Do you often spend your days with random thoughts floating around your head, or forget what happened this time last week?
Having spent most of my adult life a prisoner of my brain, this was common practice in dealing with the onslaught of catastrophising, worrying, overthinking, making up scenarios and then forgetting it all the following day, only to rinse and repeat.
Its so easy to get lost amongst the negativity of our thoughts whilst completely ignoring the great stuff that got us through that day. We almost pre-programmed to accept the bad thoughts, keeping us on edge and ready to react when something goes wrong, but that's no life to live is it?
When I was introduced to journaling, I didn't really grasp the importance and saw it as just another default coping strategy without fully understanding the benefits.
It absolutely helps with offloading all that utter nonsense we have in our heads. By writing them down you're making them real but also filing them away.
If you're having a tough time, it enables you to keep a log of events so you can go back in time and see how far you've come
It gives you the opportunity to write down the great things that occurred. For example, you managed to complete that piece of work that's been stressing you out for days, or you've done the housework that you've been putting off! Writing down the "positive" actions will re-enforce your achievements and provide a sense of self-worth, something we all need a bit more of these days, so please don't forget them.
Keep a track of what's causing you stress or anxiety and see if you can identify any particular triggers. Overtime it could help introduce further coping strategies to make your life just a little bit more bearable.
Tracking sleep is another good one. I still struggle with getting a decent night's kip, but its more down to lots of positive thoughts floating around my head as opposed to negative and depressive thoughts. So keep a note of how you slept and even write down those bizarre dreams you had. Reading them back can often be quite amusing.
Journaling isn't something you need to stick to rigorously if you don't want to. It's there as a companion, so you use it when it seems best for you. You might feel if 3 days a week are fairly average, then you only write things on the other 4 days, but do what's right for you, it's your story!
If you're unsure how to start a journal, I've designed a simple solution that's now for sale in my store. But whatever route you choose, I can't recommend journaling enough, so please give it a go when you're ready.