It seems that some people love to sit in misery. I say that with sarcasm…however that may be what you are doing when you journal. Writing in your diary about all of the terrible things that happened during the day is a risky move. Rehashing your day in print can go one of two ways: it can assist in your mental processing and help you reach a conclusion OR it can bring up and intensify the negative feelings. Only you know the effect writing has on your emotional state. My advice to you is to be aware. Don’t get me wrong, journaling can be a fantastic coping tool. If you need distance from a situation, need to rehearse what you want to say or want to keep a record of your growth, I’d say writing is a great option. I’d worry if the nightly writing becomes a depressive trigger.
An alternative to traditional journaling is to keep a gratitude journal instead. A gratitude journal is where you keep a log of things you are thankful for each day. As you may imagine, this task is easier some days than others. When I keep a gratitude journal, I do it in list format. Each day I only write the date and three things I’m grateful for in list form. This creates a great record and tool I can look back on for inspiration. In fact, just now I looked back through mine and felt a rush of satisfaction, happiness, love, and pride.
This post has reminded me how much the gratitude journal means to me and I’ve fallen away from the practice recently…So today I’m grateful for:
- Not procrastinating
- Having time to re-read my past gratitude lists
- New pillows