"Write hard and clear about what hurts."
- Earnest Hemmingway
A good way to explore verbal self-expression is to practice daily journal writing for 15 minutes or more each day. Regular writing practice is a form of self-therapy to explore your thoughts and feelings through words.
Expressive journal writing can elucidate problematic thinking patterns and illuminate the deeper beliefs that are not serving you.
To begin, relax your body and close your eyes. Empty your mind and place your attention within. Simply wait. As your thoughts come into your head, write them down without worrying about whether they make sense.
Do not censor. No thought is irrelevant. You can choose to write fast, so as to not overthink, or filter, your writing, or write very slowly, allowing each thought to arrive from your depths.
Benefits of Expressive Journal Writing:
1. Having a safe place (your private journal) to express your authentic voice allows you to practice honest self-expression.
2. Clarifying thoughts and feelings deepens your connection to your deeper preferences, dreams and goals.
3. Knowing yourself better through daily writing will help you to better discern what situations and people feel toxic to you.
4. Writing about intensely charged thoughts helps to release stress, and release painful emotions.
Expressive Journaling Tips:
Buddhist and writer Natalie Goldberg shares how a daily intuitive writing practice can inspire the growth of your authentic voice:
1.) Lose Control. Say what you want to say. Do not worry if it is polite, correct, or appropriate. Just let it rip.
2.) Be specific. Don't muddy your language with generalities.
3.) Don't think. Write down your first thoughts. Go with what first flashes into your mind.
4.) Don't worry about punctuation, spelling and grammar.
6. Be free to write the worst junk.
7.) Go for the jugular. Write about what is scary. That is where the energy is. Otherwise you spend all of your time writing around what makes you nervous.