top of page

Writing For Well-being?

Updated: Feb 22, 2023

Have you tried journalling?

I've always enjoyed writing, but I never got into writing a diary and I used to think journalling was just the latest word for diary, so it sort of passed me by.

Then I was bought a book for my birthday last year - Wanderful by David Pearl. All about urban walking and observations that get your brain out of its rut and looking at things differently - a great way to sort out problems, come up with ideas and make connections, apparently!

And it was fascinating. Not only was the idea intriguing, but the author has made all the resources open source - meaning they are free to all and anyone can set up one of these 'Street Wisdom' workshops.

So, I checked and coincidentally there was a workshop the following week. I booked on. Myself and two other women joined the lovely Nicky Torode, in Hastings, and had a fantastic morning. At the end of the workshop, one of the girls said to me - You should join our journalling group!' I thought, that sounds lovely. But then did nothing about it............

A couple of weeks later I went to another of Nicky's workshops, this one was one of her own journalling workshops. And I loved it. And again, there were two women within the group who caught me afterwards and said - You really should join our journalling group!

At this point I thought - someone is really trying to give me a strong message here, I think I should join their group!

So I did, and this amazing group of gorgeous women, who had been journalling together for some time, welcomed me in as if I had always been a part of it. And despite the fact that I had never journalled and was very much in awe of the way they looked at the world and expressed themselves, I gave it a go.

The lovely thing about journalling is it is an expression of your thoughts - there are no rules (despite what some like to imply). You don't have to spend hours writing about why you are so grateful for every little thing in your life or being tediously positive, but the process of taking a random thought out of your head and seeing where it takes you is amazingly cathartic.

You might start writing about one thing and end up somewhere completely different. It's a bit like self-counselling, on the page. It is private - you choose whether you share or not and you can go wherever you need to go with it.

Sometimes it is surprising, memories or ideas pop up out of nowhere as you gently let the thought patterns flow in their own way, in their own time.

Sometimes, as I did this week, you notice patterns in your thinking, and observations which can make you challenge yourself about where you are going, or how you go about things?

As an example, I realised that over the last three months I had regularly written about events which had forced me to slow down, and how much I had benefited from that change of pace. It really was a little light-bulb moment for me when I made that connection. It made me reflect on my usual way of running full tilt at the world and question whether I should slow it down - I think I answered my own question when I read back over my jouranl entries.

I've found my journalling sessions have become a highlight. Partly, because the group I have been welcomed into are so kind and fun, and make me look at things froma different angle, but also because it is a safe way to take the inside of your head and look at it - a problem which seems huge when it's tucked inside, suddenly shrinks and becomes manageable when taken out and written down - you can see it for what it is. Ideas can take shape, memories become clearer or better understood, reflections can become actions for change.

Like meditation, I'm better having my journalling guided. I enjoy the structure of having a theme, and that the theme is just a springboard to kick-start your brain. I enjoy being asked questions that I wouldn't ask myself and the challenge of thinking about things in a different way. I find it relaxing and cathartic, it empties my head of things that don't need to be stored up there all the time.

I don't journal much outside of the workshops, but I did find on my last holiday, I suddenly needed to write some stuff down. I had taken my notebook and pen just in case and I spent a happy morning on the terrace, overlooking the sea, scribbling down all these ideas I had for the blog - funnily enough, journalling wasn't one of them! But the act of putting all the other ideas down on paper, inspired me to write about it after all.

So, if your head feels too full and you can't sort through the noise, why not try getting it down on paper and seeing where it takes you?


bottom of page