THE BENEFITS OF KEEPING A JOURNAL

I mentioned in my September posts you need to read that I'd been loving Jemma's post about keeping a daily journal, and it inspired me to start keeping my own. I've found it has so many benefits, and I'm discovering more and more reasons to continue keeping a daily journal with each passing day. Although, I do struggle to write in it everyday. I'm trying to make it a habit but I seem to be failing so far - I manage it a few times a week which, in the grand scheme of things, I think is not bad.

I used to keep a diary ages ago, back when I was in high school, and I would write in it only when bad things happened. Reading over it does put me in a bad mood, because it reminds me of all the bad stuff that happened and what I was upset about 3 years ago today. I'm trying to make a conscious effort to have more good things than bad things in this journal - obviously, that won't always be the case because that's just life, but it doesn't mean I can't try. Sure, maybe I had a really crap day and someone was a little mean to me, but there are so many good things going on in my life right now and sometimes I need to sit down and write about them in order to appreciate them properly. I don't tend to write down the petty things anymore, like what Max did to upset me that day, because it doesn't feel like it matters anymore. Keeping a journal has enabled me to appreciate and be grateful for the smaller things more, which is definitely improving my overall mood.

I can be quite a stressed-out person, literally just ask anyone. If there is anything bothering me I tend to just keep it to myself but act differently, like I'll be a lot quieter and a lot moodier and it's all down to anxiety and worry. I go to my journal first now, because it helps me get a hold on what specifically is bothering me, which then makes it easier to discuss with other people. If I don't know what's stressing me out and I try to ask for help, more often than not it does result in some sort of argument or me just not co-operating and not taking any advice into account. It's a way for me to get it clear in my head what's exactly wrong.

Whenever I write something nowadays, it's to be made public. Whether that's on my own blog or at work, anything I write is going to be seen by however many other people, which can be daunting at times. It's really nice to have my journal as a space solely for me. I can say whatever I want, talk about whatever I want, and I don't have to worry about anyone else. It's good to be selfish sometimes, and because I love writing so much, it seems silly not to have a platform or an area that is just for me to enjoy my own writing in private. I'm not planning on showing my journal to anyone, ever, I think. It's not as if I talk bad about anyone in there, but as soon as I show it to someone it's no longer my safe space to do whatever I want with.

Keeping a journal has absolutely helped me to get a hold on my anger. I have been noticing recently that I've not been getting angry as easily, and I'm able to calm myself down a lot quicker. I would say it's mostly due to coming off the pill, but my journal has also been helping a lot. When I get angry now, I go to the journal first. I write down some reminders for when I have these wobbly moments and I write until I can understand the situation and talk about it without getting angry or saying things that I don't necessarily mean. It's been a bit of a lifesaver to be honest, but because I try to keep things positive in my journal, it even helps to read over old posts. It makes me realise that you just don't need to be angry all the time, it's a pretty miserable way to spend your time and it's not what I want to be doing. I try not to get so stuck in the present all the time, and instead look to the future for exciting things that are going to happen, and it's definitely helping improve my mood.

Do you keep a journal?

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