Journaling is like whispering to one’s self and listening at the same time. – Mina Murray
At the end of 2018, I sat briefly and held my journal, flipping through the pages. As I read through, I went on a journey of laughter, shaking my head at the audacity of some of my thoughts and at the foolishness of others. Almost as quickly, the laughter turned to teary eyes, seeing how easily ideas transform into reality. If not for anything else, journaling gives you the opportunity to look at your thoughts ‘outside your mind’. Sometimes, the sheer act of this offers a totally different perspective on life and past situations.
Recently, I wrote about creating new habits. If anything qualifies as a great habit to pick up in 2019, it would be journaling. We tend to underestimate the power of writing things down and journaling is a good way to navigate our emotions. So, in this article, I share a few things I have come to learn and love about journaling.
It is therapeutic
You can write down anything. It’s a way of letting everything in your heart, mind and soul out…on paper, with no airs or restrictions on what is being written. Unpacking your thoughts this way can lessen the load on your mind. Whether penning audacious dreams and outrageous goals, journaling gives you the freedom to be honest with yourself. Even if you choose to be Wonder Woman, the pages won’t judge you or remind you that you’re a human being and can’t physically fly. ?
It can help you manage your emotions
A friend of mine used journaling to help with anger management. He would write down how he felt and the reasons why he was so angry. Then he would read everything to see if it was worth the anger he felt and a lot of times he would realise that he was overreacting, and it really wasn’t worth it. Or he would’ve calmed down by the time he had finished writing everything and was then in a better, calmer position to handle the situation better.
It’s great for reflection
Like I mentioned earlier, reading through my journal I saw how much I had grown in certain areas, how my thought patterns had evolved. I was also able to pinpoint areas in my thought process that had not changed; though this is not always a bad thing, it can mean that you’re consistent or deeply rooted in your morals or values. If you journal often, it’s like an aerial view of your life’s journey.
There are no rules to journaling. William Wordsworth says, “Fill your paper, with the breathings of your heart.” What matters is the authenticity of what you’re writing. Decide what tool is easier for you to journal with; an actual journal, your phone or even a recorder (some may choose to speak over writing) and just begin.
For those that journal regularly, how has it helped you?