It's long been said that writing is therapeutic. It's a way to get down all your thoughts and feelings before you look back and reflect on them. Nowadays, it's so easy to become wrapped up with all the negative that's going on in life that you can’t see the good. It's enough to get anyone feeling down. In order to counteract those negative thoughts, many keep a journal. Journaling is just one way that you can focus on the good and figure out a way to get through the bad. In fact, many therapists and mental health experts suggest a journal as a positive outlet for negative emotions.
What Should You Write About?
The best part about keeping a journal is that there is no one-size-fits-all. If you want to keep a journal, all you need is a notebook, a writing utensil, and you're own thoughts. Many people say they don't know how they feel until they write it down. You can write literally about anything. Some reflect on their day, some share their accomplishments, some write down what they wish could go better, and some simply write stories. Whatever you choose to do, it can be therapeutic for your soul.
Keeping a Journal of Accomplishments
If you're going through a tough time, it's essential to have a way to look back on past accomplishments and the positive things in your life. To do this, keep a journal and write the good down as they happen. Anytime something good happens, or you see beauty in life, write it down. You can keep track of awards one physically and even those small accomplishments you make each and every day. If you do a good deed or get noticed at work, write it down. Seeing that you are valued can make all the difference when you find yourself struggling.
Seeing the Beauty in all Things
All too often we forget what it's like to see a baby smile for the first time, a flower bloom in spring, or a gorgeous sunset. Anytime you need some quiet reflection, write all of these things down. When the world gets ugly, it serves as a good reminder that there is still beauty all around.
Journaling as a Way to Move Forward
If you're struggling to get over a traumatic event, write about it. Sometimes, we can't truly process our emotions and our hurt until we write it down. As painful as it is to relive something like that, it's important for healing. Reflecting on something painful that you wrote down can be a way to move forward. It allows you that closure because you're admitting what happened and figuring out where to go from there. It will be tough, but once it's all said and done, the healing process can begin.
If you're someone who struggles with low self-esteem, journaling can do wonders for you. We all have days where we feel down about ourselves. There are days when we hate our appearance, we don't think we're smart enough, and we compare ourselves to others. In order to feel better about yourself, consider journaling. Keep track of all the things you like about yourself as a way to boost your self-confidence. Write about how beautiful you think your eyes are when you laugh, how great you think your singing voice is, and all the good deeds you've done. Looking back and seeing these positive things about you in writing will push you to do better each and every day. When you find yourself hating things about your appearance or personality, consult the journal. Consider it a time for quiet reflection where you can see just how many desirable characteristics you have.
Journal as a Way to Look Towards the Future
Memories fade over time. It's sad, but it's true. If you want to remember how joyous you felt in a certain moment, write it down. Capture that feeling in writing as soon as it happens. If you're ever going through dark times, you can reflect on how wonderful you felt in that one moment. It doesn't have to be big life events. Life sometimes is made of those small moments that make us feel just as good. Did someone compliment your haircut? Write how that made you feel. Compliments can do wonders for our self-esteem, but unfortunately, we don't always remember the nice things that people say about us. If you write it down, you'll have opportunities to look back on all the times you felt good about yourself.
Keeping Track of Goals
Almost all of us have goals in life. Some people even have a so-called "bucket list" to keep track of everything they want to accomplish in life. Writing these down in a journal is a great way to set realistic goals for yourself. Write down everything you want to achieve and how to get to that point. Having a journal you can use as a guide will help you to accomplish these quicker and easier. The best part about journaling is that once you accomplish something, you can go back and write it down in your journal. You can even add pictures as a way to reflect. Journals don't always have to be just words. You can add pictures cut out from magazines of places you want to go and things you want to do. No matter how big or small the goal, keeping a journal of them will keep you in line. If you keep track of your goals only in your mind, it's easy to forget about them and not view them as important.
Finding Time for Yourself
Journaling is all about finding time for yourself. We live in a hectic world where every once in a while, you need to take some time to yourself. Journaling provides that opportunity to get in touch with your deepest thoughts. By taking the time to step away from technology and responsibility, you can open your mind to all the wonder and possibilities that life has to offer. Many people also use journals immediately after waking up to write down their dreams. A dream journal can help identify repressed trauma, or help people unpack what they’re worried about. Doing this daily, or even a few times a week can have immense benefits for your mental health.