fact, those past experiences may help them to cope with current feelings that they’re facing. In our case, writing her feelings out can help My little girl from allowing increasingly negative thoughts to “run wild”, and we can address them head-on. Letting a stressful situation own and control you can overtake you completely, and lead to more severe issues within a relationship (or our lives in general).
A perfect example
My princess doesn’t always have access to Me 24/7. Mostly…but not entirely. Sometimes I’m away working at the office. I allow her to text Me for the most part, but what if I’m in a meeting or on a client call? I can’t field every single Daddy duty during every minute of every day. As her Dominant, I am allowed to read her journal; and from time to time, I do read through it. It’s a safe place for her to write, though. I recognize that it’s an outlet for her to cope and deal with complicated emotions throughout the day (whether or not I’m physically accessible to her). These writings are therapeutic, and can often serve the same purpose as a time-out…only, with a more positive spin.
How To Begin
Your journaling will be most effective if you do it daily for about 20 minutes. Begin anywhere, and forget spelling and punctuation. Privacy is key if you are to write without censor. Write quickly, as this frees your brain from “should’s”, “what if’s” and other blocks to successful journaling. If it helps, pick a theme for the day, week or month (for example, peace of mind, confusion, change or anger). The most important rule of all is that there are no rules. The goal is to write as quickly as you can, and literally brain-dump out on the paper. If you’re thinking about what you’re about to write…you’re going to have a harder time. You really want to just get it all out onto the paper.
Hand-written vs. eJournaling (typing)
While eJournaling is gaining in popularity (ie., typing your entries into a blog or application), there are many benefits to hand-writing your journal entries. When you take time to slow down and write something out, you’re accessing a different part of your brain. I have researched this before, and can cite references when I locate them later. For now…this is what I recall. But you’re slowing your process, and when you ink something out, you’re really getting to purge your head of your emotions and do some damage to the paper. Reading through some of the written entries later on, I’ve been able to look back and accurately gauge what I was feeling at a given point in time, and gain insight into Myself and My thoughts that I otherwise wouldn’t have done.
I’ve tried the smartphone or tablet apps (probably spent close to $100 on various ones), but really…nothing compares to a quality journal sitting next to your bed as a visual reminder that you need to do an entry for the day. Or better yet, it’s sitting out in the open when you’re in the midst of an emotional crisis, and it’s right there waiting for you. All you need to do is pick it up.
For me, selecting a journal I like is an emotional experience. I know that whatever I write in, it is going to be important to me. These are the things I dwell on. The quality of the journal and the paper within is very important. Make your journaling experience special…something to be treasured and cherished. Your local bookstore or mall will surely have many to choose from, and your grocery store may have several as well. There are classic composition books, or fancy moleskine notebooks. Then there are decorative journals as well. Some are hardcover bound, others are leather bound (that’s what we use). The bottom line, appreciate what you choose. Purchase a good pen as well. If nothing else, this selection process can be a special gift option from you to your little. She’ll adore your carefully-chosen journal and pen, and will think of her Daddy every time she picks them up.
Through your writing you’ll discover that your journal is an all-accepting, nonjudgmental friend. I’m careful to not judge My little girl on her journal entries, even if they open the door to discussion later between us. Finally, journaling may provide the cheapest therapy you will ever find. Best of luck on your journaling journey!