There’s a very famous line in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, ‘Journaling is like whispering to oneself and listening at the same time’. While journaling, you’re having the most important conversation of your day: the conversation with the self. We have, at some point in our lives, been advised to, or been inspired to start writing a journal. And, quite a few times, we’ve also brought pretty journals (stationary hoarders, you’re not alone!), but have failed to maintain them. But, here’s a little secret: Journaling can not only make you feel more relaxed, it can also make you smarter.
Let’s start with the basics. The one reason why children are encouraged to start writing journals from an early age is because this practice improves their vocabulary and language skills. But, the question is, how? Well, let’s say you want to write about just how good-looking your new crush is. And, they are all you think about for weeks. If you write about them every day, you’re bound to find new (and improved!) ways of describing them. You’d be surprised at just how many new words you would learn just so you could get their soothing smile right or describe their hair perfectly! And, once you do get into the habit of writing down all that you saw, or all that you talked about, you will notice that this entire exercise has begun to boost your memory and your comprehension skills.
Journaling is also an effective way to attain mindfulness. Writing down your feelings and thoughts is a step closer in acknowledging them. Not only will you understand yourself better, but you will also be able to think clearer and in a more linear direction, without your thoughts spilling left, right and centre!
Here’s a little tip: When you do decide to start journaling, make sure that you choose your journal very carefully. Your journal could be <theme-based> or could be <pocket-sized>, depending on what you would like. On the contrary, you could even start with a <basic journal> if you’re figuring out what you like. Choosing a journal is important because, essentially, the paper you write on is a medium to relieve your heart and mind of your feelings. And so, having a medium that is familiar to you, or is close to your heart, is part of the entire experience that will, eventually, help you heal. Even when you’re <gifting a journal> to anyone you personally know, it’d be a good idea to give them one they would feel connected to, in some way or the other. This goes out for personal as well as professional uses!
Did the term ‘professional uses’ surprise you? Hmmm, not so surprising, actually. As good as journaling is for the heart, it is even better for the mind! It is a great tool to declutter your mind and is known to reduce stress significantly.
In the professional capacity, you can use a journal to organize your thoughts, make a to-do list, make notes of the things you’ve done so far, or the things you’re yet to do… the possibilities are endless. When we talk, or think of the work we do, no idea is too crazy. This means that any and every idea you have is worth noting down, not just to test its potential, but to look back at it five or ten years from now, and to realise that you did, indeed, make it!
Keeping a journal is the best way to unleash your creativity, and to keep it ignited and fresh! The more plans you jot down on to the paper, the more things you will have accomplished. If you’re looking to start a new venture, it would be a good idea start journaling from day one… and by day one, we mean the first day, afternoon or night that the idea hits you. The reasoning behind this is simple enough: it will help you keep a track of your progress. And, when the times comes, this very journal will be the biggest source of self-confidence that you would ever read. Just imagine, for one second, opening the first page of your 5-year old journal, flipping through it, and reaching the last page only to realise that you’ve come farther than you ever thought you would!
There is nothing that matches the good, old-fashioned way of writing down your success stories (and the opposite) to remind yourself of your achievements!
We’ve heard people say that writing a journal is a hobby. But, we just want to tell you that it is not just that. It is an art; it is therapy. And, more than anything, it is exercise; it is a form of discipline. Something as trifle as writing down one page in your journal every day is going to set a routine for you that you will benefit from, all your life.
So, whether it is to record your personal progress, your professional achievements, or just to declutter that brilliantly creative of yours, you must keep a journal.