Lessons Learned from Journaling

5 Lessons Learned From Journaling

Lessons Learned from Journaling

Since I learned to write, ages before there was even an idea of a thing called ‘blog’, I had a great urge to write. As a child I would write and draw stories and even comics.

Later on, when the tumultuous teenage years took over, a diary came into the picture. It became my safety blanket when I felt most insecure and hated myself for being too ugly, too clumsy, too stupid and not good for anything or anyone.

It became “the friend” to whom I told aabsolutely everything, all the things I could never say out loud to another human being. And to some extent it helped.

Since growing up physically as much as mentally, and embarking on the ‘adult life’ (whatever that may be), the diary was left behind. More life experience meant better capability to deal with different situations in the moment, rather than discussing it on a diary later.

Since then journaling has become a big thing among people attempting to live the best life. There are dozens of journal types; bullet journals, gratitude journals, self discovery journals and food journals. Just have your pick.

More and more people were praising journaling as the way to live a meaningful life and people seemed to be putting a lot of time and effort on their journals.

I couldn’t quite get it. I’m quite slow with warming up to big phenomena, like the avocado-craze or crossfit, partly because I’ve never been one to follow the crowd.

So, the journaling-craze and its incredible effects on one’s mental health raised doubts in my mind. But since I’m not one to judge, until I’ve tried it myself, I decided to go for it.

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Lessons Learned from Journaling

I searched for journaling prompts from Pinterest but they were all either too deep or simply not of interest to me. I wanted something simple which would allow me to see the possible progress in my life in short term. Also, I didn’t want to journal every day, but instead take some time for it once a week.

So I came up with my own weekly journal prompts where I would discuss the past week, my achievements, feelings, and what I expected of myself the coming week. Like this:

1. What did I do this week?

2. How did I feel this week?

3. What am I proud of this week?

4. What could I have done better?

5. What goals do I have for next week?

Simple things that can include a lot of information, thoughts, light bulb moments and allows me to offload whatever’s bothering me.

And oh boy, if I had known, when I started journaling, how much I would need to offload in the next 6 months’ time I would’ve started even without the experiment-element included.

Disclaimer; I didn’t find any major life-revealing facts like “I learned to be kinder to myself“, “I learned to prioritize“, or “I learned to appreciate myself.

Instead, I noticed smaller things, improvements in my mental health and in my ability to deal with stressful times. And they are as follow:

Lessons Learned From Journaling

Lessons Learned from Journaling

1. I’m entitled to my feelings. All of them!

One thing that became clear very quickly after starting to write these weekly updates, was that I had a lot of feelings I needed to spell out. But they weren’t something that I’d spill to my friends.

Instead it felt very freeing to spell them all out on paper. Like, all of them. In the process I noticed there were a lot of feelings I hadn’t even been aware of before.

And another revelation was that, as selfish or inconsiderate as some of those feelings were, they were my feelings and I was completely entitled to feel all of them. I’m a human being and I have feelings, perhaps more than your average person, but that’s me as I should be.

The thing is that not everything is appropriate to say outloud or take out on other people. So, pouring all those “inappropriate” feelings in my journal ensured that I didn’t make unnecessary enemies by ‘releasing’ everything in front of actual people.

2. Writing it down means it’s off your shoulders

Those who follow my blog regularly know already that my relationship ended this past Spring. And of course it brought a lot of emotions onto the surface. So, having a journal, where I could write my most secret worries, fears, hopes and dreams, was a real life-saver.

Sometimes the things that we worry about can get to be too much. But when I wrote it all down, I felt like the issues slid from my mind onto the pages. They were literally out of my head, which allowed me the head space to breathe more freely and move on from whatever worried me.

Lessons Learned from Journaling

3. I started taking responsibility for my goals

The 5th and last point in my journal prompts was probably the most important for me when it comes to personal development. I can be the laziest ass in the world, and when I didn’t have my boyfriend to kick me in the ass encourage me to do all the things I needed to, my journal filled the gap.

Written goals are concrete goals. When I had written down what I required myself to get done next week I felt pressure to get all those things done. They were often very simple goals, like ‘write and send those collaboration e-mails‘ or ‘ask for more tasks at work‘.

Totally achievable goals. As long as you just get to work!

4. I live on hope

And it’s a good way to live. Positivity will always trump negativity, every single time.

Reading through my journal entries from the past 6 months I couldn’t help but notice my overwhelming, perhaps even naive, positivity and hope for everything to always turn out okay in the end. And knowing from experience that things DO always turn out okay, I hope I never lose this part of myself.

And the fact that I keep hoping, wishing, praying for things that I want drives me, and thus means that I will more likely achieve, if not all, at least some of those goals.

Whereas if I never thought myself worthy, able or willing, it’s very unlikely I’d ever achieve or deserve any of the things I want.

5. I’m doing really well

We’ve all got our own issues; my problems aren’t bigger or smaller than somebody else’s. But at the end of the day, despite whatever meltdown I might be having, I do always remember the fact that I am doing spectacularly brilliantly.

I’ve got amazing friends, a beautiful apartment, enough money to get by and a job that I really enjoy. How could I do any better?

We human beings are never content, there’s always something we want; more money, a husband, a wife, children, a dog, new apartment, a car, summer house on the French riviera and all dat shit. But let’s all be honest with ourselves: even without all of those things, we’re all quite well off.

Lessons Learned from Journaling

I have enjoyed this experiment surprisingly much. Sometimes, especially after an eventful week, I looked forwards to sitting down with my journal to tell it everything that’s happened.

It’s become the way for me to spill out everything that’s pressing on my mind, and I mean everything. Because there are always things we never say out loud to even our bestest friends. But journal doesn’t judge and it doesn’t tell, so it sure is the best “friend” for spilling all your secret feelings and cravings to.

And that’s why I’ve decided to keep up this habit of writing a journal once a week.

Do you lovelies write a journal? I’d love to hear what kind of journal you write and why you write it! ♥


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