Organize your thoughts and clear your mind with a notebook and pen.
You don’t have to call it a diary. Journaling is a much safer word. But writing down your thoughts, daily plans, yearly goals, and future hopes can bring a lot of clarity. Some people have a knack for organizing their thoughts into their mind palace, where they can store everything in archives and cleanly, systematically think through their thoughts, memories, and emotions. For those of us who aren’t so lucky, we tend to treat our minds like warehouses, filled with piles of old memories, good and bad. It’s hard to process and file new thoughts since we do not have a proper organizational system. Below are three benefits for keeping a journal that can help steer your mind towards clear thinking and motivations.
Writing down your goals on a periodic basis will help you prioritize certain actions over others and consistently work towards and succeed in your short and long term achievements. You can also track your progress this way. Go back and look at where you were a few weeks or months ago and celebrate the small or large steps that you have taken to approach these goals. You will feel far more productive once you realize how much progress you have actually made.
If you keep a regular journal, you can take the time to slow down and think about the day, week, or month that is racing past you. When work and family life moves by in flashes and blinks, it helps to sit down and reflect on the current moment. You may struggle with feeling present in certain circumstances because of how much is on your plate. Or, you may think of certain memories and regret how absent your mind was in the situation. Journaling can tie you back down to now and allow you to think through exactly what is happening.
Running from activity to activity can take a toll on your emotional health. You may end up bursting with frustration, sadness, or anxiety and not understand why. Don’t blame yourself. You probably had filled your mind to the brim and couldn’t handle any more pressure. Sitting back and reflecting on these feelings can help you let off some steam and understand yourself better.
You may not want to dump out all of your emotions onto one person. A spouse, friend, or sibling can welcome you to share and open up about all that is going on. People are wonderful resources — when they have the time and ability to listen. If they don’t, they can actually be more detrimental to your emotional health and cause you to feel more like a burden than an accepted friend or family member.
It may behoove you to open up to a couple pages in your journal instead or in addition to another person. These pages will not cast any judgement and will listen with open ears. You can write about the frustrations or anxieties that have crept in. You can process through your emotions and understand why you feel the way you do before you are ready to open up to someone. Just navigating your way through these thoughts will help relieve you of the pressure or overwhelm you feel from the day. Get it out by writing it out.