My Experience with Journaling | The Column
Last week I found a couple of diaries that I had written as a teenager. They all seemed to revolve around whether the latest boy I fancied would notice me (lol) - if only life was as easy as it was when I was 13! My stresses were certainly different from what they are now! I’m not sure why I wrote these diaries at the time, but thinking about it now, it was obviously to help me try and organise the thoughts that were whirling in my head.
Stress of not having regular work and a regular income at the moment is leading to bouts of depression and days of feeling hopeless. My mind is whirling ten to the dozen most of the time now, with no control over the thoughts and feelings that are consuming me.
For the last month, I have found myself going back to journaling; finding release within my mind by writing down what I’m feeling and thinking at that time. This usually results in these types of blogs, revolving around educating and sharing to help others (which I like to do). As soon as I start writing, the fog within my mind seems to clear and all the stress and tension that has been building up starts to dissolve. The depression that was collecting from too many negative thoughts moves away and is replaced with more positive thoughts. I feel like SuperWoman again, able to conquer anything in my life and able to get on with my day with more pizazz and productivity.
The benefits of journaling
I find when I journal, I'm able to instil a sense of calm and allow my brain to slow down. When I write, it's the only thing I'm focused on which helps me organise both my thoughts and feelings.
Getting your thoughts down on paper (virtual or real!) helps many people release feelings of anger, anxiety, jealousy and other emotions. When writing about your current situation and seeing it 'outside of your head', it can be far easier to view things more rationally. Like when a friend explains a problem and you are able to see the solution far more easily because you can observe the issue from the outside.
When journaling a lot is going on under the surface, too. You are giving yourself the chance to process thoughts and feelings related to the experience you are writing about. You're also enhancing brain development and memory, with different parts of the brain being utilised when writing is carried out compared to reading or listening.
What have I learnt from this experience?
It doesn’t matter what you write about. Like getting lost in a book, write about something that makes you feel happy and allows you to express yourself. Just release the thoughts out of your head.
No-one ever needs to see what you’re writing so there’s really no judgement on the content or grammar and spelling!
Never feel embarrassed about keeping a diary/journal if you’re not a child anymore. Expressing yourself and identifying with something that helps you to cope with your emotional and mental state is only going to be a good thing, and I guarantee that more people do this than we probably know about!
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