“Writing is only boring to the people who are boring themselves.” ~ Anonymous

I don’t know if any of you have written diary entries before. But if you haven’t, you should start. Because writing is beautiful, it’s art. Writing down your emotions on a piece of paper makes your thoughts clearer and ends up making you feel better about yourself in ways you can’t possibly imagine. 

According to the Centre for Journal Therapy, it is the “the purposeful and intentional use of reflective writing to further mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health and wellness.” There are certain perks of diary writing which is what I will write about in this week’s Blogathon (Is that a thing? It should be a thing!) and I shall share some tips on how to keep a good journal/diary. 

  1. Like I said, Clears your mind and ends up making you feel better about yourself: Writing down your emotions about certain issues helps you figure out what actually went wrong and how. Writing therapy has been shown to boost the immune system, lower blood pressure, improve working memory and reduce stress-related visits to the doctor. It can also improve mood, provide a feeling of greater wellbeing, and even reduce absenteeism from work. And in certain ways, diary writing can be better than visiting a therapist. 
  2. Diary writing has no barriers:  In your diary is where you can write about literally anything you want. There are o barriers. No hesitations. It is where you can honour your thoughts, feelings, and experiences with the authenticity they deserve. More work gets accomplished when you are your genuine self in your writing.
  3. It gives you something to hold yourself responsible:  If you write something down it is a different level of commitment to yourself. You can use this fact to your advantage. There are times when we need something to smack us on the head and show us what’s really happening. We can sometimes get so lost in thought that we miss what’s actually happening. And writing something down gives us something to hold us responsible. 
  4. This is the best one yet – You write a book about yourself: What’s better than having a ready copy of what might turn into your autobiography? It is really great to review your personal development over the time. I’ve filled in about 6-7 books through diary writing. I wouldn’t go back to read the first one, though. Those events are just plain embarrassing. It may also be a great document for our relatives or even be inspiring for other people; Who knows who you might inspire through your journals.
  5. You exercise your writing skills: Journals/Diaries are a great place to practice your writing skills. Your journal writing might even help you score a few extra marks on your exam. 

There are of course, like everything else, a few limitations to journal writing:

  1. First, journal therapy may not be effective with people who experience cognitive or intellectual challenges. Knowing how to read and write is a must for this type of therapy. 
  2. Second, some studies indicate that writing about traumatic experiences may exacerbate symptoms.
  3. Third, according to the same research, not all people report positive progress from working through trauma using therapeutic journal writing.
  4. Lastly, it is important to monitor how people in therapy are responding to journal therapy techniques and to look out for behavioural or emotional symptoms of perseveration, rumination, or obsessive-compulsiveness in their writing. These patterns of behaviour can actually contribute to issues rather than improve them.

Tips on journal writing:

  1. Ensure your privacy: Keep your journal materials in a safe place.
  2. Return to what you have written: Save everything you write, when appropriate, and review it often. The process of going back to what you have written can not only spark inspiration for future writing, but can offer perspective on how far you have come.
  3. Write freely: Hush your inner critic and ignore the urge to edit your work. Therapeutic journal writing is not meant to be pretty or grammatically correct; it is meant to be real.
  4. Be honest with yourself: Like I’ve already said – Honor your thoughts, feelings, and experiences with the authenticity they deserve. More work gets accomplished when you are your genuine self in your writing.
  5. Sometimes, people use pictures and find it helpful to do so: It’s your diary. You can write whatever you want. Express your emotions the way you want o and if sticking pictures will help you, do it. Remember, you’re doing it for you and no one else. You come first.