As an introspective person thoughts flood my mind more than I’d expect and it’s often overwhelming. Journaling was a natural call to action. As a chronic over thinker it was very therapeutic to just write what was on my mind without the chance to edit later. Journaling is the place I do not let perfectionism control me in anyway, something that I struggle with in other areas of my life. I write freely, I don’t care about it being coherent as long as it’s coherent enough for me to understand when I look back on it in the future. If I feel like jumping form one subject to another, I’ll do that. If I want to stop writing mid-sentence, I’ll do that. If I feel like drawing, adding stickers or photos or if I want to create a mind map, I’ll do that. It’s a mess, but in a world of perfectionism and filters I believe it’s nice to have a place to be messy. Journaling the first time was an experience that felt like a missing piece of my life. It became the part of my day that I looked forward to and I began to journal everything and anything. Here are the benefits I observed:
- Clarity of Mind
This I believe is the quickest benefit I realised. Before I journaled, probably after a long day with so many stuff going on in mind, my thoughts were quite disorganised and my mind was usually foggy. As an INFJ it usually takes a while for me to process most of the events that go on in my day and the opportunity I had to do this was the time I set apart for journaling in the evening. As I journal, I give myself a second opportunity to assess my decisions and whatever interaction I had during the day. Taking note of where I might’ve gone wrong or not acted with the necessary intent. Basically after journaling, I would’ve outlined a chronological pattern of events in my day while assessing all the nitty-gritties and the fog is immediately cleared up.This really helped me especially on bad days where things didn’t go too well because I have the opportunity to encourage myself by looking at things from the second perspective and award myself a fresh start the next day.
- Boosts my mood
This is a no brainer and as a matter of fact I think this might come in as a tie with the initial point. I realised a significant improvement in my mood when I began journaling. Here’s why. Journaling not only gave me an opportunity to cease most mental battles I fought but it felt good being able to express my emotions without being judged. Sometimes all we need is a listening ear but unfortunately in this contemporary world it’s rare to find a listening ear without a running mouth. That’s the kind of solace journaling offers you. Someone to listen without criticising your every decision. Venting is a therapeutic remedy for stress however this time you write everything down rather than say it.
- Relive happy moments/ Documentation/ Track progress
Journaling, highlighting your events over a period of time, gives you the chance to relive happy moments and here’s why. Have you ever heard the saying ‘count your blessings’? Well thing’s as much as we’d hate to admit it sometimes we get so caught up in the events of the present and we seem to forget how blessed we are and how far we’ve come over the years. Certain achievements and flights we’ve attained get lost in our memory because we’re too busy focusing on our plans for the future. Gratitude is a very important part of growth and must be done often. It’s interesting to look back on some goals and plans you had set years ago or months ago and realise they’re off the to-do list. There’s a very fulfilling sigh which comes with it.Everything takes time and we all have our goals in life, no matter how slowly we go what matters is we don’t stop because slow and steady wins the race.
- Sharpens cognitive skills and improves memory
Have you ever been a situation where you can’t explain how you feel to someone. Allow me to break the ice. The truth is humans beings are naturally very reluctant to share their vulnerability with others because we can’t account for any flaws on the other persons side in the future. This makes it difficult to open up about certain issues to other people notwithstanding the fact that there are some situations where we can’t seem to demystify how we feel. Some people communicate their emotions through art where as others break through a different level of creativity to express their emotions through poems and songs. Through this, cognitive skills are sharpened because we learn to channel our energy, emotions or pain through words and deciphering them takes different perspectives in order for it to come to fruition.
Journaling is self care but it’s also self destruction if you overdo it but then again so is everything else. I have come to ascertain that it is a powerful way to get a bird’s eye view of one’s life. Things might not be going as one would’ve hoped but it’s comforting to have cognizance of the entire situation; where did things go wrong and what should you have done.I believe there are times to think things through and there are times to vomit onto the page and journaling could offer both things depending on how you feel at a particularly time. Nevertheless, simply writing down your feelings or worries doesn’t make everything end but it is therapeutic to validate your feelings. It stops you from running away from your thoughts or pretending like they didn’t exist because some things aren’t meant to be shared with anybody else, they’re just meant to be understood, for ourselves.”The paper has more patience than people.”
~ Anne Frank This really feels like a face reveal, except for the part where you can’t really see my face😂.I hope sharing my experience helps you reach a consensus on where you stand concerning journaling. If you need assistance getting started with journaling please let me know so I write an article on that as well or anything you’d generally want me to write on.