What do Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx, Anne Frank, the young Jewish girl who hid with her family in an attic during World War II, and Susan Sontag, writer, filmmaker and political activist, all have in common? Each of these women wrote in a journal, or kept a diary. Journaling can mean different things to different people. For some, a journal is more like a to-do list or a food diary. Others keep a gratitude journal or work out deep thoughts, almost a written therapy of sorts. And remember the Burn Book from the movie “Mean Girls?” That was also a journal.
Journaling is the fourth installment of our #GirlUBeWell Blog series because keeping a journal is a great way to organize thoughts, work out problems, encourage personal growth and help sort through emotions, happy or sad. Consider a journal a safe place for deepest, darkest personal issues or the place to park troubles at night in order to stop the brain from ruminating on problems and disrupting sleep.
On the flip side, a journal can be a place to write about experiences in order to document memories. A journal can also be a place for ideas and creativity and organizing insights. Some people have found that by writing down one note of gratitude per day one can refocus a general outlook on life to be positive in nature.
There are a variety of ways to keep a journal as well! Some people prefer old fashion pen and paper, and the variety of artisan notebooks highlights the popularity of this medium. There are also apps available to journal on your mobile device since most people have a phone close by 24/7! And there is also the trusty laptop or desktop if fingers fly across the keys more comfortably than holding a pen.
Let a journal be the place for a brain dump! Once a thought is on paper, or in the journal app, have a conversation with the brain to let this issue go and to stop mulling it obsessively. If something gets under the skin, complain loudly and use expletives in the journal! Consider this journal a private place to scream, to face down your fears, to buck yourself up and to voice your dreams, desires and wishes. A journal is a judgment free medium so it should feel liberating to keep a journal. Be well!