I’ve said many times that if someone were ever to read my early journals, it would appear that I led a truly miserable life. When I was younger – especially during the drama that can be teen years – I tended to journal only when I was bothered, depressed, sad, or confused. Journaling IS so healing when you’re trying to work through these times of life & these types of feelings – providing an uncensored outlet and often moving you more quickly back to ‘center’. BUT, as in my case, when these are the only things that you journal it will give you a very skewed, maudlin rendition of your past.
As it can be necessary and even (at times) healthy to delve into our past — and our journals are an excellent source for such an exercise — it’s not a good thing to portray your life in a lop-sided way.
Thankfully, I now journal while in all frames of mind – which, when I re-read my entries over more recent years, provides me with a much more well-rounded reflection of my life. It’s as important to reflect on your ‘happy’, your ‘mundane’, and your ‘triumphs’ as it is to view your darker days.
The following excerpt from the: the change Blog will help you ensure that you journal your ‘good’ – in addition to helping you reap the benefits that come from positive thinking!
Your Journal Encourages Positive Thinking When you write in your journal, don’t dwell on things that went wrong. Focus on the positive aspects of your day or week – even when you have to dig hard to find something. It might take a while for you to notice the effect, but you’ll soon be seeing faster change in your life: we tend to move towards what we’re focusing on. Time coach Mark Forster advocates writing a daily “What’s better” list, recording the things which were not just good but better – this is a powerful way to focus on growth.
Ten-minute exercise: If you’re reading this in the evening, how do you feel your day went? (Morning readers – use yesterday.) Chances are, you can think of lots of frustrations, things that went wrong, things that didn’t get done. Get your journal and write “Things which were good today”. List at least five. They don’t have to be big things – something as simple as “I saw a beautiful sunset” or “I left work on time” are fine. Now how do you feel about your day?