You do not need to have a mental illness, live in poverty, or be involved in criminal activity to have problems! Everyone has them and everyone, at some point in their life, feels like no one understands. I know that I have been there! So what do I do when I am on the verge of breaking down? I grab my journal and my pen, the two things in my life that always listen and never judge. It seems that my method of coping is quite common. I found a great article that talks about teens, like me, who use journals to deal with their everyday problems.
Humberto Zavala had problems with violence. He solved his problems through fighting and other aggressive behaviors. You don’t make a lot of friends that way, but you do make a lot of trouble. One day Zavala was near his breaking point, and just picked up a pen and started to write. It almost happened instinctively. Now when he is angry he uses his pen instead of his fists. His journal allowed him to channel his anger in a creative and productive way.
So why does it seem to work for so many people? Joan Neubauer, author of The Idiot’s Guide to Journaling, seems to think it has something to do with acceptance.
You don’t want to say or do the wrong thing for fear of ridicule. A diary is the place to get acceptance.
Ana Garcia, a life long journal keeper, says that she uses her journal when she does not feel like talking to people.
I just feel sometimes that maybe they won’t understand, that I just need to write it down instead of talking to someone. They might take it in another way that I don’t think is the correct way, so I just write it in my journal.
How true. When you are a teenager it is hard to talk to your parents and friends about drugs, sex, peer pressure and love. A journal gives teens a place to do this. The article moves on to talk about how many people are now using blogging instead of journaling, but for the same purpose. Blogging isn’t as personal as a journal, but it does allow for human feedback and connection. I think journals can be excellent tools for education! As a future English teacher I know how important it is to give students time to write! This is a perfect way to give them that valuable “free-writing” time, and it also gives them an outlet for all their problems, worries, concerns, dreams, fears, and creative energy! Students can also use their entries as ideas for their various writing assignments. It is a great place to practice writing and many people who start journals continue to write in them throughout their life. It becomes habit. We have accomplished a lot, as future educators, if we can get our students to be lifelong writers.
Full ArticleLohnes, Kate. “Journey with Journaling.” The Monitor. 21 March 2007.