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Writing as a form of self-healing

The conversations that we have with ourselves are often the most honest. Those are the ones that allow us to heal.

I’ve been ending my morning journal with “and that’s our time.” I sit down with my journal each morning for at least 20 minutes. I set a 20-minute timer with the goal of sorting through my thoughts before I engage with any external information. I write before I check my phone for notifications, before I think about my to-do list, before I do a workout. Journaling is the first process of my day. It is an important step to sift through my thoughts, excitements, and frustrations.

With my journal, I work through my feelings. Finding clarity rarely happens in one journaling session. But, over time, I better understand myself. My feelings evolve, and I can witness my own personal growth and most importantly, my self-healing.¹

When we experience uncomfortable events, it can often feel difficult to discuss them. This emotional discomfort can result from breakups, arguments, injuries, surgeries, or any stressful event. Throughout my journaling sessions, I’ve seen myself avoid directly writing about such events that I’ve experienced. Instead of addressing these experiences, I would write around them. I would mention my feelings about them without saying what happened exactly. For example, I might write about feeling upset about a past relationship without acknowledging the person whom was involved in the relationship at all.

Over the years, I have come to understand that healing is a process. I’ve watched myself be able to incrementally reveal more to myself, to uncover past wounds and be able to nurse them to a stable state instead of ignoring underlying pain. But, this happens over time. It’s rarely perceptible in one journaling session. Oftentimes, it takes much longer. It can be days, weeks, and sometimes, years. The healing process depends on the depth of the pain. Let’s be patient with ourselves.

1. While I believe in self-healing, I also believe in therapy. If you or a loved one is suffering from mental illness, I recommend finding a trusted mental health professional and not relying entirely on yourself. 


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