Stream of Consciousness Writing
"Write hard and clear about what hurts."
- Earnest Hemmingway
A good way to deepen emotional healing is to practice daily journal writing for 15-30 minutes each day. Regular writing practice is a form of self-therapy that supports to explore your thoughts and feelings.
Expressive journal writing can elucidate problematic thinking patterns and illuminate the deeper beliefs that are not serving you.
To begin, relax your body and close your eyes. Empty your mind and place your attention within. Simply wait. As your thoughts come into your head, write them down without worrying about whether or not they make sense.
Do not censor. No thought is irrelevant. You can choose to write fast, to avoid overthinking and filtering your writing. Or, write very slowly, allowing each thought to arrive from your depths.
Benefits of Expressive Journal Writing
1. Having a safe place (your private journal) to express your authentic voice helps you to practice honest self-expression.
2. Clarifying thoughts and feelings deepen your connection to your preferences, dreams, and goals.
3. Knowing yourself through daily writing supports you to better discern what situations and people feel toxic to you.
4. Writing about intensely charged thoughts helps to release stress and painful emotions.
Expressive Journaling Tips:
Writer Natalie Goldberg shares how a daily intuitive writing practice can inspire the growth of your authentic voice:
1.) Lose Control. Say what you want to say. Do not worry if it is polite, correct, or appropriate. Just let it rip.
2.) Be specific. Don't muddy your language with generalities.
3.) Don't think. Write down your first thoughts. Go with what first flashes into your mind.
4.) Don't worry about punctuation, spelling and grammar.
6. Be free to write the worst junk.
7.) Go for the jugular. Write about what is scary. That is where the energy is. Otherwise, you spend all of your time writing around what makes you nervous.
Processing Your Writing Sessions
Here are two good ways to more deeply process your stream of consciousness writing sessions:
Read immediately. To amplify your honest self-expression, it is helpful to read your writing out loud right after a writing session.
Read when your journal is finished. I like to read through my stream of consciousness writing after my journal is complete. I go through my entire journal, and circle and underline common themes with colorful pens. I often write a conclusion at the end of my journal to contemplate my next steps.