Journaling or journal writing is a writing practise through which people can keep track of their thoughts, actions and ideas for their own use. Journaling can be done on a regular basis or more sporadically in cases when you feel it is necessary. The beautiful part of this practice is its flexibility and how you can work according to your preferences. It could be daily, weekly or even once a month.
Many people don’t believe in it for a number of reasons, such as not having time to journal or the lack of instant gratification. Firstly, writing a journal does not mean you have to write an essay every time you sit down, it doesn’t actually matter how much you write as long as you are able to get what you need out of it. It will not, as with all things, yield immediate changes in your life. It requires commitment, but trust me, it has a profound impact on one’s decision-making abilities and can give one real clarity about the direction their thoughts are headed, making the path ahead, a bit easier to tread.
This form of written expression is one of the most underrated ways by which a person can organize their thoughts or express their emotions. Journals are a great way to relieve stress and deal with any kind of negative emotions that one may have. The best part of having a journal is the fact that there is no format to it; you can dictate the course of your writing as you wish. In my opinion, the best way is the classic way, with a pen and paper. However, various alternatives do exist with a lot of people choosing to go online with their journals and blogs.
There are no set rules to follow as long as it serves the purpose. Personally, I keep mine fairly simple and use it just to record my day to day activities. If you feel the need for your journal to be vibrant, then you can use coloured pens to reflect the emotion or experience that you want to highlight; the sky is the limit when it comes to being creative and thinking out of the box.
I believe this practice can serve two broad purposes, the first is to document your activities and the second is to deal with pressure and emotional stress affecting your mental health. For both of these purposes, it is better to write in your journal on a regular basis.
People who indulge in this on a regular basis generally use it to highlight activities, jot down thoughts and ideas, and clear their mind. Over time, this helps an individual in clearing their mind and also initiates action, thus making things happen. The journal will help you find the solutions to your problems over sessions of constant introspection.
When a person writes a journal to deal with any form of mental or emotional stress, it is important that it be done on a regular basis. The mental and emotional stress that a person faces can build up and transform into a more serious issue such as depression or anxiety. The best way to deal with that emotional build-up is by having an outlet through which you can let go of or express those emotions. This allows for the person to clear their mind and focus on more positive feelings and thoughts rather than dwell on the negative emotions.
Journaling is a great way for people to stay mentally healthy and personally, in the midst of a global health crisis, would be my go-to suggestion for people struggling to manage their thoughts. A journal could be of great help to a lot of people who are facing stressful situations on a daily basis or are feeling emotionally vulnerable. This Christmas, it might not be a bad idea to gift your friends and family members a journal.
Note: If you are experiencing any symptoms that might indicate a potential mental health issue, strictly avoid self-diagnosis and seek the help of a medical professional.