The following is reposted from my professional site over at Seattlecounselor.org–a bit ironic considering my lack of blog entries in Q4 2010. Happy New Year all!
One of the key elements of wellness is developing self-awareness. Many of us are prone to anxiety and the hidden traps that sometimes accompany anxiety. One of these traps is perseveration. Sometimes individuals who struggle with anxiety repeat or focus on the same thought or worry over and over again.
One of my favorite ways to challenge “internalized perseveration” is to ask my clients to journal. The art of journaling provides the individual with a tangible way to capture a troubling “rogue” thought that keeps running around in your brain (bumping into other more useful thoughts and generally making a nuisance of themselves). I often utilize imagery from the Harry Potter movies with my clients. I compare the process of journaling to that of wizard Dumbledore taking his magical wand and pulling a memory out of his head and depositing the memory in the “pensieve” where it can be kept, relived, and reviewed at the memory holder’s convenience.
New to journaling? Try these exercises as a way to start your journal. Are you a pro at journaling? Why not think about adding a new element to your journaling such as creating a journaling scrapbook, photos or even starting a blog so that you can share your thoughts with others.
Regardless of how you choose to “capture” your rogue thoughts the process of journaling can be a great adjunct activity to almost any formal therapeutic work you might be engaged in.