My first diary dates back to 1972. I was in high school and not enjoying life a great deal. The majority of my entries were depressing and distressing, and this seemed my only avenue to express feelings. I have been somewhat devoted to journaling throughout the years, and cherish them written throughout my darkest, blackest depression days.
Lengthy days spent in hospitals, which included charting extensive medications prescribed and daily feelings were recorded. Memory loss can be recaptured now due to these entries. Even though I am on my road to recovery, I still record daily, or weekly and it’s somewhat of a habit.
The journal itself doesn’t have to be an expensive, leather-bound book – mine is an inexpensive spiral ‘4 subject book’ purchased at a department store. Keep in mind this is YOUR journal.
Find a comfortable chair or seat yourself at the kitchen table. Clear your mind. Relax. Let your thoughts and emotions flow freely. It is important that you do not censor yourself as you write. Do not worry about grammar or punctuation errors. Put every thought onto the page.
What should I write about?
Everyone is different. Some write daily in a journal, others weekly. Just remember, this is your journal and you may write as you wish. Writing in daily diary type form suits some, while others choose a topic each day. But either way, let your mind go, start writing words, and most of all, follow your feelings.
Ask yourself, using one day as an example, did something happen to perhaps upset me, or was it more of a joyful day. Include: thoughts, desires, fears, dreams (or recurring dreams), challenges, future goals, and things that piss you off!
How can a journal help me?
Self-discovery ~~ Writing consistently in a journal gives you a deeper connection with your own inner self, your emotions and positive or negative feelings.
Less stress ~~ We all desire to release inner thoughts and anxieties, and through writing the can help immensely.
Courage to pursue your passion ~~ Ideas may begin flooding in about changing careers, perhaps returning to school and who knows, it could be the first step in making it happen.
Understanding the past ~~ Journaling may produce unresolved issues, possibly painful or guilt-ridden issues. Writing about them may make you aware that it’s time for self-care or perhaps seek therapy to start on the road to healing or forgiveness.
Written and copyrighted by Deb/2016