When I was a little girl, my favourite thing to do was write in my diary. I remember exactly what it looked like. It was a pink barbie diary that you could lock, and it was my most prized possession. That diary held all my secrets (Well the type of secrets that all 7 year olds have). At that age, I didn’t have any responsibility so I would diligently fill the pages with the days events as soon as I got home from school. Journalling followed me throughout my school career. Whenever something was on my mind that I felt I couldn’t talk to anyone about, I always had a way to release the emotion. My medium changed in high school though. From journaling, I moved to writing poetry and ended up being involved in a poetry slam at school as well as having my poems published in the yearbook that was published annually during my high school career.
Writing has always been a way for me to carefully articulate my message and emotions. In primary school I was always a good speech writer and speaker. It is definitely something that I had cultivated throughout my youth and led to an interest in public speaking when I started working and was introduced to Toastmasters. My Toastmasters career didn’t last as long as I would have hoped it would but I thoroughly enjoyed being Vice President – Education as well as President during my almost 3 year membership.
While employed, I never felt the need to journal because there were always opportunities to vent with my fellow colleagues who sometimes could relate and offer advice to me and vice-versa. I had a constant release of my emotions and while this wasn’t always the best option for me, release was all that I needed to let go of things. Once I became a housewife and my interaction with other people became limited is where all of my emotional issues began to affect me. I always had a release but now without that release, all of my emotional baggage began to pile up and it began to affect my relationships. I had to think of something fast.
I started reading and rediscovered my love for writing again. I always had notebooks lying around with the thought that I would write but I never knew what to write anymore or with the fear that my untidy handwriting would make it unpresentable. All that changed when I started journaling again. I had been reading about mindset and journaling and how it has changed peoples lives for the better and there was no harm in giving my old habit another go. To say it has changed my life is an understatement.
My first journal entry was on the 30th August 2019 and I am proud to say that I have not yet missed a day, although the time of day that I do end up journaling is dependent on the amount of things I have on my to do list. It is really something I enjoy doing and have found that at times when everything becomes too much, taking a few minutes out of my day to journal about my emotions and what has triggered them has helped me deal with some difficult emotions and has helped me deal with anger issues and helped me to forgive people who have hurt me in the past.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that journaling everyday is going to solve all of your problems, but people have found huge benefits with journaling. For one, it is a form of self-care. Journaling is spending any amount of time exploring yourself and learning something about yourself that would improve the quality of life moving forward.
According to an article written by Matthew Kent on Medium.com, journalling is a key-stone habit. He goes on to say: ‘Where you go in life is going in large part be determined by what you do every day. In other words, your future is in large part the outcome of your habits. Habits can be tough to form, but they are incredibly important. For this reason, the most important habit is one that has the potential for helping you form other habits. A journal does this by creating a place where you can formulate plans for forming habits, gives you a place to track your progress, and creates a Medium where you can reflect on the effectiveness of your habit forming strategies.’ (https://medium.com/@thematthewkent/you-should-write-in-a-journal-every-day-heres-why-31cb6fe4c9dc)
For me, journaling is a form of meditation, I am clearing my thoughts and filling the page with my anxieties, my fears, and my hopes for the future. I am releasing all of the stress from my morning or my day (depending on when I journal). I use my journal to brainstorm ideas or to explore solutions to problems I am facing with my health, relationships, and even my studies. I am also tracking improvements or effects of any changes I am making in my daily routine. I have used it to discover why I have moments where I binge eat or have an unexplained burst of emotion and it has helped to lessen my anxiety about situations beyond my control.
I do know that there are people who are skeptical about the effects journaling can have on their life but there are so many people who testify that journaling has helped them reach their goals, become happier people, or just made their life better. Don’t knock it till you try it.
Do you journal? What is your favourite medium? Do you write or do you prefer to use an app while journaling? I would love to hear about it!
-The Uninspired Blogger