Do you know how many times I have encouraged my friends to start journaling? Easily over a hundred times? Has anyone ever listened to me, though? None.
No one in my family or circle of friends is into creative stuff, you see. They appreciate my love for writing; they are happy to see me contented with what I am doing. However, whenever I tell them to try it, they either change the subject or answer me “No thanks” immediately.
Then, the quarantine order came over a month ago. My sisters and I have been stuck at our parents’ house ever since. There are plenty of seeds to plant in the garden and boxes to organize in the attic, but we have eventually run out of activities.
Well, correction—my sisters have; I haven’t. They saw me by the window one day, writing on my journal, and they asked me why I do it. So I said:
It Provides Stress Relief
The primary benefit of journaling is its ability to relieve your stress. If you look at the latter at the core level, after all, you will realize that it is a result of keeping thoughts to yourself. Your mouth is supposed to serve as drainage for such ideas, but there may be times when you choose to seal it. The words then swirl in your head, to the point that your system releases cortisol, the stress hormone.
No one can force you to speak up if you are not ready. However, you can start helping yourself to get better by writing down your troubling thoughts. The more you do it, the less cortisol will get produced.
It Is Like Speaking To A Non-Judgmental Friend
I know how it feels to want to hide your deepest, darkest secrets from your friends, afraid that they will judge you because of it. Sometimes, this decision is valid, especially if there are narrow-minded people around you. But even if you are almost sure that your friends are better than that, you may still be unable to decide if you can share everything with them.
Again, your truth is yours to keep or divulge. You never need to explain to anyone if you don’t feel like doing so. Still, you will only be able to relax when you use the journal as an extension of your mind, body, and soul. The bonus is that a paper cannot talk back, so you can get everything out of your chest without interruption.
It Does Not Cost As Much As Therapy
Before I pursued journaling, I spent thousands of dollars on therapy. I was never a neglected child or jaded girlfriend or abused wife, but it was challenging for me to process my emotions. I had to see my therapist once a week until she told me to get a journal where I could write down my feelings daily.
I ended up getting engrossed in journaling, to the extent that I felt myself healing from the activity, not from therapy. Before bedtime, I would get my journal and write what I felt during specific situations during the day. Therapy has been an eye-opening experience for me, but journaling has allowed me to not only save money but also become more self-aware.
My sisters got their pens and notebooks last week. They have been pouring their hearts out on the paper from that day. Yesterday, one of them said, “I should have taken up journaling when you first suggested it to me.”
It makes me glad to know that I have influenced my sister to start journaling. How about you, when will you do the same?