The very first words I wrote ..
My first ever diary entry was “I love ____” – and I was six years old. I had this cute little diary with a padlock and I thought my secret was safe from the world. Until my younger brother revealed my secret to my crush! If it wasn’t for that mortifying experience I probably wouldn’t remember my first encounter with writing. This was the beginning of a positive relationship with journalising to date – a sacred place to leave my thoughts and feelings – without judgement. Well…kind of (thanks bro!).
Journaling is very therapeutic. Talking to someone is highly beneficial and definitely has it’s place. But putting pen to paper can have a different kind of effect. With journalising, we can write what we are thinking even if it’s ugly, unreasonable, crazy or messy without holding back. The freedom to express exactly how we feel without worrying about what someone will think, helps us to be gut honest raw with ourselves. When I write in my journal, I’m not thinking about how it will come out and I don’t hesitate to write it how it is. It’s a time to meet with myself and God, and to let out what’s on my heart. Some pages show my frustrations and others pure gratitude. Some show my prayers and others my irrational thoughts. All in all, after journalising I generally feel a weight lifted off my shoulders and my mind calmer.
The wonderful thing about journalising is the pages never judge and they accept whatever you have to say.
Journaling is for everyone
Whether you call yourself a writer or not, it doesn’t matter. Anyone can write and journalise. It’s not about punctuation or structure or whether you’re good at it.
Our mental and spiritual health is just as important as body health. Working from the inside out has allowed my body and mind to synergise in a positive way. Here’s why journalising and writing can benefit your life:
- Lowering stress, worry and anxiety
- Brings solutions
- New ideas and concepts
- Developing a relationship with yourself and god
- A time to get real with yourself and your deepest desires
- Understanding your habits (for example, emotional eating, stress, relationship issues, habits)
- Helps to creating and maintain new habits
- Self expression and a way to develop your voice
- Brings clarity and focus to the overthinker
I’ve chosen a few personal experiences of how journalising has benefitted my life:
There have been seasons where I’ve been confused about life. Perhaps I was hurt or going through a major challenge. By writing out what I was going through, I’d feel a sense of relief and sometimes the next step would reveal itself to me. It’s like unravelling the chaos in your mind. By spilling out the cloudy thoughts, you can allow space in your mind for solutions to come. You may even realise things aren’t as bad as they seem.
Your responses to life will be a lot calmer
The less we bottle up, the more our reactions to life and people come from a place of peace and self control. Journalising is a useful way to vent. In a moment of anger or hurt, people can say things they don’t mean to those they love. Or even hold onto grudges that can damage relationships. Writing out how we feel about a situation or someone can release the anger and frustration. It helps us to forgive, let go and approach situations in a loving manner. I’ve also found writing letters to a person who has hurt me and then throwing it away helps to release the pain.
Live less in your head, more in your heart
This is an ongoing lesson for me – living less in my head and more in my heart. But also finding a balance between the two – not all heart, not all head. When I act more from my head over my heart, I feel rushed, fearful and also double-minded. Journalising is a great tool to get in touch with your heart – with the real you. It also helps the mind be in sync to some extent with your spirit. By being open to whatever comes up, it can remind you of what you truly want out of life and who you are on a deeper level. It’s a great way of realising whether what you are chasing is true to you or whether it’s something you think you should do.
Reflect on how far you have come
Looking back on old journals freaks me out sometimes. In the past, I have written dreams and now that I am living them – it feels surreal. I remember sitting on my bedroom floor sometimes, frustrated with my current situation. I’d write what I want to do and what I was dreaming about. Today I am living those dreams and heart felt desires. When you look back at the struggles you have overcome in your past, it gives you great confidence that anything is possible. It’s a great way to inspire yourself with your own life story.
Less clutter from outside noise
In this day and age, we can be bombarded with information. We might not realise how much noise is going on in our minds that is ‘junk’. I know sometimes after mindlessly scrolling on social media, I feel drained and almost frustrated. There are studies that show how over consuming information can drain our mental energy. By journalising we can clear out mental clutter, comparisons and distractions. For example, perhaps you have been working on a project but you look at other peoples work and start to doubt yourself or think you are behind. As a creative, I have to continuously learn to guard my mind against too much consumption and comparison. I know intuitively what I need to do and what I like creating. As do you. Give yourself permission to switch off from needing inspiration from out there and see what’s bubbling inside yourself.
Finally, you can journalise however you wish – I personally love a pen and paper, as I feel with handwriting you can let your thoughts flow in a different way to typing. I’m sure there are many more benefits to journalising and I’d love to hear from you in the comments.
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Share your thoughts on journalising for myself and other readers to mull over.