Living the Sweet Life: The Therapy Journal

By Alisa Murray
Nationally recognized
portrait artist and award-
winning columnist.

Have you ever kept a diary? I remember getting those cute little ones that had a lock and key back through my teen years. I would actually use mine to make lists and goals for myself and sometimes jot down stuff that I did not want to forget. In college I had to keep a sketch journal for my art classes, and several of my classes required a writing journal as well. With an “assignment,” the time dedicated to writing was accomplished because it was required. Funny how with most things in life the stuff that is required gets done somehow painlessly even when we secretly tell ourselves we don’t have time for such things.

There are many therapeutic benefits in the keeping of a journal. It is a place to vent until your heart’s content about whatever or whoever is disturbing your equilibrium. It’s a safe zone to write out ideas about where you want to be in life and the steps you think you ought to be taking in order to get there. It’s a cesspool of angst and an egocentric platform of grandeurs and expectations. The best part? Therapy journaling is a self-paced platform that can keep you in touch with you without spending time on a couch in a doctor’s office! It’s totally private and for your eyes only. In the best cases, your journal is a companion for life providing you insights into your inner self, and when reflected upon, it can be a clear map of where you are, where you’ve been and where you really want to go.

Take ten to fifteen minutes for writing, and don’t assign yourself a daily ritual, but rather allow yourself the freedom to journal a few times each week. If you find yourself slacking, then “remind” yourself that you need to do something in your journal at least once per week. If you find that the prospect of writing is too daunting, then doodle until you find a question coming to mind and then just answer that question. A concern or your view of the day based on the weather or the news is just fine, too. The most important thing is to make an entry.

The art of journaling can be one of the best things you can do for yourself. Writing allows you to record thoughts and feelings that you are then able to look back on and analyze assisting yourself in a personal growth journey. Keeping track of daily activities might seem mundane as you write them in the here and now, but imagine how rewarding to be able to read a day in your life from your 20s, 30s and 40s and then in your 50s, 60s and 70s? Pretty cool. Now just get yourself some great blank book and get going!

Take Care of YOU!

What insights can you glean from looking back over your writing a month or a year out? Can you see patterns of thoughts and opinions or a change as you grow through the months and years? What about roadmaps of discovery into becoming the best you? I’d love to hear all about them. Contact me