Journaling to just feel better

Journaling is more about one’s inner life than outer life but you can’t dismiss that our outer life has a lot of impact on our inner life. So when your life, in general, feels difficult, or just too busy, too stressed, too anything – journaling can help.

Today, I am feeling super gloomy. There is no particular reason. Perhaps a multitude of small reasons. I have also been having such a packed summer that I am quite worn out. Yet, there is still no time to just be because of prior commitments. So I turn to my journal. I pour out the words, feelings, sometimes irrational feelings but worth mentioning nonetheless. It’s better than keeping it all in, because if I keep it in, it churns around in my mind, exploding into a bigger thing. It’s better than constantly barraging people in your life with your moaning because really, there is enough gloom around.

So today, I am journaling, just to feel better. There doesn’t have to be anything worthwhile written in there. There doesn’t have to be a stroke of brilliance or great writing skill. It’s not poetry. It’s not literature. It just is. It reflects my mood today, what’s on my mind, and it makes me feel better as I get those words out. 

Your journal can do that for you. It can’t fix everything. It can’t offer you a permanent solution for all your problems. But it can sometimes bring that temporary relief. And sometimes that’s enough to just get you going. 

It’s important to value our feelings. To acknowledge how we feel. Our society is so used to giving the standard answer “I’m fine” that we start doing it even to ourselves. We tell ourselves we are fine. Except that we are not. Lying about how fine we are, only leads to bitterness, which actually makes you less appreciative of the good things you do have. So instead, acknowledge that some days you are not fine. Some days you are just angry, hurt, sad, bitchy, gloomy etc. And get those feelings out. Process them. Give them room to make themselves known in the privacy of your journal, which is your safe space. By doing that, you may also just get to know yourself a bit better. 

ACTION YOU CAN TAKE TODAY:

Pick up that pen, get your journal, and write your heart out. 

 

Handwriting evolution in my journals

Handwriting is an incredible thing. So much of an individual’s personality is infused in it. If you are a regular reader of Kaizen Journaling, you know that I am a big advocate of handwritten journaling. Recently, I was talking to a friend who also journals and we were talking about handwriting and how it’s evolved over time. 

So out of curiosity, I dug out my first journal. I started journaling in 2000, but my first journal lasted a while. 

The first picture is from September 1, 2002.
The second picture is from September 11, 2017.

I found the evolution of my handwriting interesting. The fact that it has kept its neatness, but it is distinctly different. I seemed to have shaded all the flourish and go for far more straight-up efficiency now. And probably gotten stingier with old age, as my handwriting is far smaller :-D

How about you? How has your journaling changed over time? 

 

Journaling exercise: challenging your mindset in challenging times

I’ve been facing some personal challenges recently. Unexpected twists and turns that threw all my plans aside, forced me to shift priorities, and focus on things that I didn’t want to focus. That’s also one of the reasons why I haven’t been able to post here regularly, though that will hopefully change. I miss interacting with you guys, but also more importantly, regardless of what else is happening, I want to keep giving you journaling goodness, and inspiring your journaling journeys. 

Forced change is never pleasant, but it is what it is, and has to be dealt with accordingly. So today’s exercise reflects that: 

In your journal, answer this question: 

When was the last time you were forced into an unexpected, unwanted situation? What was it? What was your initial reaction? What did you then do to resolve it? How did you feel afterwards?

Do you believe now that whatever happened, happened for the best? Do you believe in that positive outlook that everything eventually turns out for the best? 

ACTION YOU CAN TAKE TODAY:

Do the above journaling exercise. Be honest with yourself. About your reactions to the situation, and about how you felt. Don’t sugarcoat anything.

 

Journaling exercise: dissecting your nearest and dearest

Well if that title caught your attention, I don’t know what that says about you :-) But in this exercise, we are going to dissect people closest to you.
Not literally. 
Just on the page. 
Who are the 5 people closest to you? 
Why?
What makes them closest? 
Why do you trust them?
Why do respect them?
Why do you love them? If you do?
Is there a pecking order among these five people? Be honest if there is. You don’t need to feel bad or guilty about it. 
The purpose of this exercise is to understand those closest to you, and by doing so, you understand more about your self.