‘I feel comforted when I write down what’s going on in my head’ – The power of journaling

The simple act of penning down thoughts connected, disconnected, immediately begins to alleviate one’s feelings of anxiety, anger, sadness or gloom. Simply, it starts creating some space in an overcrowded mind and can help you make sense of what is going on in your life.

I presently work as a therapist, coach and a counsellor and I have personally practised, experienced and seen the genuine effect journaling has had on me.

For the last seven years, since my mother passed painfully due to cancer, it’s been a time where I struggled with depression, anxiety, profound worry and fatigue. I also found myself alone not because I didn’t have any family but because I became unable to talk to the people around me. I struggled with so much anger at the way things were shaping up, the apathy of doctors, struggle with money for my mother’s treatment, and so much more. I didn’t have the courage or the strength for dialogue, and I feared judgement and conflict. I was prejudiced and felt that no one really cared so they wouldn’t understand.

I quite accidently began to scribble on a torn piece of paper while waiting outside the ICU and then forgot about it but that very night I felt the urge to do it again and again and again. Much to my surprise I began to feel a comfort and solace every time I wrote down what was going on in my head. I did not realise it but my pen and notepad became my friends, and remain so until this day.

This one habit has held me in good stead since then and in more ways than one has been instrumental in my growth as a person. Journaling empowered me with a courage I never knew I had. I slowly began to open my world to people around me, many I knew and quite a few that I didn’t. I had always been a guarded individual till then and never allowed any person a peep into my world. I myself was surprised that my guards came crashing down, and yet I began to surface as a calmer, happier and more authentic person. Through the process of journaling an innocence and honesty arose in me that reaches across to people and in turn has continued to heal me from within.

I am today more forthcoming, confident and fearless. It no longer bothers me as to how I am being perceived by people around me. My internal connection and conversations with myself are productive and have grown, as they are also more honest. Journaling gave me the power to not succumb to fear and negativity.

It would be incorrect to suggest that I do not have my low days or that I do not feel sad, angry or hurt, I do but I now have the most effective tool to help myself heal and bounce back soon, sometimes in a matter of minutes too. Journaling had helped me make more sense of my mind and inner dialogue. It has given me a wider vision and ultimately has made me more rational and a more peaceful person.

These last few years have been both transformative and reformative. I was so caught up in a warp of my own messy thoughts and limiting stories as would be the case with quite a few of us.

As a therapist and a change maker, I recommend journaling across all sections of people. It gives me so much joy when I see clients, friends and family re-examine their stories as well as limiting beliefs that have held them back from experiencing happiness and peace, it is absolutely thrilling to see these lovely people getting ready to explore new ways of being.

I strongly recommend this form of therapy to each one of you, starting with just five to ten minutes each day. It will help you discover things about yourself, it will support you to make sense of what’s going on for you, and it will connect you on a deeper level with the real you. It is cathartic and magical!

Dr. Deepti Kathpalia
Dr. Deepti Kathpalia
Dr Deepti Kathpalia is a Psychotherapist, Counsellor, NLP Master Practitioner an experienced mental health professional and has been working in the field of counselling and therapy for the last 10 years. She has worked as a senior school counsellor in St Columba’s School, New Delhi.