I know, I haven’t posted in a long time, but I’ve been preparing a gigantic post on obscure fruits, which is very daunting. So daunting that months have passed and it’s still sitting in my drafts folder while I post on my other blogs. Finally, finally, I have a post for you – on the benefits of journals.
I was reading this Quora question yesterday. I am something of a diarist, and while I’m not exactly “religious” about it, I do love to take some time out of my day to write an entry. Because journaling is basically a panacea to me, I was very easily inspired to post a listicle of my favorite things about keeping a journal.
- It de-stresses. Believe me when I say this, keeping a diary is such a de-stresser. People who don’t keep diaries have no idea what they’re missing. I’ve never finished an entry without being much saner & more satisfied with my life.
- It gives you clarity. Writing out your problems can help you organize them more clearly in your own head. Somehow getting it all onto paper sheds a lot of light on life.
- It’s comforting. Your diary is your closest friend; it’s always there to comfort you. Maybe this is strange, but I grow quite attached to my diaries… The feel of the pages & covers & even the pens I use.
- It gives you inspiration. Somehow, writing an entry almost always brings me a Eureka moment in some area of my life – usually concerning my novels. I love to write about my writing, & when I write about how my current novels are going, I often discover some plot hole to be fixed or the logic behind a character’s actions.
- It’s a record of your life. Truly, it’s astonishing how many details of life we forget – your diary will bring those details to life. Besides, it’s great fun to read your previous entries & marvel at how silly or funny or just plain ridiculous you were. Good times.
A reminder that helps when journaling:
Keeping a diary is not necessarily reporting the day’s events. Reporting a day you’ve just lived is monotonous. I dislike the feeling of going to write in my diary because something momentous happened. Write about whatever you want! I myself have switched over from writing in one diary to writing in two. Diary #1 is for when I’m in bad moods & I just need to get it all out of me. I try not to use Diary #1, though I love it dearly. Diary #2 is for when I’m feeling happy & inspirational – it’s the better me diary. I like using Diary #2 & have a great respect for it. So, Diary #1 generally contains daily annoyances & other events while Diary #2 is filled with magnificent, benign, & magnanimous thoughts & ideas. (I hardly need to tell you that that’s a gross overstatement.)
There are so many ways to keep a diary, too. This person on Quora, unlike some other responses which suggested outlining goals for the day, this person is more focused on life awareness & thankfulness.
Step 1 – Write the date
Today I wrote March 2nd, 2016 because there will never be another March 2nd, 2016 ever ever ever again. You get one shot at this day.
Step 2 – Write a list of 10(ish) things
I say “10-ish” because that’s usually what it takes to get your brain stretching. The list can be anything from “Who in my life would I die for?” to “How else could Facebook make money?” to “What are my favorite colors?” Write as many as you can.
Step 3 – Write one thing you’re grateful for
This one is pretty self-explanatory. You don’t have to be loquacious… Starting my day with gratitude helps me focus on what I do have in life, not what I don’t have.
But what really triggered my post today is this snippet I found at the end of an answer. I just love that last sentence.
There is a day after every night. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Things will not remain the same forever. Even if your situation is not good now, five years down the line, your life struggles will inspire many others. So, pull your socks, fold your sleeves, stretch your limits, & get ready to change your situation.