If you don’t have a journal by now then you should be considering one at this point in your life. No matter how old you are or how strong of a relationship you have with yourself, you should be using a journal at least monthly.
Journals are a tool to help you learn more about yourself and figure out what you want to do with the rest of your life. There are people who like to journal daily, weekly, and even monthly but what all these people have in common is the ability to write down their thoughts and use those thoughts to overcome whatever has been bothering them.
A lot of our personal problems tend to stem from our minds and they never get out. We hold in these thoughts for long periods of time, up until the point of those negative thoughts becoming our perception of life.
This costs us time to really enjoy the blessings that we already have in our lives and we tend to not think positively about them. All of our actions come from our thoughts, our thoughts are so powerful and they can determine what our future has to offer.
Life gets rough from time to time and we need to be able to document those rough times so that we can go back and see how we overcame that time in our life.
We never reminder ourselves of what we overcame when it comes to a new obstacle in our life. When something gets in front of us that is scary and overwhelming we never think back to a time where we feel the same in our lives.
This is where having a journal begins to be useful and you can gain confidence in yourself to defeat this new obstacle. Being able to write how we are feeling and what our goals give us a sense of freedom to live with.
We’re able to plan our next move and reflect back on the good and bad of our lives. Just because you think a lot before you do something doesn’t mean you’re always making the right choice, take some time to write down whatever it is that’s going on and see where your thoughts take you.
Using Your Journal At Any Time
As long as you bring your journal with you wherever you go then it will always be there. It may feel kind of silly to walk around with a small book in your hand when out in public but it can really help you in stressful situations.
Let’s say you’re on the way home from work and before you know it, you end up running into some five o’clock traffic on the highway. At first, you may get mad at the cars that are in front of you but eventually, you will realize that there’s nothing you can do about the traffic but yell and honk at the people in front of you.
Instead of stressing yourself out even more by doing these things, you can whip out your journal and write about how you feel. Again, this should only be done if the traffic you’re in is completely still and you’re not moving.
All you need is a few minutes to write down the emotions you’re feeling and by the time you’re done you will be more at peace with yourself and you will have a new perspective on the traffic you’re in.
It’s best to keep a journal with you wherever you go for a situation like this where you may feel like you can’t control how you’re going to react. Your journal is a small notebook that sits there and opens whenever you want to write in it.
It’s not going to judge how you feel, sort of like a best friend that you may talk to over the phone. If you can’t reach any friends or family members to talk to when you’re feeling stressed out then pull out your journal and get to writing.
There’s not a lot of people who are able to do this so it is also your job to spread the word. Think about how many altercations would be prevented if people were able to write about how they’re feeling at the moment.
Your life is happening every second of the day and you can either be mad at what’s going on and do nothing about it or you can do something about it and write down what your biggest challenges are so that you can overcome them.
Writing Down What’s Bothering You
If you’ve never used a journal before then you may be kind of confused as to what to write about. Well, you can write about anything, most people tend to use a journal for three main things. These things include planning, goal setting, and a diary.
If you’re a man and you see the word “diary” and immediately think of this technique to be feminine then you have a long way to go with the problems that are in front of you right now.
Even if you go to see a therapist they will recommend that you use a journal to write down the problems you’re having in your life. A journal is a great reminder of the things you want to get done during the day and the things you want to get done in the future.
When writing your problems down in your journal be as raw as possible. This means to write how you truly feel, you will find that some of your entries are filled with anger and rage and other entries will be nicely written and give you a sense of peace.
Just look at these two comparisons, this shows you that you’re a human and that there will be good times and bad times in your life. Don't try to avoid them just embrace them and learn from them.
At the end of every year, I like to go back and look at the entries I made for the past 12 months. Every few pages I see something that makes me smile and that would allow me to set a new goal in my life.
You should strive to have a nice entry like that every day but let’s be honest, no one’s perfect and there are going to days that suck. The more you journal the more growth you will see within yourself and that will motivate you to grow even more.
If you want to fast-track yourself to the growth just a little bit more then you should really consider journaling as a new technique to implement into your life. It might be kind of awkward at first but remember it’s just you and your thoughts, there’s no one else there to criticize your feelings.
Coming Up With Solutions
The other side of journaling that seems to get overlooked the most is the solutions you’re able to come up with when writing your issues down. It’s a lot harder to think of solutions when you’re playing out scenarios in your head.
It’s easier when you take these scenarios to paper and look at them from a different point of view. Being able to visibly see your thoughts on paper does something for your consciousness that not many other techniques can do.
Using a journal to solve your problems is a lot more effective than keeping your thoughts bottled up. Your journal is there to help you, don’t let your negative thoughts steer you in the wrong direction. Use a pen and paper to become the best version of yourself.
Journaling clears the mind, it’s almost like meditation except you’re looking at your thoughts in writing. Be the first out of your group of friends to use a journal and show them the magic that's behind this technique. I’ll leave you with a quote from Christina Baldwin that says
“Journal writing is a voyage to the interior.”