About this Journaling Series by Eric Maisel

Inspired by Contributors to The Great Book of Journaling

This series of guest blog posts on various topics related to journaling, was created for a series called “Journaling for Men” that appears on the Good Men Project blog. It is designed to help everyone, and especially men who may be unfamiliar with journaling, learn how daily journaling can help them improve their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. It brings together ideas from two of Eric’s recent books, Redesign Your Mind, in which I describe how you can upgrade and redesign “the room that is your mind,” and our co-edited book The Great Book of Journaling, in which we gathered contributions from scores of journal experts and enthusiasts. Please enjoy this series.

We hope that you’ll begin to include journaling as part of your daily self-awareness and self-care program.

Series collected by Eric Maisel. Chapter excerpt below written by Sandra Marinella.

Journaling To Grow and Heal

Journaling helps us reflect, grow, and heal. In her chapter for The Great Book of Journaling, Sandra Marinella describes how she benefits from her lifelong journaling process. Sandra explained:

Journals have been with us for as far back as we can trace writing. Humans have used them for release, catharsis, problem solving, healing, personal growth and ultimately personal transformation.

As a young high school teacher, I embraced journaling not only for my personal use, but I began using journaling every day in all five of my high school classrooms. I started each class with five or possibly ten minutes devoted to exploring a thought, an idea, or a reading. The experience helped transform my teaching into Socratic dialogue, and it helped my students become reflective, careful thinkers and participants in meaningful discussion. Our journaling and discussions helped us learn and grow each day.

Journaling Through Illness

In 2012 when I made the journey through my own breast cancer as well as my son’s difficult cancer, I wrote copious notes in my journal. As I recovered from a double mastectomy, I was struck by how journaling works. In my cancer journal, I scrawled, “Our words create us. Our stories create us. Our journal writing can recreate us.”

I began digging through closets and unearthed twenty-seven journals. I am not a prolific journal writer, but the journals I had kept since age nine held powerful insights. I left full-time teaching and committed myself to researching and writing about the gifts writing can give to us–especially if we learn to understand and use our journals intentionally for personal growth.

Journaling To Process Life and It’s Transitions

From my stack of old journals, I realized that I used journaling for documenting my existence as a child. For discovering my voice as a teen. For catharsis when I fell in or out of love. But I also learned as I grew into adulthood that I used journaling to help work my way out of an idea stuck in my head, a rumination. Once I began to recognize this pattern in myself, I began to consciously change that pattern and approach a rumination as a problem to be solved. Journal writing became a great tool for this. As I have aged, I have come to see my journal writing as largely for reflection and personal growth.

How will you use your journal? And how will you benefit from it? The benefits are waiting!

Get your copy of The Great Book of Journaling: How Journal Writing Can Support a Life of Wellness, Creativity, Meaning and Purpose

Discover many different journaling techniques, prompts, and activities that can support you to enrich your life and health with journaling.

Buy now and be inspired to journal!

Great Book of Journaling

About the Authors:

This blog article is inspired and informed by Sandra’s chapter entitled Journaling for Personal Growth in The Great Book of Journaling.

Sandra Marinella is an award-winning writing teacher and author. She has taught writing and story-sharing to thousands of students, professionals, veterans, and cancer patients. When she faced cancer, she wrote The Story You Need to Tell, an acclaimed and inspirational guide on writing to heal and transform. She teaches at Integrative Health at Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, where a study has established the effectiveness of her methods to reduce stress and pain and to dramatically improve moods and wellbeing. She speaks and gives workshops on the power of our stories and personal writing to heal and grow our lives. You can learn more at www.storyyoutell.com or write her at sandra@storyyoutell.com.

Eric Maisel collected this blog post series and is the author of over fifty books. He writes the “Rethinking Mental Health” blog for Psychology Today (with 2.5 million views), blogs for Thrive Global, Fine Art America, and The Good Men Project, and has recently developed a contemporary philosophy of life called kirism, which he introduced in Lighting the Way.

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