"When I am stuck with a painful situation or problem that I don’t think I know how to handle, I will go to the pages and ask for guidance.” – Julia Cameron, Author of The Artist’s Way
Creativity is a practice, like meditation or yoga. A simple and effective way to express your innate creativity is through journaling – the simple act of putting a pen to paper.
There’s no right time or structure to journaling – just grant yourself full freedom to express whatever you feel in the moment, in whatever way you feel like expressing it. As you let yourself become completely immersed in your writing, you might slip into a flow state.
Through the journaling process, you learn more and more about your internal world while tracking the patterns of your emotions overtime. Renowned psychiatrist Carl Jung dedicated his life to studying the “shadow self”. Journaling is a super accessible way for your shadow self to be revealed, allowing you to tap into more aspects of yourself – including your unconscious desires.
The Artist’s Way author Julia Cameron created the “morning pages method” – a way to reveal your unconscious thoughts in journaling. Cameron’s method is based on writing first thing in the morning, when your stream of consciousness naturally flows out onto the page. Repeating this ritual every morning carves out time and space for your creative self. This act allows lingering thoughts from the previous night to release and gives you a fresh wave of clarity for your day ahead.
Neurologically, journaling unleashes your right “artist brain” creativity while the analytical, left side of your brain is occupied on completing the task of writing with your hand. It forms new associations by yoking together images to invoke meaning into our lives. Thus, giving yourself the time of day to connect with yourself, a pen and piece of paper, is an easy way to retrieve your inner creativity when searching for it.
Scientific evidence backs the benefits of journaling – physically, mentally, and emotionally. Listed below are five long-term health benefits that arise from putting a pen to paper:
Stress Reducer – writing for only 15 to 20 minutes a day over the course of a 4-month period was enough to lower blood pressure & improve liver function.
Immunity Booster – the healing powers of expressive writing is so expansive that it physically strengthens your immune cells & decreases your risk of catching an illness.
Memory Improvement – journaling daily improves cognitive processing - increasing working memory capacity, sharpening your memory and improving comprehension.
Mood Uplifter – psychological studies show measurable increases in emotional well-being and happiness as a direct outcome of practicing journaling.
Emotional Growth – journaling strengthens your overall emotional health; it evokes mindfulness and helps you get further in touch with your inner desires and needs.
Remember – your words are a form of action, capable of influencing change. When you open yourself up to your creativity, many gentle but powerful changes are to be expected. Journaling is a pivotal tool in liberating the creative areas of yourself that you have long ignored or even been blind to. By taking the time to care and cultivate your relationship with your creativity, you might find yourself experiencing a spiritual awakening.
At Practice Shraddha, we offer classes to help you recognize, nurture, and open up to your inner artist. Our journaling classes under the Creative Expression category will guide you in finding and expressing the creative spirit that lies within.
Our first class here is a basic tool that can be used in achieving creative recovery. This morning class can be introduced as part of your daily routine to invoke meaning to your everyday life and bring you further in touch with your artist brain.
Our second class here will teach you to recognize and resolve fear and strengthen your confidence by journaling. The purpose of this exercise is to find clarity and resilience during difficult times – a common experience, now more than ever, with the constant uncertainty and change in the world as result of the ongoing pandemic.
We are constantly adding new journaling and creative outlets to our site so stay tuned and sign up for your free 7-day trial to explore Shraddha if you haven’t already.