Why keep a journal?
Writing in the the form of stream of consciousness actually injects dopamine into the brain, which functions as a neurotransmitter, that releases a chemical by nerve cells that send signals to other nerve cells….. Oh my Buddha, who CARES?
The bottom line is that it motivates me, gets my ideas out, freezes a thought in time. My mind gets so full with so many things, and not all good things either, that I need a way to get that crap (and not so crap) out of my head. It also serves as a great gratitude list keeper too. If you let it, you are able to release your negativity and get the writing juices flowing. Simply put, if I don’t journal, I don’t write poetry and it’s probably due to that dopamine stuff I was going to tell you about until I realised what a snore-fest that was.
(I’m not talking clinical depression here, I’m not qualified in that area)
Negativity is such a turn off and it repels people to be in your company. Of course some of us need cave time to work out what the hell is going on, but it is so easy to form a habit of being negative that you get lost in it all and spend far too much time swimming in it. Writing it out is a great way of seeing it from a different perspective. Ever notice how all your friends disappear when you’re in negative mode? Yep! Get rid of it. And while you’re at it, get rid of those friends that abandon you in time of need.
If it’s habit you want to form, then why not take up journaling? Purge negativity, but force happiness in too. It doesn’t take any longer to form a positive habit than it does to form a negative one. It’s all choice.
Some of you who know me personally, know that I am a bit of a recluse (by choice), and I’m not a recluse because I’m lazy. If you knew me in my 20s and 30s, I was that person that was running from one social thing to another, honestly believing I was living life to the fullest. Oh what a farce! Talk about insecure!!!!! So as a recluse, I need an outlet to purge my thoughts to allow room for new ideas and new thoughts. It also helped me work out that I was just another hamster, running on the wheel to no-where…. fast! If it wasn’t for my journals I don’t know where I would be today.
The thing is, I’ve been keeping a journal since I was 15 (I’m 43 now), my whole life’s work are living in the cupboard under the stairs and have been there long before Harry Potter was a thought in his mother’s head. Some of my earlier journals are so funny to read. When I was 16, my problems were so HUGE, I didn’t think I was going to survive my teenage years, now when I look back on the melodrama I created for myself, I laugh so hard, and cry a little too. I’d give anything to have those ‘huge’ problems again and give back the ones I have now. At least I would know how to cope with it all better and understand that journaling is a way to deepen your learning, not just about venting.
Journaling keeps a marker on your life. It removes material thought from your mind and everyone deserves to tell their story. A few years ago, I worked with a man who had one leg and he reminded me of that saying ‘I cried when I had no shoes, until I saw a man with no feet’ and it really put a mirror up to my face and helped me realise what was important in life. I was worried about taking on this new job because I didn’t think it payed enough to help me pay my debts, until I further realised that my debts were due to material shit I thought I wanted. All that material crap did to me was anchor me down so far I thought I was sinking in the earth and it all actually stopped me from doing what made me happy.
I got off the hamster wheel that day. (I guess it’s a good time for me to mention that I call people who make a living doing what they don’t want to do and putting their dreams aside, Hamsters. I used to be their Queen!) I haven’t looked back since. I’m moving forward and working toward a life I think suits me better. I’ll never be a rich person again, (yes, once upon a time I had money and I was miserable), but I will live a life of integrity, happiness and know in my heart that life is worth every minute.
So to recap:
- Deepen the learning
- record gratitude
- purge negativity/let in positivity
- choose happiness
- remove material thought
and because your life matters, that’s why.
And that’s all I have to say about that
Have a happy, fulfilling day my blogger friends
Love to you all
Stay tuned for my post I’m currently writing (in my journal). A letter to my 16 year old self.