We have carried around everything from playbooks to textbooks, lab manuals to autobiographies for someone who died 300 years ago. What do these all have in common? They were all attempts at a person or people to record and convey their own thoughts and ideals. It is amazing how much clearly things become when you have to think through them to write it down. It doesn’t have to be a diary or a journal, it could be voice memos like Captain Kirk from star trek, or a blog, or even more modern a vlog (video blog).
The act of simply processing our thoughts and raw emotions to be able to put them into words helps to bring them into focus. Write when you are angry, write when you are sad, write when you are happy and write even when you feel like you have nothing to talk about. The more you write down the more it becomes a conversation with yourself about how you see and process the world. Even in the process of starting this blog it forced me to acknowledge some emotions that I had not quite dealt with from the end of my time with football. It gave me the clarity to acknowledge and then move past them.
Journaling has many positive mental and physical impacts according to this NCBI study. The study goes on to say,” PAJ (Positive affect journaling) may serve as an effective intervention for mitigating mental distress, increasing well-being, and enhancing physical functioning among medical populations. PAJ may be integrated into routine medical care to improve quality of life.” Just the simple act of jotting down a thought as it comes across your mind can help to relieve yourself of the burden of carrying around that stress.
In addition, it can serve as a valuable tool for both retrospection and introspection. By having these thought laid bare while raw and unfiltered it can provide a benchmark over time to the things you are processing and experiencing. It can be very motivational every once in a while, to look back on and reflect on the progress you have made along your journey. I believe so strongly in this and so do others. A post from Positive Psychology went on to list 83 different benefits of journaling! There is such a range of variety of different mediums out there find one that works for you.
No one is saying you have to write a 2,000-page treatise on your life. I am simply asking you to take the conscious effort to jot down a thought here and there. These days with modern technology you wouldn’t even need a physical journal you can create a file in your note’s sections. There is no reason to not take the plunge, it seems like there is a high time cost but even take 3-5 minutes a day can be beneficial. Let’s be honest that’s less time than you spent looking over somebodies Facebook or Instagram page today. Spend a little time on yourself and invest in a better you. This week take the time to journal once a day, every day for at least a week. Take the time to wholeheartedly engage yourself in the task. It can be simple and straight forward but will help to open your eyes to the possibilities of what can be. Take the first step today, I’m proud of you and I believe in you!