A lot of people either don’t have the time to sit down and write down their thoughts and feelings, or they may think it is self-indulgent and feels silly because they don’t consider themselves to be a particularly good writer.
When you write down how you feel about something, or even just write down a record of the order of events that happened, you are in effect removing those thoughts and externalizing them. This is a very healthy thing to do because it frees up space in your brain so that you can be more focused and productive in your everyday life, without those thoughts having an effect on your performance.
It also allows you to see this from a more clear and objective perspective, because writing anything down is part of the process of working things out. If you have a problem, whether it is a mathematical one or an emotional one, when you put it down on paper, you can visualize it better and you are able to work it out in a logical manner.
Often it can just be helpful to use journaling as a way of disposing of all the negativity in one place so that it doesn’t affect other areas of your life. Not everyone wants to be an agony aunt, for example, so you can’t always rely on your friends to hear your trouble. If you write in a journal though, then when you do go to your friend for advice, you can do so with a more positive and productive attitude.
HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT STARTING A JOURNAL?
It is not important to write every single day. The frequency of your journal entries will depend on your own personal needs. Some people find it more helpful to keep an ongoing conversation so that they don’t feel they have to “update” the journal on a series of events when they need to get something off their chest. You will find your own natural relationship with yours.
It is best to start with a blank, undated journal. You can write in dates each time you write if it is helpful. Always remember that your journal is private so it doesn’t matter how you write or what you write about. Keep it in a safe place and use it how you want. You will only be able to get more out of a journal if you allow yourself to feel free with it. You are not writing your autobiography, you are just expelling thoughts and resolving issues.
Many people find it useful to describe a series of events as they happen, or a person’s behavior, and then they go on to describe what they think about it. The best way to approach your journal writing if you intend to make it a useful practice is to always keep in mind that no matter how much you rant and moan, that you should always aim to try and come to a logical understanding of yourself. A journal is really about self-exploration. You will discover patterns in your behavior that eventually provide insight into who you are as a person. Keeping a journal properly and for the right reasons can really help a person to grow.