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  • Writer's pictureMark Thomson

Journaling for fun and insight

Updated: Oct 31, 2021

Journaling is an easy, cheap, and fun way to express yourself. It has helped me understand and better deal with my thoughts, emotions and issues and given me so many valuable insights.

I began journaling almost 50 years and it kept me afloat when I was struggling to cope in my first year out of school. It helped me so much, I’ve done it ever since.

I know first-hand it can help you:

  • Express your thoughts and feelings safely so you can understand yourself better

  • Manage anxiety and reduce stress

  • Cope with depression

  • Prioritise solutions and problems

  • Get a better perspective

  • Remember what you’re grateful for and what makes you happy

  • Recognise what triggers states like anxiety and plan how to control them

  • Create and practice using positive statements about yourself

  • Identify negative thoughts and behaviours and challenge them

  • Record your impressions of significant events and people in your life in a way photos and video can’t

  • Gain insights – not just at the time you write, but later when you reread it

  • Be more creative, it’s only limited by your lack of imagination

And you don’t have to stick to writing – you can draw, paint, paste in pictures. It doesn't need to follow any set structure because it's your private place to discuss and create and express whatever you want.

Let the ideas flow freely. Don't worry about spelling mistakes or what other people might think. If you don’t know where to start begin with your feelings. If you’re feeling pissed off or sad or scared or loved up allow all that to pour out on the page. You’ll feel better for the release and you may get some insight. Aim to journal most days, it need only take a few minutes.

You can also journal on your smartphone or laptop. I’ve moved mine online and it works just as well.

Keeping a journal helps me create order when my world feels like it’s in chaos. You get to know yourself by revealing your most private fears, thoughts, and feelings. Look at your writing time as personal relaxation time. It's a time when you can release and flow and wind down, and be yourself.

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