A really good friend of mine made mention of this practice in a presentation she was doing. It was the only way she could remember what had happened during and in the aftermath of the Joplin tornado. You know how things, minutes, and days just run together? I'm sure she felt as though she'd never come out of the other end. So it was a way for her to document what was going on. It got me to thinking. What a better way to remember what goes on in our lives than to write it down. Remember, if it's not logged, it didn't happen.
During the really important moments of my life, I've written down feelings, thoughts, and detailed what's going on around me. I have datebooks scattered throughout my home and at work with bits and pieces of life. But, I've never looked at Journaling as a way to cope with everyday life.
My family survived the '93 flood. We are Missouri River bottom farmers. We moved in with my mother-in-law for three months. I had three children, ages 9, 7, and almost 2. My two year old was potty trained and we'd weaned him from "the binkie" and bottle, and almost instantly he reverted back to diapers, binkie, and bottle. (He'd kill me if he knew I was talking about him!) We were slammed with the very real possibility of losing everything, our crops, our home, and our way of living. So you see why I say survived. I had to rationalize what was happening some way. So I put it down on paper. I journaled every day about what was going on, how I was feeling, what my children were doing, and feeling. It was one of the ways I worked through what was happening to me and those I dearly loved. It actually put things in perspective; regardless of what material things we lost, repaired, replaced, as long as my family was safe and sound, we were good!
My life is probably just as chaotic, just in a different way, so I decided to take it up again.
Putting your thoughts into black and white, can put them into perspective and clarifies them. You get to know yourself better. You can find out what makes you happy and confident. Journaling also is known to reduce stress. Writing about emotions helps release the intensity. Through Journaling you can solve problems more effectively. It can trigger creativity and intuition. Rather than stewing over a disagreement, Journaling can enable you to work through it. Journaling can enable you to track your progress of accomplishment of goals. Journaling is a great tool to record your life for future generations. Journaling improves communication by exploring new words and ways of thinking.
Ultimately, Journaling can empower you.
Be prepared for the questions-what are you doing, what are you writing about (especially from your husband), can I read it? That's entirely up to you, but for me my journal is MINE! It's private. It's my innermost thoughts, feelings, dreams, and goals. It's also my anger, rantings, cussings, and unhappiness.
So I challenge you to Journal. Take 20 minutes a day, dump your thoughts on paper, and start over again!
Walk the talk, E