Journaling

Brain Injury Blog by Janelle Breese Biagioni

April 11, 2011

Journaling

Keeping a journal has many benefits. The most obvious is that is a way to record time, keep track of our accomplishments, disappointments and transformations. The added benefits are very therapeutic. For example, keeping a journal to record your feelings and thoughts provides the writer with a safe, non-judgemental place to work through what is going on for them. If keeping a journal to help you or someone you know work through their feelings, here are some basic guidelines to follow:

  • The journal is private property and unless the invitation is extended, it is for the writer’s eyes only.
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  • Include a statement like the following in the front of the journal: This journal is a record of my private thoughts. It is not intended to hurt anyone. It is intended to help me heal. Please respect my privacy and do not read.
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  • Pace yourself when writing about deep emotional pain. Do this by giving yourself permission to stop at the end of a page or two pages. Fold the page over from the outside to the binding to indicate to you that this was painful piece of work and you may not want to read it again.
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  • Do not judge while writing in a journal. Do not worry about your grammar, spelling or punctuation. This is a place to safely tuck your innermost thoughts and feelings. Getting hung up on the “mechanics of writing” will interfere with the process.
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  • Use different coloured pens and pencils for added flair.
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  • Draw pictures or glue photos/images and words into the journal.
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  • Set aside private time to write in your journal. Ask to not be disturbed. Turn off the phone and go someplace very quiet and serene.
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  • After you finish journaling, take some time to ease back into your daily routine. Sip hot tea, take a bath, or go for a brisk walk.

One response to “Journaling”

  1. Marie G. Cooney says:

    Thanks Janelle!

    Couldn’t agree more. I like having a large artist book for journaling with pictures and/or words. Being a TBI survivor, I never know which will be more accessable to me on any particular day. As I like to tell people, it doesn’t matter if pictures or words help you communicate (with others or for yourself). I also tell people I used to be embarrassed that I lost spelling post injury. If my brain makes work finding errors, it only makes sense this also applies to spelling. I had to get over the fact that I’m a college graduate, former teacher, and writer who can’t spell as well I did prior to my injuries. I look forward to future postings.

    Marie G. Cooney
    TBI Survivor

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