The change process – whatever its intent – includes a collection of small, incremental events, many of which may escape notice if not recorded. That is one of the functions of a diary. But there is much more to journaling than that. Let’s spend a couple of minutes analyzing the action of journaling as a successful facilitator — and recorder — of change.
There are numerous answers to the question,”What’s a journal?” The most obvious is the fact that it is a written record of those events in someone’s day, week, month, year or life; this is, a history. More subtly, a diary can be an interpretive, creative location, an exercise in creative freedom. Since nobody sees it but you, you do not need to worry about being a fantastic writer. . .but people who keep journals report that their writing almost inevitably improves, as does their power of observation. In actuality, a diary, kept frequently, is a container for self-reflection, such as your thoughts and feelings in addition to record of events.
It is also a car for self-expression, a way that you say what you mean, even when to do this aloud and to others may be threatening or harmful. And it is a way to explore your self – your ideas and theories, your organizational abilities, and your patterns of thought and expression.
In sum, a diary is a very accurate reflection of precisely who you are, and because you do it frequently, it is a measure of who you’re becoming.
Journaling creates several wonderful personal advantages. Since the writing is like talking to yourself, you can say whatever you want, you do not need to edit, and you can be totally honest about what you are thinking and feeling. This will, I guarantee it, give you a feeling of freedom that will make you want to continue doing it.
It has been my experience that journaling is a tool for stress reduction, also. If you are mad, write about it. If you are concerned, write about it. If you are confused or angry or pressured, write about it. The act of writing down it invariably reduced the pressures you feel. I normally feel calmer after writing than once I begin.
Another terrific advantage has to do with how you relate to other men and women. As you write about your interactions with individuals on your journal, you will end up getting into closer contact with your feelings about both the people and the interactions. As you write, some amount of understanding will normally emerge, and, at exactly the exact same time, you’ll start to work out solutions to relationship issues. The best thing about this is that the job gets done ahead of needing to blow off someone. If you are actually writing without editing, you will even find the answers on paper, like they were writing themselves.
A final advantage is that journaling helps you to arrange. You build a subject, a time-management technique, which may assist you in different areas of your life. You’ll discover that you will get better at list-making, in the structuring of goals and objectives, and at coordinating daily priorities. Here are some techniques used by journal-writers.
Do a “Topic-a-Day” list. Write down a list of 31 topics that interest you, and write something on a different one each day. You’ll be surprised by the number of new ideas this will generate.
If you have got a hang-up about a individual, why don’t you write them a letter? Not that you will ever send it, naturally, but it is a terrific way to air your feelings about the individual or the behaviour that is bothering you. You can release your feelings, develop ideas for reconciliation, resolve unfinished business. Again, this will bring in a package of fresh ideas, and you’ll be off and running.
If you are interested in working out an interpersonal problem, consider writing an imaginary dialogue between you and another individual. Try to think as the other person does. This is a powerful tool for self-understanding. Every now and then have a look to the past and write about the feelings associated with some pleasant event you have experienced. This is just another stimulator, especially for the expression of feelings.
You can do a similar thing by imagining what some occasion in the future will feel like, look like, etc. Experiment with this; it is a terrific way to set yourself up for future success.
When you have some doubts about some thing which happened before, have a look at how it could have been. Explore some road you did not take before, constructing a situation about what might have occurred. This, naturally, is a set up for visualizing future occasions.