I used to see it as a chore…
Aside from sweeping the floor, making my bed every morning and walking the dog, my parents expected me to keep a journal growing up. At the time, I hated it. Now, I understand that setting aside ten minutes a day to jot down what’s on your mind is not only therapeutic but is also a great way to relax and maintain your dreams, memories and little tidbits of wisdom.
Keeping a diary served many different purposes as I aged. When I was young, I wrote about what my plans were for the weekend, what I was enjoying in school, and fights with my sisters. In high school, it was an outlet for my hormonal angst. A place I could complain about my parents and my curfew, or where I could contemplate my crushes and kisses.
I still keep a ‘journal’ today, but it doesn’t stay in my bedside table. Instead, I’ve realized that my computer serves the exact same purpose as a paperback diary; only I can write faster and don’t need to worry about creepers. I don’t write every night, but I do use it when I need an outlet, or simply want to mull something over. If I’m upset and need to vent, I can type for twenty minutes about what’s on my mind, or I’ll write a letter (that I have no intention of sending…) to whomever it is that I’m frustrated with. When I’m done, I feel like a new person, and usually have decided a logical and mature way to tackle the situation at hand.
I do think it’s important, however, to not use journals as a vault for all of your negative feelings and anxieties. Yes, it can be your private place to vent when need be, but be sure to take the time (if even briefly) in each entry to explain what it is that you are grateful for.
Make it a habit (daily if possible!) to jot down at least three things you appreciate or that you enjoyed about your day, and the role you played in making them happen. This will give you perspective into how big of a role you play in the positivity that exists in your day-to-day life. Wrap up by stating one thing that you hope to work on or improve in your life (keeping your room clean, finding more time for family or exercise, saying ‘I love you’ more often…).
If you don’t keep a journal, try writing a few entries, and see if it’s for you. You don’t need to write on a regular basis, but try to at the very least use it to track your life so that when you are older you or your children can look back on it and smile as fond memories and life-changing memories are recalled. Journals, at the very least, are a great way to monitor your growth and document your experiences.
You can also use your journal to track changes in your life, your relationships, goals, dreams (literally), fears, beliefs, what is causing stress in your life at the moment, what you are grateful for, things that you have recently accomplished and are proud of, and if you are a parent, important memories of your children (or funny quotes). If you are stuck on ideas, check out this site for some creative inspiration.
Let us know why you keep a journal, and what you usually spend your time writing about!
XO & Juicy Love,
The Juicy Geniuses Team