~An Affair with Journaling~
I’ve always had a fascination with storytelling, words, and all. When I was about 7 or 8, I spent a great deal of time creating journals. I would take pages upon pages of paper, staple them together and create journals. I’d have one journal for reality and another for make believe. Needless to say, my stories were the kinds that were the cause of my troubles, especially when my mother would come across my fictional journals. I was forced to remind her to think back as to whether or not the events I wrote about could actually have happened. And as I got older, my fictional tales became oh so wilder. My journaling was a daily event for me. Late at night, when everyone else slept, I was cuddling my journals – crying, laughing, getting angry, and loving every moment of the experience.
I’ve never forgotten my early affair with journaling. Over the years, I’ve amassed tons of journals – spiritual thoughts, love, reflections on life, daily diaries, future aspirations, characters (by this I mean characters that I knew in real life) and many more. Perhaps you might believe I had too much time on my hands, but I don’t believe that was the case. Journaling helps to divvy up and organize the mountains of data that travel through my mind every day. I even go back over older journals, take specific thoughts and create new ideas based on them. So, my madness has not always been in vain. I’ve even read books that sparked different areas in my mind; in turn, causing me to start new journals.
Journaling has also helped in therapy. No one necessarily had to tell me this; I figured it out on my own. In dealing with stressful issues, anxiety or panic attacks, although the process was initially difficult, writing has helped. I believe it has to do with channeling your thoughts into one word at a time. Think about it… When we are overwhelmed, we’re caught up in so many different areas that we can’t seem to dig ourselves out. Writing the old-fashioned way, with pen and paper, forces you to have to organize your thoughts. Granted, they might still be rushing through your head – that’s okay. The important thing to realize is that they can only come out one at a time.
I’m not sure if you can actually see that, I know that I can. I was told some time ago that it’s not possible to multi-task. That point is debatable because I’ve taken pride in doing an exceptional job of managing an array of duties. But as I think back now, no matter how many tasks I’ve lined up, set up or tried to organize, at some point, each assignment will always get even a moment of your exclusive attention. You end up forcing your mind to be focused, even for a brief second.
Now back to journaling…
I believe that journaling is a must, at least for the benefits. It’s a part of my regular conversations even. I am constantly encouraging others to take up journaling, even giving away journals. From the moment my kids were able to hold pencils and crayons, I made certain that they were journaling. I encouraged them to spell words as best as they could, and as they grew older, we’d review their younger journals and how they progressed over time. And one of the biggest benefits to the exercise was allowing them to refocus and direct their attention. For anyone that has not taken up journaling, you don’t know what you’ve been missing. Might I also add that you don’t have to be a fanatic about it, the way that I am. In fact, you might consider setting aside a weekly time to gather your thoughts and record. That weekly time could potentially become daily. Then you’d end up wondering how you ever survived without journaling. As for me, I will continue to have multiple journals to focus the craziness that’s creeping through my mind.
I hope that I am not the only person that has this fixation with putting down all of their thoughts in such a crazy way. Can anyone relate?