How to Journal
In my life, I have found several journaling methods that work for me. Sometimes, I like to ramble about what happened to me during the day. This relieves stress. On other days, I enjoy just writing a few sentences about how good the day was. Either way, when I'm finished, I greatly appreciate the events that have shaped me.
Remember the first day of kindergarten? Probably not. But maybe you remember a few things, like how it was a vibrant and exciting or how you were scared to leave the side of your parents. Either way, being able to capture those moments in a few sentences and to read them back to yourself when you need to remember the small joys of life is priceless. For example, let's look at this journal entry I like reading to myself:
"It's the first day of camp, and I am really excited. This is the first time in months since I got to be a camp counselor, and I can't wait to lead my campers. Hopefully, these kids will like me and not be too scared of me, but we'll see very soon."
Here, we see several things. Obviously, I recorded the events I observed on the day of the retreat. Secondly, I wrote what I felt going through it. Of course, it was nothing too personal; otherwise, I wouldn't feel comfortable sharing it here, but either way, it gives me a sense of remembrance of what did happen.
What if we also looked back on the days when it wasn't so good. You may ask, "What's the point of remembering those days? Won't I just become more anxious?" I would argue, perhaps you could make yourself feel worse just reading it, but could analyzing it from another point of view remind you of your strength within? Could it also remind you to be thankful to those who stood next to you in your lowest of lows and were willing to share their time and caring when you needed it? Perhaps, from that perspective, the purpose of continuing to reflect on difficult past events becomes very useful in our future ones.
"the purpose of continuing to reflect on difficult past events becomes very useful in our future ones."
Where to Start:
Ask yourself three questions: 1. What am I hoping to get done tomorrow? 2. What am I grateful for? 3. What did not go so well today?
Why these questions? In short, the first one lets go of the stress by setting in stone exactly what is needed. Sometimes, we don't work efficiently because we are so concerned about the events of tomorrow. Once we acknowledge and let go of what we need to do tomorrow, we can finally focus on what important tasks we have today.
"Once we acknowledge and let go of what we need to do tomorrow, we can finally focus on what important tasks we have today."
Moving on to the second one, gratitude is one of the best ways to produce joy no matter the circumstances you face. In doing so, I hope you would not only take the time to reflect on those who you appreciate but also act on that gratitude and let them know that too. Lastly, my third point is that it's important to think about everything that happens to us during the day. That way we can make positive changes in the future.
Journaling is a great way to reflect and let off some steam. it can also help you realize things abut yourself and others in was you hadn't before. So take time to practice some of these exercises everyday, and you'll be on your way to creating a more mindful life.
-By Jimmy Jian
-Edited by Jacob Just-Buddy