There are many things that we keep in our heads and minds and never let out. Since we are exposed to so much information in our daily lives, this can easily transform into a stressful experience. Instead of becoming open to the details around us and take in as much as we can, we close up our minds and fail to realize the importance of knowing ourselves. We then identify with our minds instead of observing it and, if our thoughts are negative, we project and manifest that exact negativity back into our lives. We may realize that we are slowly becoming depressed, being too caught up in our minds, so we blame it on society; however, reality and happiness reside within ourselves. We need to become more mindful of who and what we are, what behaviors we engage in and what thoughts we let into our minds. What better way to do this than by keeping a journal?
I realized that keeping a journal helped me stay sane. Although getting used to this idea might take a while, I hope you will consider it and experience its benefits. Here are some ideas to get you started:
The most important thing to consider is the frequency with which you will use your journal. If you don’t write regularly, chances are you won’t see the benefits as quickly as you’d like. You will not be able to completely analyze your feelings, emotions, thoughts and actions or find patterns to correct. Try to journal at least once a day, even if it is only one sentence. Write down whatever comes into your mind that day. In the future, you will be able to connect the dots and understand your inner self more thoroughly.
- Journal as soon as you wake up or right before going to sleep. This is the best time to focus on yourself without being distracted by other people, things or activities.
- Pick a quiet place to write in your journal. This will feel more intimate and bring about peaceful thoughts. You know that there is a paper and a pen waiting for you in your corner, which brings you a feeling of safety. They are waiting to hear about how you So, fulfill their wishes! You are not alone.
- If you cannot commit to journaling every day, map out a schedule – like once a week – and stick to it.
Take your journal with you
Don’t restrict your writing time to only those moments of your day when you are sitting in your favorite, safe corner. Take your journal with you everywhere and write in it whenever you feel like it. Maybe something super exciting is going on in your life right now and you want to write about it! If you feel the need to, make sure you do.
Keep a business as well as a personal journal. Do not mix them up. One of them is for your busy schedule; the other one is for your emotions. Keeping a journal is also a great tracking tool, since you will be able to watch your on-going progress day by day.
Find when you need it
While writing daily can be a useful tactic, you should also start paying attention to the moments in which you turn to it. Start asking yourself questions:
- Why do I feel the need to write something down right now?
- How am I feeling? Am I anxious, sad, happy, depressed, scared?
- What are the most important moments in my life and have I journaled about them? If yes, why? If no, why not?
- Do I give myself enough time to process my thoughts and feelings?
- Am I using the journal for creativity? Am I using it to make decisions? Does it serve only as a tool to track my emotions?
- In what ways has journaling helped me? Do I see any real progress? If so, do I want to write about it?
- Could I be using journaling as a technique to release stress and anger for both myself and the people around me? Does it help me to see both sides of an argument?
- Does journaling make me a better person overall?
Make sure you understand why you journal and how often you do it. Understanding your habits is another goal of journaling. Through this technique, we can eventually understand our programmed minds and slowly start deprogramming our brains.
Turn your journal into a judgment-free zone
You can literally write about anything! Transform your journal into a judgment-free zone. Never criticize what you write in your journal. The more honest we are with ourselves, the more honest we will be with the people around us. If you are continuously judging yourself, you will turn against the world and…the world will eventually turn against you. Many people turn to crazy habits out of the fear of judgment. You should never judge yourself but only keep yourself responsible.
Other helpful advice:
Regularly check in with yourself
If you only use your journal for this purpose it will still be highly beneficial. Being so caught up in our hectic lives, we forget to breathe and observe. We might need a wake-up call every now and then to drag us back on the right track. Use your journal to check on your feelings and emotions.
There are so many things happening during our days that it is hard to keep count. You can actively reflect on your activities by journaling. You may discover some things that surprise or intrigue you. Write about your accomplishments, your experiences, how your day unfolded, your life lessons…whatever you feel like!
Reporting to something familiar when things go south
Not everything runs smoothly in life, so the experiences that we are facing daily will impact us one way or another. Journaling can serve as a tool to release stress and worries. It can come in handy when you need something familiar close by. It can give you a feeling of comfort and safety.
Here are some questions that might help you discover yourself:
- Do you fear something? If yes, what could it possibly be?
- Is this fear holding you back?
- Are there any anxieties showing up for you?
- Are there any parts of your body that you tend to focus on?
- Are there any relationships that you should leave behind?
Write letters to someone in your life
If you need to let go of something that happened or is currently happening in your life, journaling may help. This practice that will allow you to understand your thoughts in more depth will help you create a better version of yourself.
Keeping a journal has its obvious benefits; however, starting this practice can be challenging. Commit to writing regularly to turn this experience into a habit.