This is a question I get asked a lot. And I always respond by asking:
How often do you "NEED" to journal?
Journaling is something you can do as a regular habit - say, every day as part of your morning routine or part of your wind-down evening routine - and/or it can be part of your emergency
Let me talk you through the way journaling helped me manage difficult feelings
Take yesterday. I received some bad news that sent me into a bit of a tailspin. First of all, I just froze where I was and thought angry thoughts, then I went to the fridge and reached for cheese (my emotional eating food of first choice), then I went outside in the sunshine and had a good cry.
And just has I could feel myself starting to freeze into angry and helpless feelings again, I dug out my journal, set a timer for three minutes and just wrote. The physical action of getting the journal and writing gave me a sense of agency as well as making my body move (it's harder to feel stuck when you make mindful movements) and the results of the writing helped me to unpack why I was so upset.
I allowed myself to feel the layers of disappointment, the dashed hopes, the thwarted dreams and plans.
Journaling in that moment was an opportunity to validate my feelings and mourn something that had "gone"; and was out of my control.
Journaling helped me to get clear enough to work out what was really important and to find options of what to do next
After that I knew I needed contact and caring; I had a good conversation with my son who calmly listened and offered constructive support. And then I went out for dinner with a good friend and neighbour, who offered wine and her own special brand of wisdom.
So here's to feeling all our feelings and knowing what we need to get back on an even keel
If you want a guiding hand to start journaling, check out this link for a free 20 minute video on Journaling for Kindness and Self-compassion.