Letters to Myself

Journaling is an ancient act. Cave drawings from history prove that humans have always had a yearning to record their actions, thoughts, and deeds. Journaling is a way to preserve your personal history.

When you begin journaling, understand that the words you are writing are just for you. They will not be shared or published. You don't have to worry about spelling, grammar, or punctuation. Write what you feel about a situation, an event, your present state in life, or your desires, wishes, and hopes.

Journaling is therapeutic. It allows for reflection on and healing of the past, projections for the future, and allows you to talk with yourself. Expressing your emotions on paper can help you feel less anxiety and depression.

Your journal does not have to be a pricey leather-bound book with gold embossed letters. It does not have to be a formal diary with lock and key. It can be a spiral-bound composition book, loose-leaf notebook paper, or a legal pad.

Journaling should be a stress-free event. You should not feel pressured to write anything. You don't have to worry about writing once or twice a day, but once you begin, you'll welcome the time in late evenings, early mornings, or quiet lunches to have a conversation with yourself.

The content of your journal can be anything from your thoughts on the day, to a letter to an old adversary that you never plan to mail. It can be a letter to your child who is moving away or a letter to a child not yet born. The topics are limitless and completely of your choosing.

When beginning your conversation with yourself, consider the following tips:

  • Don't pressure yourself to write; it must be of your free will.

  • If you have trouble beginning, comment on a quote or article you read.

  • Use dialogue writing (a conversation with you and someone else).

  • Date your entries.

  • Keep your journal in a private place.

  • Don't censor your own words; what comes out, comes out.

  • Reread your journal from time to time.

  • By speaking with yourself on a regular basis, you will create a positive way to keep track of your feelings, your thoughts, your desires, your frustrations, your setbacks, your successes, and your innermost workings. This is your history; write it for you.

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