Write down you feelings, your ideas, your goals, your activity. Journaling is by far one of the most useful things I’ve done to change my life for the best. It works in such a silent, yet effective way. All you need is pen and paper.
The first use for it is therapeutical and this is why I started too: just wrote down my frustrations, unloaded my anger and complaints. And it does a wonderful job at cleaning your emotional system: you can write anything in your journal, right?
But it goes even further: once you got over the therapeutical part of journaling, you can use it as a witness for your dreams. Make it the seed of your desired reality. Whatever you write there, might become real at some point.
Write down your reality in your journal first, and read it every day.
How To Keep A Journal
This is very close related to the habit creation, we’ve already covered it in post number 3: Create A New Habit. To start with the habit of journaling, find a time of the day where you can comfortably write for 5 to 15 minutes. Doesn’t have to be a specific topic, just write whatever crosses your mind. It doesn’t matter also if it’s in the morning, at noon or at midnight. As long as you can write down things that you want to get out of the system, it will work.
Second, don’t place any expectations on this. Just follow the routine for at least 30 days. Don’t read what you wrote the other day. Don’t browse back and don’t even try to think at the benefits before one month. Treat it like a task at the job. Or like a chore you really have to do in the house, such as cleaning up your room. Because, at a very subtle level, this is exactly what it is: a cleaning process for your consciousness.
After a while, let’s say, after month of journaling, go back to something you wrote a month ago. See how you were back then. See what you intended to do, or to have and evaluate if you did it or if you got that thing, and how this happened.
A journal is a wonderful tool, because, as simple as it is, it works on so many levels.
There is this cleaning part of it. Unloading steam, letting go of your frustrations, taking them out from the system and putting them down, this subtle process of making words out of your feelings, all this amalgam of interweaved activities will make your inner part more manageable, more flexible, more willing to cooperate. It’s literally a healing process.
And then there’s the witnessing part. You can see the benefits of that one after a few months. Looking back at who you were a few months ago, at your day to day activities, at your goals and dreams will slowly grow something very precious in you: compassion. Compassion for the one you use to be a few months ago. You will start to love that person and to accept it. It’s good. Once you have that, once you know the process, you can extend it to other people too.
And, last but not least, a journal is a very good place to plant seeds. To sketch even the craziest goals.
And to follow them.
Running For My Life - from zero to ultramarathoner
The spooky thing about depression is that it sneaks in. There aren’t really trumpets and loud voices announcing: “Hail, hail, this is depression entering the room, all rise!” Nope. It’s slow, silent, creepy. It doesn’t even look like depression. It starts with small isolation thoughts like: “Maybe I shouldn’t get out today, I just don’t feel like going out”. And then it does the same next day. And then the day after that and so on. And then it starts to whisper louder and louder in your ears: “Why would you go outside, you loser? Didn’t have enough yet? Want more people to make fun of how much of a big, fat loser you are?”
And then you start to breath in guilt and shame, instead of air. Every breathe you take is putting more dark thoughts into your body.
Until you get stuck. You can’t move anymore. At all.
If you want to know how I got out of this space, eventually, check out my latest book on Amazon and Kindle.