Journaling Can Change Your Life
If you have read much about my life, you will know that on both sides of my family there are mental health issues. I particularly have problems with depression, OCD and panic disorder. In addition to what I deal with in my own life, I deal with other family members issues. Then there are “normal” issues I’ve had to deal with like getting court appointed custody of our step father and being POA for an aunt and I could go on and on but I think you get the idea. Whenever I have seen a therapist for my stress and anxiety, they always suggest to keep a journal or diary. I have never given much thought about how journaling can change your life until recently when I was dealing with someone newly diagnosed with manic bipolar. I have given the idea of keeping a journal a lot of thought recently and here are some reasons I have come up with that are a good reason to actually keep a journal or diary. If you have other reasons please list them in comments. It is encouraging to see how journaling benefits others!
Writing can help you see who you are.
Do you have a problem that you are trying to work your way through? Do keep finding yourself making the same kind of choices that are totally wrong for you, or you think they are wrong? Writing in a journal can help you to see patterns in your choices and behaviors that can help you to make changes in the future. You will see things that likely will point out where to focus your passions and energies. That way you can make better use of your time and make a happier life.
Journaling can give your great memories.
Keeping a journal gives you something to look back on in the future. Do you have any writings from when you were in school, from when you lived in a different place or worked in a different field? Look back and see what you were writing about then or even a year ago. Having writing to look back on shows you how far you have come and problems that you have forgotten about. You’ll probably laugh about the things that were important to you when you were a teenager, young adult without kids, or worried about in the future. You’ll also see trends in how you dealt with things.
Your journal can make you accountable.
Many people like to write down when they are counting calories, stating exercise plans or trying to stop smoking or drinking. You can see trends and if you are keeping track of how you felt on certain days, you can see what might be triggers when you slip up. And when you have a bad day, you can look back and see how much good you have done and keep going!
Writing in a journal can help you work through how you truly feel.
You have a chance to explore at a deeper level what might help you see a more realistic way to deal with a problem. Sometimes just the slowing down and getting it out on paper helps. Influences coming from other people or situations become more apparent and the solution can become clear. Often writing about a situation that made you angry can help you get it out and smooth the way to reconciliation. Simply writing your feelings and observations about your day can make life more interesting by helping you focus on solutions rather than the problem. Processing negative emotions more quickly allows you to focus on your task at hand and live a higher quality life.
Do you journal? How has it helped you?