We live in a digital age where our devices take care of everything for us and organise our lives. It wasn’t that long ago that keeping and using a diary was commonplace.
As a teen, I always looked forward to receiving the next year’s diary in my Christmas stocking. Inserting those key dates was fun, since it has a special meaning for me. it was also nice to refer to the diary should new plans arise and pen down my deepest thoughts, secrets and feelings. I kept my diary under lock and key in a deep drawer, where only I could access it.
Using a diary doesn’t just benefit those teenage years, penning down our emotions at any age is helpful. Because so few of us actually write on a regular basis, screens have become our ultimate replacement. To remind you of their importance, here are a few reasons why writing stuff down could be a good idea.
Engage with thoughts
Keeping a diary or journal can help you stay connected to yourself. It offers a way for us to organise our chaotic thoughts and to be more attentive in the moment. The use of a diary as a date reference is useful, but using a diary to organise your feelings, recall experiences and opinions can ease the load we feel in our minds and make us feel lighter, as well as creating a sense of order. It’s like exercise or sharing with a good friend, you always feel better afterwards.
Reduce stress levels
Expressing your most inner thoughts can help manage anxieties and help tackle such concerns in a positive way. We can bottle-up our emotions very easily and forget to communicate. Using a diary helps us to release our deepest thoughts, which then works to relieve stress. There is something quite empowering about keeping an honest journal. I’m a huge fan of The Morning Papers concept, which was developed by Julia Cameron, in her book The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path To Higher Creativity. The streams of consciousness you have every morning is written down in three pages (no more, no less). Morning pages consist of the first thoughts that arise in your mind when you wake up, no matter how meaningless they seem. The idea is that your mind becomes clear and any anxieties and emotions are left behind. Using a diary can work very similarly to this concept.
In the midst of so much daily chaos, it can be difficult to remember feelings and agendas. When we write these things down, we can make a stronger connection to the subject, since we can return to it in the future. When we write, we stay focused on the things that make sense to us, composing and rearranging ideas. As a result, we can also reconnect with our imaginative and creative side, which is a truly satisfying feeling.
When we write the things we want to achieve down, it can help us feel motivated to stay on top of the things that matter most to us. It can also help us adapt our goals when we need to and provide a place to self-reflect. Journaling allows us to step back, take a breath and reflect on ourselves. Self-reflection or writing what we did today in our diaries can help us gain insight. Evenings before settling in for the night offer a good time for reflection.