“Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom.” — Tao Te Ching

Journaling, or self-confession, is a contemplative ancient tradition that continues to be an excellent method of self-therapy today. As we write about thoughts, dreams, desires and feelings, self-awareness increases, tapping into the unconscious mind and nurturing a deeper sense of spirituality. This vital and healthy technique promotes a sense of inner well-being.

A powerful life tool, journaling provides a safe way to work through stressful events without fear of negative social consequences and offers us insight into new ways of problem-solving.

One of the benefits of self-expression is an increased awareness of our inner minds. The blank page is a safe place to express our most intimate thoughts and feelings without hurting ourselves or others, and releasing those ideas and emotions helps us to let them go.

Scientific evidence indicates that journaling provides other benefits, as well. The act of writing accesses the left brain, which is analytical and rational. While the left brain is occupied, the right brain is free to feel, imagine and create. In other words, writing removes mental blocks and allows us to use all our mind power to better understand ourselves, others and the world around us.

Journaling also helps us track patterns of thoughts and behaviors and allows us to note personal growth over time. When our choices seem unclear, we can always look to the past and see how we have resolved similar issues.

This process requires no special skills or talents. We simply have to be willing to write freely about what we think and feel. The most important thing to remember about journaling is that there are no rules. Through writing, we discover that the journal is an all-accepting and nonjudgmental friend and counselor.