Why We All Need To Journal
We don't have to remember everything, but everything we remember has value.- Michelle Obama
by Loise Machira
One of the most effective acts of self-care is also, happily, one of the cheapest. Let’s dive a little into journaling. Whereas many might consider journaling to be a hobby picked up by teenagers, its significant impact on adults is highly underrated. Last year when I finished reading Becoming by Michelle Obama, she released a guided journal to accompany the book for the readers who loved her story. If I am being entirely honest, the marketing and branding sold me on purchasing the journal which I only opened one month later when I was on holiday.
When you’re going through a hard time, try to write down your thoughts by starting with what you’re grateful for. As you keep noting down your thoughts, feelings and experiences, you start to realise how much we take for granted. I had an interesting experience recently where I woke up feeling like the world was on my shoulders; and decided to drag myself out of bed and made a strong cup of coffee. In the process of writing I ran out of space for the day’s entry because I had so much to be grateful for that morning. Journaling forces you to focus on the positive incidents in your life which will overpower your challenges!
The truth is, I didn’t know where to start or what was worth putting down in the journal. Three weeks after I started, I realise now that writing in your journal is the only way of figuring out what to write about. If we have to get into definitions, journaling is described as a written record of our thoughts & feelings which allows us to track our everyday life. If you look at your writing as a personal relaxation time to de-stress and wind down, journaling has the power to reveal your innermost fears, thoughts, and feelings.
It is a form of self-expression that can lift and empower people to understand their complex feelings and find humor with it. The more you journal, the better your emotional Intelligence will become. Experts describe emotional intelligence to be the ability of perceiving and managing your emotions, and that of others. Since journaling is an outlet for processing emotions and increases self-awareness, this internal familiarity becomes a bridge of empathy, that enables you to connect deeper with yourself and others.
Setting time aside to write, whether morning or evening, is an act of discipline. Just like a muscle, the more you exercise it, the stronger it becomes. Habits that are formed in one area of our lives have a tendency to spread; as keeping your office clean leads to keeping the bedroom tidy, your daily practice of writing will positively impact other healthy habits.
If you have never done it before, I would recommend buying a guided journal which has pre-set questions that will help formulate your thoughts. Trust me, its worth it! Look forward to your journaling time, and know that you’re doing something good for your mind and body. I am currently using Michelle Obama's guided journal which has honestly taken me to a different head space where I feel more in control of my emotions and thoughts.
Yours in Wellness,
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