We all know the cliché — love-struck girl lying on her bed, feet in the air, perhaps cosily wrapped in fluffy slippers, writing in her dear, old diary. Isn’t a scene out of Clueless. Or if you’re willing to think more interestingly then maybe Regina George from Mean Girls.
Now, there’s nothing actually wrong with this cliché (let’s not hate on love-struck teenagers), but keeping a journal can be so much more than a place to write about your crush, no matter your gender.
Writing helps you let out the anger you might be bottling up for months
Ever get so angry at a situation but know that taking it out on people is the wrong thing to do? Ever feel so frustrated with someone but not want to seem like you’re super mean? Too afraid to offend someone but also trying not to get offended? I’m gonna let you in on something: diaries don’t gossip. Just write it all out. Let the words slip off of your tongue, the pages contain secrets as nothing else does.
Let out all your frustration at your annoying friend, that patronizing uni tutor or inflation on the price of your favorite noodles in a safe place. Writing out all your negative feelings with nothing stopping or judging you will help them go away — and then you can go on with a clear mind.
Sometimes it’s better to converse with yourself in order to sort out your feelings, so…
If you do happen to be crushing on a hottie and are too embarrassed to tell anyone, remember, nothing is too risqué for your journal.
Having a crush or a repetitive emotion that you can’t deal with can be so frustrating because you’re thinking about it all the time but don’t want to annoy everyone around you by reading out the sonnets you’ve got circling in your head. Well pick up a pen and write it all out, Shakespeare. Annoy your journal with all your “should I?” and “should I not?”‘s
Writing is and should be your outlet. Let your anger, love, lust, sadness or any emotion you feel, breathe out of your mind.
Writing is also a good way to keep track of all the good memories
We so often focus on what’s negative and stressful, but there’s quite a lot of lovely stuff happening in your life right now. You could use your journal as an exercise in positivity — write down the nice things that happened to you that day. Focus on the good stuff and you’ll see how the bad stuff stops having so much weight.
Not only that, but this is the way to remember all the good stuff. We all like to keep journals and photos of our holidays so we don’t forget, well why not our daily lives?
Trust me, at some point, you’ll forget the details of that fun party or the first time you met the person who ends up being your best friend. Write it down, even just put a date to everything, in the future you’re going to love reminiscing.
Use your journal for meditation
We spend way too much time looking at screens. It’s not healthy. Use your journal to switch off that part of your brain. Remember when you could spend hours and hours coloring in or writing stories? Now you hand cramps after a couple of minutes.
Mindfulness and taking care of your mental health is so important now. Pick up a smooth pen, switch everything around you off, and just feel it gliding across the page, it doesn’t even matter what you write. Sometimes free-writing can be the best way of relaxing.
And lastly, fuel your creativity!
Your journal doesn’t have to be personal, or even real. You could have a pretend life, you could trial some of that poetry you know is going to be shit but you just want to write it down to make sure, you could free-write your way to a masterpiece.
The real freedom from journals is that they’re private, no one else has to see what your imagination can come up with. Feeling uninspired? Inspire yourself by doing something creative every day.