Healing Negative Childhood Memories With Journaling
Have you ever found yourself confronting painful memories of situations you experienced when growing up? Remembering these situations can be like re-opening old wounds and feeling the same emotions over and over again.
Fortunately, you can use some very productive strategies to help you heal. One of those strategies is journaling - writing down how you feel and think.
Try these journaling techniques to help you resolve the pain of negative childhood memories:
1. Write about what you thought and felt.
Going back in time, ponder what the negative situations were like for you. Did you feel embarrassed when Dad pointed out your teeth to people?
Were you angry about Mom's consistent efforts to make you stand up straighter and taller? Write it down.
2. What are your current thoughts and feelings?
Next, use your current "adult mind" to take a look at the situation the best you can. What does your adult mind tell you about what really happened?
Maybe you see things more clearly now. Was Mom or Dad's goal to simply make you a "better person?" Jot down your current interpretation of the situation.
3. Document how the challenging situations affected you then.
How did you react as a child to what happened? How did you make sense of the trying situations then? Who, if anyone, did you talk to about the troublesome times? Mention them in your journal.
4. Ponder how the hurtful events from the past affect you now.
See if you can make any connections between your past and present. Make a conscious decision to better manage your feelings and behavioral choices now. Write down how you can manage your emotions differently.
5. Vow to gain understanding.
If it was a situation when your parent did something that you just couldn't understand, can you make sense of it now?
Maybe your father didn't make you stay home from a trip to punish you - perhaps he thought you'd be exposed to something unsavory or even unsafe and he was hoping to protect you.
Explore these possible explanations through writing in your journal.
6. Re-write your history.
Re-construct your childhood on paper how you would have liked it to be.
It's a learning experience to formulate how you would have liked your growing up years to have been different. Re-writing your history can also help you heal.
7. Make a conscious decision to overcome your past.
Whatever your old hurts, decide to disconnect them from your current life. This effort must be made consciously and with great thought. Write down how you can release yourself.
8. Recognize these events were in the past.
As you record your thoughts and feelings, make note of how long ago the situation or events occurred. Label them as "in the past" in your journal.
Start a new section called, "In the present" and write about how you'll respond to those types of hurts now.
9. Formulate a plan to let it go and move on.
In your writings, consider steps you might take to move on in your life and live more openly and without being tethered to your historic pain.
10. Give yourself permission to release the old, negative emotions.
In your journal, jot down that you no longer have to carry the hurt. Allow yourself permission to leave it behind you.
You can even draw a picture of the tangled web of feelings and state you're leaving all the pain right there between the lines of your journal.
Expressing yourself with pen and paper, or even on a computer, will help you discharge your troublesome feelings and move on with your goals.
Live your best life now by using journaling to help heal old wounds.
Learn more here about Journaling for Beginners
Find Peace and Happiness
When you start journaling your life, you begin to find all of these amazing benefits. It is wonderful for your mental, physical, and emotional health.
These benefits might take a little while to become apparent, so be patient! And don’t force yourself to feel or experience something you think you should be experiencing. Just let it come naturally.
One of our favorite benefits of journaling is the ability to truly become a happier and more peaceful person.
This is through the act of journaling, the clarity you get, creating plans for the future, and so much more. Here is a quick look at how you can become a happier and more content person with journaling.It’s Not Meant to Be Perfect
The first thing to remember is that journaling is not meant to be perfect. It is not something you need to do a certain way and there is no “right” way to do it. But that’s the beauty of it – it becomes whatever you need it to be.
This is at the forefront of finding more peace with journaling, because there is no pressure.
You are not showing your journal to anyone (unless you want to), so you can write anything and everything you want without worrying about the repercussions.
Your journal is your private sanctuary, your safe haven, the one place you can go to where you can express all your inner thoughts and hopes and fears without worrying about judgment or ridicule.
This provides so much power for your life, allowing you to become a much more
peaceful person, and ultimately, a happier person.Expert Tip – Keeping Your Journal Private
If this is something you hope to get out of your journaling experience, keep it private!
Either don’t tell people you have it or always keep it with you or in a safe place. Knowing nobody can find your journal and read it makes it even more freeing for you. Journaling for Mindful Thinking
The next way journaling can help you become a happier person is through mindful
Mindfulness is all about living in the current moment and acknowledging what you feel right now, whether it is good or bad.
You take each moment to reflect on your current mental and physical state, without worrying too much about the future or dwelling on the past.
It is used in many different scenarios, with some people doing mindful meditation on a daily basis, while others practice mindfulness for things like weight loss (mindful eating) or just mindful thinking as they go throughout their day.
It is an amazing tool for your mental and emotional wellbeing.How do You Use it in Journaling?
Something to keep in mind is that you don’t need to try to be mindful while journaling, because the act of writing in your journal alone will become a more mindful experience.
However, here are some tips for being more mindful as you journal:
Take a minute to think about your thoughts first. There is no need to rush into
writing in your journal if you have a little extra time.
Take a few minutes to just sit quietly, close your eyes, and explore what your mind is providing you.
It will typically guide you in one direction or another, giving you clues as to what is a priority right now in your thought process.
Journal about what you are feeling at this very moment before going into the past
or future. Yes, there are a lot of benefits to journaling about what you have gone through, remembering important moments in your life, and making plans for the future.
But for mindful journaling, always start with the present and what you are experiencing at this point in your life before exploring other moments.
When making plans, think of what you can change NOW. Another way to be more
mindful in your journaling process is to think of what you can change now, or in the near future, as opposed to what you can do in 6 months or a year or longer.
As you make plans and set your goals for the future, always start with the present day and circumstances right now in your life.
Allow yourself to be grateful for your current life. A big part of being mindful is understanding, acknowledging, and appreciating how you feel right now.
Listen to what your mind is telling you, feel those emotions, be grateful for your life, then move on.Express Gratitude
Speaking of gratitude, this is another amazing benefit you get by journaling.
Sometimes it can seem a little counter-intuitive, but when you are more thankful for what is in your life, it brings in even more happiness and more things to be grateful for.Never underestimate the power of gratitude.
No matter where your life is now, you have something to be grateful for. There are big things and small things, and everything in between. Here are some examples, though what YOU are grateful for is going to be unique for YOU.
* You have steady employment – whether it is your dream job or not.
* Your personal/family life is going well.
* You got up today.
* Your illness is improving.
* You have amazing friends in your life.
* You accomplished something today.
* You are working hard on your goals.
* You have all the basic comforts people need.
* You had help with a big problem you were experiencing.
* Your faith is helping to bring you peace in a dark time.
Remember nothing is too small or insignificant. How to Express Gratitude in Your Journal
This part is easy – just write it down! Some people will have a journal specifically dedicated to their daily gratitude, but this isn’t necessary.
If you are journaling your life and writing in it every day, you can have one section each day where you list at least one thing you are grateful for today.
This is also going to help with mindfulness.
Don’t feel too much pressure to make it long and detailed. Just a simple sentence about something you are grateful for today is all you need.
Learn more here about Journaling for Beginners