6 Benefits of Journaling Through Grief and 6 Prompts to Get You Started
Writing down your thoughts on paper can be a powerful healing process. It helps you acknowledge loss while also moving on from grief. Journaling how you feel about a specific event or person is a beneficial way to tap into your own resources and find the answers you need through self-awareness. Studies have shown that not only can the ritual of journaling aid in emotional healing, but can also provide physical healing as well.
Here are 6 benefits of journaling:
- Journaling helps you learn and solve issues.
Through journaling, solutions to problems can often present themselves as you work them out on the written page. As you continue, you may naturally look for solutions and ways to move forward in grief. Reflecting on what you have learned from challenging life experiences can often bring new insight that aids you in healing.
- Improves how you communicate with others.
We can become more self-aware through journaling. Putting our thoughts into words helps us express ourselves better by labelling how we are feeling, especially when its complicated grief. In turn, this can help us better communicate our feelings with others and be better understood.
- Moves you towards your goals.
Expressive writing can help you identify what you want to achieve through your grief process—or what your limited beliefs might be that are getting in the way of healing. It might be about letting go, trying new things, or putting negative feelings to rest. Setting goals through navigating your time of loss can also help you feel in control of your own grief journey, and a journal can motivate you to commit to your goals through writing them down.
- Improves mood.
If you can’t talk to someone about your grief, writing down your emotions and fears can help you release what you’re feeling in a healthy way. Putting thoughts on paper can bring clarity and perspective, and the knowledge that you won’t always feel this way. Sometimes negative thoughts and emotions can cycle over and over in our minds and writing them down can help us let them go, thereby reducing stress and anxiety.
- Is a form of self-acceptance.
Journaling puts you face-to-face with your true self. Allowing your words to flow is very freeing. It’s a place where it doesn’t matter what others think. It’s just you and the page. Writing honestly about how you feel is a way of accepting yourself. It can lead to releasing negative thoughts that are holding you back from moving on through the grief process.
- Enables mindfulness.
Expressing yourself in the written word, pushes you to pay attention and be present in the moment. This kind of mindfulness can make you not only more aware of your surroundings, but yourself as well. And being in the present can help you leave behind a negative track of ruminating over the past and worrying about the future.
Here are 6 journal prompts to get started:
- Write about how you are feeling in the moment.
By expressing your current emotional state, you may be able to figure out why you feel a certain way and what you can do about it.
- Write about family traditions.
Reflect on positive traditions that are a part of your family legacy and what you cherish about these.
- Practice Gratitude.
List things, events, and people that you’re grateful for in your life. Go into detail about why you feel grateful for them.
- Engage in Joy.
Write down the activities that bring you joy and why. Reflect on new activities you’d like to try to bring yourself more joy.
- Write a letter to a loved one lost.
Expressing your feelings will help you appreciate this person even more and be grateful you had them in your life, even if for a short while.
- Memories that make you laugh.
Reflect on the times with a loved one gone that made you feel good. What made you laugh about these situations and why?
Timing your journal sessions can help you stick to a structured routine and motivate you to stick with it. Over time, expressing your written thoughts and experiences about a loss can help you create order around the chaos of your grief. Through a regular journaling routine, you can review your pages from the beginning and discover the progress you’ve made on your journey.