Journals. I can’t get enough of them and I find them so useful to work through everything I have in my head that I can’t put in my calendar or my to-do list. Below I will list some things I use my journal for, and how it helps me to create more space in my head!
I take my journal everywhere with me, because firstly I never know when something will happen, or I will have a thought which I want to make a note of. But also I like to be able to write when commuting to work, or sat in the park on my lunch break. It’s a nice way to spend some spare time!
Thoughts and Feelings
This is probably the most obvious on the list, but using your journal to express your thoughts and feelings can be a really useful way to cope with difficult or complex emotions. If you have recently gone through a difficult time, or a time of transition a journal can really help you to make sense of everything.
It’s a great way to get everything out, without feeling like you have to hold back because the only person who needs to see this is you! You don’t have to worry about it sounding good, because you don’t have to show anyone else. You can even shred or burn it once you’re done if you feel like it. But just to have a means of getting these emotions out can be really helpful, and even to look back on later on down the line to see how far you have come.
Writing down your bucket list has so many benefits, and it has been shown that writing down your list can help you to achieve it.
First and probably most obviously, writing it down stops you forgetting your list! I have SO many things I want to try, places I want to see and things I want to do that sometimes it’s hard to keep track. But I found writing them down, and checking my list helps me to make sure I do them! Whether it’s trying the food at the new restaurant in town or travelling around the world keeping a list will help you achieve! I often get distracted by my work and responsibilities that I forget all the things I want to do for fun, and my list reminds me that I still need to take time for myself.
Secondly, by making a list it helps you to visualise what it is you are wanting out of life. By taking time to write down everything you want to do means that you begin to think about what is important to you, and can help you re-evaluate your life and re-frame your perspectives. Making a bucket list certainly made me think that I needed to change my outlook on what is important and I reconsidered where I was spending my time and energy. This meant I stopped watching the TV so much, and began spending this time working towards checking things off my list.
Things to remember this month
This is probably my favourite on this list, at the end of each month I write down the dates that I want to remember and a brief overview of what I did. Whether this be attending a birthday party, getting a new job or something nice what someone said. This means I can look back and briefly see all the awesome things I did each month and allows me to see my life from a different perspective. It’s nice to look over each month at the end of the year, so I can see what this year meant and the great things I achieved and the moments I spent with those I care about
This is a very popular method of journaling which you have probably heard of already, but I decided to put it on my list anyway because I think the benefits of gratitude journaling are amazing. Every week I try to write a few short sentences of things that I am grateful, whether it be the good weather, my health or my amazing family and partner.
It allows me to focus on the good things and reposition my perspective, ensuring that I am always aware of how fortunate I am to have the life I do. I find it also gives me clarity, and shifts my focus from what I haven’t got to what I do have. I think modern society is so quick to tell us what we are missing out on, or what we don’t have, that it is beneficial to take some time to really think about what we DO have. Especially those things that money can’t buy.
Also on those days where you aren’t feeling your best you can always look over your gratitude journal to give yourself a boost!
Quotes and Advice
I love keeping a note of my favourite quotes, or advice I have received that made an impact on me. Whether this me something my grandma said, or something I read in a Shakespearean sonnet. I like to look back on these when I need some inspiration either for writing or in my personal life!
I’ll share one of my favourite quotes with you, seen as you’re here!
Without contraries is no progression. Attraction and repulsion, reason and energy, love and hate, are necessary to human existence. – William Blake
The Little things!
I think when I began journaling over 5 years ago, I thought I had to record the most amazing days and really interesting things that happened. But now I know it’s the little things that make my journals really personal, like what my favourite book is, the day I saw a really cute dog in the park, or when I had a cup of coffee with my mum and we reminisced about holidays we had when I was younger.
My journal is only meant for my eyes, and the little things that bring me joy really make a difference. I think I, like most people, don’t live a life where I am always doing amazing and different things. So I don’t always experience things which would be interesting to other people. However, I experience things which are interesting to me even though they may be mundane to someone else.
Keeping a note of the little things, which I might otherwise forget, is a lovely way to keep remembering those small but lovely memories!
For more information;
https://blog.doist.com/benefits-of-journaling-81b663a27608 (I absolutely love the idea of a curiosity journal! You should definitely check this out!)