Journaling is constantly talked about as an A1 habit for mental health. Yet, every time I sit down, journal in hand, I constantly find myself trying to make the entry sound as aesthetic as the narration from Sex and the City. Don’t even get me started on my messy handwriting and how crazy it will drive me. My accidental hyper-focused approach to journaling takes all the R&R right out of it.
Free writing was taught in my English class as a method for brainstorming. It’s a practice of non-stop thought dumping onto paper where grammar, spelling, and the basic rules of writing are of zero importance. Essentially, you write every single thought that pops into your brain while simultaneously not thinking too much into what/how you are writing. It can go anywhere from “Today was the worst day of all time” to “Currently craving an iced vanilla latte.” I set a timer for around 15-30 minutes to help with the awkward questioning of when I should stop. Once you get in the groove, your subconscious starts to reveal itself through following your natural train of thought- which is exactly why there was no hesitation in my decision to attempt a more personal freewrite.
Once you stop writing, you can quite literally reread your thoughts and in a way, get to know your mind better. Maybe you’ll learn something about yourself or your emotions that you weren’t aware of before. You’ll be able to see if you tend to be too negative or talk down on yourself a little too much and so on. From here, you can find the places that need some 1-on-1 work and improvement. My #1 tip is to go into writing as openly and honestly as you possibly can. Being vulnerable with yourself is what makes free writing your feelings so helpful!