One of the bluwaterlife readers is our guest contributor for this post. After reading about my “life enjoyed bucket“, Melanie B. sent the thoughts below on the positive benefits that come from writing down your feelings, thoughts and memories. I wanted to share her ideas here. I especially like her last line, “It makes holding onto your dreams much more possible.”
As previously shared in my bluwater~story, I am an inveterate list maker, note taker and tear sheet saver…with years of notes, pictures and half-filled journals. The picture with this post shows a few of my travel journals, where I have tried to capture the moments…happily, all the books were gifts from friends over the years. One of them is my “infamous quote book” where I have written down things that struck me in the moment. Bits of song lyrics, something I read or random things said by friends…usually involving a boat drink or two. There are moments where a friend will say, “that’s one for the quote book”, and it ends up there. As I have written posts for bluwaterlife, it’s been helpful to be able to go back to my journals and find some detail that has faded over time. Now what was the name of that restaurant, cocktail, divemaster, boat, island…? Luckily I have written it down, and it has helped me hold onto the dreams.
I hope you write a line or two today 🙂 Bluwatergal
From guest contributor ~ Melanie B.
Most people don’t think of journaling as a way to improve their lives, but it’s actually an extremely useful tool. Keeping a record of your thoughts, feelings, hopes and dreams allows you to make them more concrete and helps you keep your goals in sight. Journaling also does a lot to help you track the thoughts and feelings you’ve had in the past, allowing you to keep your sense of perspective and take control of your life.
~ Types of Journals
You have a wide range of options when it comes to journaling. Personal, handwritten diaries, which are the old standby, are still an excellent choice. They’re comfortable, require no electricity or Internet connection, and are entirely private.
You may wish to share your journal with others or use a format that more easily includes pictures and other media. Many people get the same benefits from journaling online via a blog or social network that they would from a paper journal but with the added plus of a support network.
~ Journaling Topics
Your journal doesn’t need to take any particular form. While many people keep their journals in diary format, writing about each day’s events, you can benefit from writing in many other ways. For instance, you could journal about your life goals and how you’re going to achieve them, keeping track of everything you do as a way of monitoring your progress.
You could track your moods and physical symptoms, so that you have a record of them to look at later. This method is especially helpful for people in medical treatment or counseling, since they can show their records to doctors. It’s much easier to provide good information when you write things down as you experience them, rather than trying to remember them at a later time.
If you’re going through a dark patch, you might consider making a special point of writing down the good things that happen to you. This can help you focus on what’s really important to you and avoid getting dragged down by negative thoughts.
~ Benefits of Journaling
Keeping a journal can have an enormous effect on your life. According to a study published in the Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, writing can be a great boost to mental health. This is especially common in people who have been through a stressful or traumatic event, such as war, a personal loss, or even a serious illness like mesothelioma amongst other cancers. Even people with no serious traumatic problems and a good future health prognosis can get a lot out of their journals.
The process of writing things down helps you think about them clearly, whether you’re discussing current events in your life, things that happened in the past, or what you hope to do in the future. Journaling makes it easy to decide how you feel, even when your life has become more complicated and difficult. It makes holding onto your dreams much more possible.