How to Use a Journal to Vent
Writing in a journal is a healthy and safe way to express your feelings. Emotions, thoughts and feelings can build up inside of us and they are going to come out one way or the other when there is no more room for other emotions.
To avoid saying or doing something you might soon regret, such as hurting others physically or emotionally, use a journal to effectively vent.
5 Steps to Use a Journal to Vent
1. Set a time to write in your journal every day.
Make sure you are completely alone while you write. If you have children you probably want to wait until they are sleeping so you can completely focus on your writing. It is always best if you write in your journal every day, and at the same time every day.
Before going to sleep might be a good time to vent in your journal, because you would usually have a few minutes to yourself.
2. Hide your journal.
Venting in your journal needs to be completely personal. No one should be able to read it–no one. Find a hiding spot for your journal where no one would find it.
You can let your spouse know you have one, but ask that he not read it to give you the privacy you need. To vent your feelings properly, you should not have to think about what anyone else would think if they read it.
3. Avoid going too long without using your journal, or you could feel the difference.
Procrastination happens to all of us. You might forget to write in your journal or not have time on some days. That is alright, but get right back to using your journal to vent the next day. Do not wait any longer. Get a pen and start writing. Use something to remind you to write in your journal, such as a post-it note or a day planner.
4. Consult with your counselor if you want to share your journal with someone.
Your counselor is a neutral person who can help you decipher what you have written down. However, if you do not want to share it with anyone, don’t.
5. Write without thinking.
It might sound weird to say, but the best way to get your feelings out is to just write. It doesn’t have to be fascinating prose–it is only for you, not to be read by others or published. Just let your hand write without thinking about it too much. Let the feelings and emotions flow through your pen into your journal.
Tips and Warnings
- Choose a hardcover journal for the best quality.
- Allow your emotions to come out naturally onto the paper. You shouldn’t have to force them. When your journal is all filled up it is time to buy a new one.
- But, what will you do with the old one? Well, some people like to keep and collect their journals for sentimental reasons.
- I prefer and recommend that you destroy them.
- There really is no need to go back and read everything you wrote, especially since the journal is for venting your feelings only. Burn it, shred it or toss it.
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