It’s critical for us to connect to our inner selves. Life throws challenges that only grow bigger by the day. And it manifests often as confusion, frustrations, worries and sheer boredom. As people get older, the vacuum of the heart is palpable but they react differently to it. Some seek to superficially ignore it in the name of positive thinking. Many busy themselves with the daily chores and have so many other things to brood about. Others escape the suffering through a dose of drugs, movies, liquor and attempt forget the worries. Very few dare to face them, and accept themselves and their inner selves for who they are.
To find lasting happiness and purpose in life, we need to discover our true selves beyond the daily rigmarole. And if you seek to be internally happy despite all the unpredictable things externally happening around you, journal writing can be a great help. If you want to grow from your worries, rather than get bogged down by them, try journaling.
The main cause of unhappiness for grownups is their unmindful nature. There is a strong connection between happiness and being in the present. Unfortunately most people constantly brood over the past or worry about the future. As their minds rapidly rush from the past to the future, and again to the past, they are lost and the reward for this mindless tossing is mental exhaustion. Journal writing promises an end to this tiring mental clutter. When you write, you are in the present; although you write about a past event or wish a better future, your thoughts are penned down, and you do connect to the ‘Now’. And that’s a liberating experience.
Many strong left brained people find it difficult to connect to others emotions; and the right brained need to be more organized and logical. Journal writing helps both parties; as the logical kind get to regular writing, their creative muscles and finer sentiments blossom. On the other hand when the creative, intuitive write journals, they find clarity and reason to express what they feel.
Medical research has also confirmed that regular journaling strengthens T-lymphocytes, the immune cells of the body besides also reducing the symptoms of asthama and rheumatoid arthritis. James Pennebaker, a psychologist and researcher at the University of Texas, in his ‘Writing to Heal’ has explained how stress often comes from emotional blockages and an overdose of thinking or a thinking addiction. When we write journals, we are essentially translating our experiences into a language, and that helps us grasp our experience- we actually see it for what it is, and our awareness of its insidious effect or otherwise increases. And that inevitably releases us from mentally unhealthy entanglements.
It’s easy to begin; just pick up a paper and pen or your laptop or your smart phone and start writing. You need not follow any rules except that just pen down your feelings and thoughts without editing. You aren’t looking for an ‘A’ through these journals; you are simply letting out your emotions and thoughts. And what follows is a natural and organic growth of the consciousness. We see our minds and feelings. Rather than being absorbed in the daily thoughts and feelings governing our lives, we can for a change become an observer- we get an aerial view to our life.
Sparing twenty minutes daily may seem a challenge for the busy bees of twenty first century. But we do spend that much time daily over so many trifles anyway. Try an experiment for a week, and see the difference. If it benefits, you may choose to increase the time. Of course some days we may not be able to write at all but discipline and dedication to write would reap immense long term benefits.