Journey | Journaling | 18th January 2022 | Virtual Wire
Dear Diary…That’s how it use to begin back when we were kids and we found ourselves the perfect notebook to turn into a diary.
Back then, there wasn’t necessarily a reason to journal or create a diary entry. It was just writing down what happened during the day, be it a good time with friends in school or a fight that took place when you went to play with your friends in the evening. Not to mention the numerous spelling mistakes and mix up of tenses.
This was how it was when we were kids. Growing up and now once again choosing to start journaling is perceived to be more mature and sophisticated. It is sometimes seen as a space where profound thoughts and ideas have to be written or where life is metaphorically laid out. This is not the case. A journal is primarily meant to be a space to express yourself. It can be in a tone that is simple and to the point and it can also be embellished with extraordinary words and phrases.
The idea is to communicate not to anyone but yourself. In a day and age where people talk, discuss and advocate for mental health, journaling is one of the key elements in my opinion that can help a person express themselves. In my opinion, these are some of the benefits of journaling -
It is not an unknown fact that a journal is meant for you and only you! You read it and you write in it. It is a book where any feeling, thought, idea, emotion, experience, reaction and response are not only accepted but it is also not subject to judgement. It is a space for you to freely say what you feel and know that the only person who can respond to it is you. It is a form of unbiased expression and space to allow yourself to give you a voice that at times may go unheard.
While journaling can be a great space to rant and express every sort of emotion, it is also a safe space to delve into Introspection. Sometimes our actions, responses and even reactions might not have turned out the way we expected. Sitting with your thoughts and trying to figure out why it happened, or what triggered that emotion or response is a great way to understand yourself, your triggers and also get a head start in understanding how to react differently or bring about a positive change.
A page for every emotion! Even on the days that make us feel on top of the world, go down in our journal, not only to keep a memory of that experience but also capture the emotions that we went through in that moment. Journaling the good days not only capture them but also allows you to appreciate them more. Remembering the small things that gave you joy and happiness allows you to appreciate life even on the bad days and gives you hope. Gratitude through journaling is a great way to express thanks for what you have, the experiences you have been through and accept the future as it comes.
To be in the present. Writing in your journal about your feelings, emotions, reactions and responses towards a situation, event or person and how you are feeling at the very moment gives space to a realisation. The Present. Being in the moment and being mindful of how you are feeling allows you to confront the feeling then and there instead of mulling over them and overthinking them at a later time in the day. This habit of being mindful not only stays with you while journaling but also gets integrated into your everyday life. It allows you to fully be in the moment without any distractions, appreciate things and situations, and helps to take things as they come.
A Multimedia form of Expression
Journaling doesn’t always have to be pages and pages of the written word. A journal is a place to express yourself. You can have a journal where you draw the emotions you feel or paint with colours that represent your mood. It can be a mixture of quotes that describe our situation or simply quotes that you like. If you want to widen the medium, you can even use collages to journal with. Mixing images, drawings and miscellaneous items like pressed flowers or scraps of paper, and writing about how you feel can create pages that are less monotonous and are not only fun to do, but break away from the traditional way of journaling.
After getting into the habit of journaling and doing it for many years, you not only have with you a series of books stacked with memories but also pages filled with evidence of your struggles, growth and a great source for perspective. It captures who you were, who you are and who you choose to be! Journaling allows you to appreciate the good times, gives perspective and lessons from the bad times and also leaves you a blank canvas for you to choose, to create and give ample room for new experiences. Overall Journaling is a form that helps one grow, reflect, give voice, give gratitude, be mindful and most importantly give you a space that is safe, unbiased and non-judgmental. It is has proven benefits on mental health and self-esteem and is a great way to capture yourself and your memories for you to look back to.