We feel the full range of emotions, so why don’t we acknowledge them openly? Thrive asks Laura, the founder and director of online platform needsandco.net, on the benefits of open journaling.
Why did you decide to start Needsandco?
I lost a close friend to suicide while trying to navigate through those teenager years with hormones and relationships. Now fast forward 10 years on, and a lot of self-growth and self- awareness, I found a gap in the market when it came to mental health that I thought needed to be addressed. I have been working on it since February 2020 and launched in July 2020.
What’s the concept behind it?
The concept behind Needsandco is to create a space that is non-judgmental in all aspects of what it is to be human and our mental wellbeing. A public online journaling platform where the public can submit and share their personal lived experiences to our online Needsandco community. To allow others to feel like they are not alone in their struggles and that feeling is human. We share interviews with professionals and visual editorials, with more to come.
How has Needsandco helped you personally?
I have suffered and navigated through some heavy lived experiences of my own and by creating a platform for that is out there to help others in their struggles has definitely been a healing process for me. I love to help those that need it and what better way than by being transparent with our struggles to gain stronger knowledge and understanding when it comes to mental wellbeing.
Why do you think it’s important to share our lived experiences?
To be transparent and unlearn all that was taught for many generations, including that suppressing emotion is a sign of strength. Every single human being feels – feels pain, grief, trauma, love, sadness, anger.
I feel that by being transparent through storytelling has a great impact for others – to have the chance to read what other people are going through, to possibly have the chance to relate to those stories and to also help people gain knowledge and find solutions to make themselves more at peace. When I say more at peace, I mean we can’t control exterior experiences that are thrown our way, but we can learn the tools to make our internal being at peace with knowing that human emotions are normal.
Do you think digital platforms as a means of collective storytelling has a place in journaling?
One hundred percent. It’s just a new way to journal. It’s just as powerful than writing in a hardcopy but I think both have incredible healing powers.
How has personal journaling helped you?
By releasing emotion, whether it is crying, talking, or yelling into your pillow.