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When I was a kid, journaling sounded cool. Many of my favorite shows featured a main character with diary so I started to write all of my thoughts in a daily planner.
But guess what happened ... my brother and a friend found it and shared all my secrets, including the boy I had a crush on. So I changed my mind about diaries and stopped writing. I think I even ripped it into pieces and threw it into the trash to make sure that nobody would read it again. Remember the joys of middle school drama? Did you have a similar experience?
I thought I would never write a diary again... EVER.
Guess what? More than fifteen years later, I started a new diary. You must be wondering why I changed my mind. Lately, I've been researching and reading a lot about happiness and one of the most common tips I found was journaling.
Gotta say, I was on the fence at first. What if someone read all of my deep thoughts again? Well I'm happy to tell you that since middle school, I have become more confident and I feel that I have nothing to be ashamed of. Plus, I'm married so everybody knows who my crush is 😀
I started writing on my diary two months ago and am happy to let you know that I checked in every single day. Yes. Every night I took a moment to think about my day and write it down. I was surprised of the effects it had on me.
So here are the my 5 favorite takeaways about journaling.
1. End the day positively
The first thing I do when I go to bed is grab my Pocket Moleskine Daily Planner* and a nice pen.
Then, I think about my day and focus on the positive things. I think about my new achievements and any positive activities like hanging out with a friend or going for a walk around the lake.
When I take the time to think about my day and write it down, I realize that my day was good instead of focusing on the one annoying thing that happened. Most of all, I go to bed with a smile on my face.
2. Writing is relaxing
Between our jobs and the activities we have at home, we spend a lot of time typing on keyboards, swiping on phones and staring at screens. Do you remember when you last sat down with a pen and a paper without staring at any screens? How did you feel?
What I love the most about writing a diary is the feeling of the pen sliding on paper and watching the ink slowly filling the page.
If you want a more relaxing experience you can spray your notebook with your favorite perfume or use a scented pen.
3. Better Sleep
I have to make a confession, the main reason why I have sleeping issues is because I often reenact the day in my head especially what could have been better:
- how I could have worded something differently
- how I could have avoided embarrassing myself
- how I could have been more prepared for a meeting
- how bla bla bla bla
You know what I'm talking about. Right?
One of the positive things about journaling is that if something is bothering you, you can just write it down and be done with it. Yes, you heard me right, when you take the time to think about it and let it out, it feels like it has been resolved.
If something is bothering you, I would recommend to start writing about it. Just focus on the subject until nothing more can be added. Then take a moment to think about the good things that happened during the day and write it down.
Ending your writing with positive thinking, makes you think about all these good things when you close your eyes and start falling asleep!
4. Do new things
This was a surprise for me. I started writing about my daily routine, everyday: went to work, went to the gym, went home, watched TV, went to bed. It was pretty basic and I quickly got tired of it.
So I decided to change things up by adding simple random tasks everyday :
- Call a friend
- Walk to the park with another friend
- Send a Snapchat
- Small goals to achieve in a few days like write a new blog post, take pictures, etc
My life is more interesting since I started journaling.
5. Save memories
Remember The Notebook*? I'm not going to spoil it for you if you've never watched the movie or read the book. Let's just say that a diary is a big part of the plot.
At almost 30, I'm already forgetting so many things ...
When I was in school, I needed to write things down in order to memorize them better. Same with writing a diary. The simple act of putting my actions into words, engraves them in my brain. As a result, I can recall more easily what is in my diary. Plus, if I forget I can always look for it 🙂
Ready to start journaling?
There is a lot of different type of journals. It's up to you to find what works the best for you. For example, some have questions you need to answer everyday, others let you write on the same page the same day 5 years in a row, and many more.
Here are a few examples:
Over To You
Are you going to start journaling? If you already do, what do you like about it? Let me know in the comment section!
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