Journaling may not be important for everyone.
I have spent time with this blog for a couple of years, but up until recently I was unable to stick to a consistent journaling habit. I tried many times. I had many different journals. I would write religiously for a few days and then I would forget they existed in the first place.
2 weeks ago I decided to change this. I decided to make it a habit.
I was struggling with something I have struggled with before. The lack of personal space that exists when you co-habitate with your significant other, especially when that shared space is only 600 square feet….
My inner self was screaming, “why do you never leave! I just need 5 minutes!”…
Yes. My significant other is aware of this fact. He knows me. He knows I panic. And he knows that there is almost no one else I could spend this much time with….but it does not mean that I don’t need five minutes.
For some unapparent reason, I feel the need to “entertain” when he is around. Of course, I want to spend time with him, but it isn’t necessary that I spend every single free moment with him. And he agrees. We already make all of our choices together….I just wanted something that was still mine. A few moments to myself everyday where I could be with my brain and my brain alone. I have a very calm home-life, but a job that is continuously changing and emotionally, physically and mentally stressful. I need an outlet for my thoughts; or maybe I need a few. I also need to prepare myself to handle these stressors on a daily basis.
That is exactly what I did.
I started getting up at 5AM. I gave myself an extra 40 minutes every morning to slowly wake up, not feel rushed and have the ability to enjoy the silence. I started writing in this time as well.
I don’t write about anything too in depth. I write what I’m feeling at that moment, what I have planned for the day, what I am thankful for, what my focus for the day is and I have more recently started including some daily affirmations.
Journaling in this manner, with these topics in mind has helped me tremendously.
I Get to Exist with my own Thoughts
No one else is awake. Not even the dogs. I crawl out of bed and start our teapot for coffee. I sit down and start writing. Sometimes I sit and just think. Everything is peaceful and quiet.
I am not Rushed
I used to know exactly how much time I needed to allot myself to prepare for work. I’d jump out of bed, get dressed and grab my coffee and breakfast on the way out the door. Naturally, my entire day followed that pattern. Full of moving quickly while trying to multi-task and not truly accomplishing anything. I can now start my day calmly and not-surprisingly, I have been able to handle stress and unexpected events with significantly more ease.
I Remind Myself of How Blessed I am.
Journaling gratitude simply puts life into perspective. It reminds me of just how blessed I am to have the job, family and friendships that I do. It reminds me that in the grand scheme of my entire life, the hiccups that I encounter on any given day are minor details.
I am Able to Work on Self-Worth
I have had a body-image issue for a long time and it leads to stressful encounters in other areas of my life. I have consistently felt inadequate and non-intelligent. I have felt unattractive. I used to think it was silly to do self-talk, but I am trying it. I have read that if we say negative things about ourselves, eventually we start to truly believe them. The same goes for positive thoughts. I know that I am the only person that can change how I feel about myself. This is a start.
It has been really helpful. I feel happier and more “Zen”. So when we had a difficult discussion yesterday, I suggested writing in a journal to my boyfriend as a way to work out his pent up feelings. He said “I’m not a writer”.
Journaling isn’t about writing an eloquent story. Its about taking the time to navigate your own thoughts. To confront them. Maybe you can’t have a conversation with someone about your feelings; perhaps you don’t want to. Maybe they are too personal. Maybe you don’t even know where to start. Maybe the thought of digging in to whats really causing stress and discomfort to you sounds terrifying.That is okay. But they have to come out somewhere. And in order for that to happen, you have to start somewhere. Writing could be a story. It could also be feelings, thoughts and pictures. It may just be fragmented words. It doesn’t have to make sense. It just has to be authentic and real. Before you know it, you are making a change in yourself without even realizing it. It seems like just getting thoughts out on paper makes them more real. And it forces you to face them. If only for a couple minutes each day.