Paper Therapy – Day 2

30-Day Writing Challenge

Journaling and I have never really got along. Over the past 6 years, I’ve tried to maintain some kind of routine with reflection via journaling, but I failed each time. Even though I ended up quitting each time I was convinced that journaling was worth it, so I kept trying. 

Over the past two months, I’ve actually been able to maintain a solid routine of journaling thanks to this whole COVID quarantine situation. And I couldn’t be more grateful for not giving up on this practice.

The process of dumping my brain into my laptop each morning has fundamentally changed the way I perceive my days and handle those “mental runaway” moments. To be honest, I have no idea why I’m able to maintain this practice now, but it’s been an amazing experience. Let me explain why… 

My mind is a fuzzy place. A place that can get out of control quickly if it’s not kept in check. 

Small negative thoughts can fall into these negative cycles growing exponentially into something much worse than it actually is… Or the stories I create and repeat in my mind turn out to be completely wrong, leading to wasted time and emotions. 

The mental stability and calm I’ve had from journaling are hard to explain – Let’s just say, I’ve not felt this calm and stable in a LONG time… And this all comes from taking a little time each morning to write without attention to grammar or spelling – I just let go, allowing my mind to go where it wants, my job is to observe and record the journey. 

Below are some practical benefits I’ve noticed…

  • Expectations – Internally setting expectations for the upcoming day has helped me avoid getting upset about changes to my routine and improved my relationship with the ones I love most… I’m very habitual. 🙂
  • Gratitude – Taking time to reflect on the moments from the previous day has refocused my attention on what moments brought me enjoyment and gratitude for those around me. 
  • Ideas – I’ve actually come up with some horrible and useful ideas while journaling, so that’s always fun. 
  • Stories – We all tell ourselves stories and these come subconsciously, as well as consciously, most of these are negative and come from the subconscious. While journaling I force my conscious mind to take the pen from my subconscious mind to author my own story… By crafting the story I tell myself I’ve been able to improve my mental state and outlook on the future. 

All-in-all journaling is worth your time, even if it doesn’t seem like it now. 😉 – Just keep trying, you’ll eventually find what works for you.