Why Should You Journal?
In an age of technology, where we've become so accustomed to using our thumbs to send quick snippets of text and emojis, why would anyone in their right mind suggest journaling as a form of connection?
Easy. We may be the most "connected" we've ever been in history, but that connection, in a way, is driving our society to isolation.
It is so easy for someone to post about the perfect day they've had with their gorgeous Instagram pictures and their wisest words of wisdom that they've likely stolen from a blog post they've read and curated to fit their life.
And it's human nature to see that post and feel like a) I need to post more things like that, and not be my authentic self so people like me more or b) get depressed I'm not like that perfect persona that I feel something is wrong with me.
You're disconnecting from yourself, either way, which prevents true connection to anyone else. It can be exhausting. I'm honestly a little worried about how my five year old is going to socialize with other people as she grows up as the "connection" continues to grow.
But what does that have to do with journaling?
The way I see it, people live behind screens now. We even communicate with our family and friends more on Facebook (or Snapchat for the younger generation) than we do in real life. And that can create a silo. It gets lonely. When we get lonely, we get depressed. A cycle starts.
Mental health has become a very big topic recently because it seems more people are depressed and can't deal with things socially so they feel their only way out is suicide or drugs or whatever else. I've heard people speak more openly on depression recently than ever before, and that's great, but how do you deal with depression, anxiety or maybe just general overwhelm outside of therapy or drugs?
For me, I started journaling. Real, physical pen-to-paper journaling. There are proven mental benefits to journaling that I'm sure anyone can surf the internet and read up about. But the main thing I've benefited from is having a way to connect to my inner thoughts without fear of judgement. Not even from myself (and trust me, I'm my worst critic). I'm getting everything out on paper. I write about what I did the previous day. I write about what I have coming up. I write about my goals. I write about the fears I have and the anger I feel.
I just write, quickly and quite honestly - very sloppily. Oh, has my penmenship suffered over the years. However, I'm not writing it to post up on a blog for all to read to see how many likes I get. I'm finding a way to get everything that has been heavy on my soul out of my body. I'm letting it go on the page. I'm finding a way to deal with it, and once I get it out, I usually feel much better.
It doesn't have to be all doom and gloom either. Writing what you are grateful for, or maybe the great memories you made the prior day, are wonderful reminders of all the good things in your life, too. I hope some day when I'm older I can read back through my journals and see all the good and bad that made me who I am.
Ultimately, because of my journaling, I've been able to understand why I'm feeling what I'm feeling and communicate that to other people so that it helps our connection grow deeper. By connecting to myself, I'm feeling more comfortable connecting to others.
I started creating journals in the hopes that it would help others as it has helped me. Journals aren't the only thing I make, but they are what started me out on this journey. They are dear to my heart, and I use one every single day to help me get over my fear and follow my heart.
If you use a journal, comment below on some reasons you use them.