Free-journaling: A Facial For Your Mind
While a counselling session is like a beauty treatment for your mind — a form of 'psychological exfoliation' (yes, it hurts a bit, but it helps clear away all the muck your mind has been collecting), ‘free-journaling’ is a bit like a DIY home facial. It allows you to clear away some of the dirt spontaneously rather than having to wait for an appointment!
Free-journaling is the term used for the written expression of your unobstructed flow of thoughts, emotions, beliefs, reactions, internal experiences, sensations, perceptions and assumptions. You pretty much put pen to paper and whatever flows, flows. There is no right or wrong. Nothing is too honest, too raw or too embarrassing. It is just you and your most truthful self.
As something comes to the front of your mind, you simply write it down. It does not have to be in any sequence, nor does it need to be in proper sentences, in fact, you don’t even have to use real words. You could scribble or draw pictures! It doesn’t have to have an overall meaning or theme. It is like releasing the overflow of unhelpful, disconnected thoughts racing around in there (and I’m the first to admit that we all have them!).
The thing is, the actual release and expression becomes therapeutic and helpful in itself. You can write things down that you may never feel okay about saying out loud to anyone. Or you may end up writing down things you didn’t even know you thought or felt. It can be a way to cleanse your subconscious mind as well as your conscious brain.
True free-journaling is also hard for others to interpret, IF anyone else were ever to read it. It means something to you only, the absolute chaos on the page is ONLY meaningful to you. Free-journaling is also an expression of your psychological experience in that one moment. It is like a snapshot, a candid one at that, it is the 'raw' you, you don’t have to be smiling for the camera so to speak. It doesn’t place any judgement at all on you as a person, or on any other times or parts of your life, it is simply the expression of something in that moment.
Free-journaling doesn’t have to be written from left to right or in lines from top to bottom. Try starting in one corner of the page, writing anti-clockwise toward the next corner, then the next, and next — creating a squared spiral pattern ending in the middle of the page. Or write in a circular spiral from the centre outwards. Follow the outline of a shape. Write words randomly all over the page. You don’t even have to write it in a journal either. I have written some of my most emotional vents on toilet paper and then thoroughly enjoyed the freedom of flushing those thoughts down the toilet. Literally flushing away the negativity!
You can free-journal in your notes on your phone, in a file on your computer, on scrap paper, with chalk on the driveway (probably best to hose it off if some of the language or content may offend, upset or trigger others), or in a journal — it really doesn’t matter.
Free-journaling is whatever you need it to be! Give it a go. You’ll be surprised what you can create!
Love and light,
* Results from BAM may vary. Strict adherence to the program is required for best results.