I believe reading is an art form, especially when we stop to experience the words that vividly describe our lives, emotions, pains and victories. A habit close to many and a real balm for the mind and spirit is diary writing. Over the years, we can easily fill dozens of little notebooks with memories, future plans, scribbles and thought patterns – with literally everything that flashes through our minds and hearts. I don’t remember the exact moment when I decided to start writing a diary, but I can only say that I never stopped. I’ve got a whole array of fairly old notes and memos, which I like to go back to when I allow myself to go through those mental drawers that contain some of my most painful memories. I’m not the kind of woman to indulge in too much unhealthy nostalgia because I’m very much in love with the present moment, but I believe true happiness emerges from analyzing oneself and the life events that have strongly defined the person you are today.
As we take time for our daily obligations, it’s important that we also take time for ourselves. For me, writing is a way to organize thoughts, take care of ideas, simply decide to forget something or forgive someone and then move forward without the mental burden. That could easily involve some crying or laughing to tears. Writing is a practice that lets you release everything that is stressing you by allowing you to be completely honest with yourself. It might be your first time opening up and telling the truth about how you feel and you can do so safely because a diary is a book meant only for you; it’s like a dancing soul that you get to dance with whenever you please. I’ve resolved significant dilemmas and problems by writing down my thoughts and revising them after a period of time giving them a new dimension. Because I’ve learned how face my painful thoughts straight on, I was able to make them milder, less pronounced. I’ve also learned that a scary mountain gets significantly smaller on paper allowing me to make a wiser decision about the path I’m choosing to climb without the terror of hitting a wall.
As women, we need intimate, private moments, just to get in touch with and manage the whirl of emotions that can shape our destiny. If you haven’t tried yet, I strongly recommend the therapy of writing – it costs nothing and yet is very rewarding. I always carry notebooks with me. My favorite is the one with positive thoughts, affirmations and lots of space for goal setting – these are usually located in our minds and get easily lost throughout the year. It might be because they weren’t really what we wanted, we gave up, thought it was just too much… In any case, writing truly helps. I think we become better people when we learn to experience the present moment fully, even if it’s painful. It’s from painful experiences that we can usually rise stronger and more courageous.
Writing has many benefits, it allows you to:
Take a break. Because we got used to rush through our days with the pressure to “hurry up”, it’s important that we take the time to stop and observe where we are and think about what we’re trying to achieve in life. Sometimes we can get so caught up in our daily routines that we start to believe that it’s the only way to live. If we actually stopped and observed our lives we might realize we’ve found ourselves on the wrong path, which gives us the chance to choose a new one.
Slow down the flow of thoughts. If you could record the thoughts going through your brain, you’d be surprised by their number, variety and velocity. Writing forces us to slow them down, making our thoughts somewhat grounded and allowing us to perceive them more realistically. This helps us make better decisions. We can enjoy the pleasant moments during the day while being confident in our ability to face the challenges that still await us.
Be honest about how you feel about yourself. If we’re certain that no one is going to read our diary, we can be completely honest with ourselves since we often seem to be incapable for various reasons. A diary allows us to expose and identify our strengths and weaknesses. Writing can be the first major step to change something you don’t feel good about or overcoming obstacles you’ve found yourself confronted with.
Write by hand. In this era of computers, we’re rarely writing with a pen unless we’re assembling our shopping lists or writing some quick notes. I believe our handwriting is an essential expression of who we are; let’s not neglect it.
Take yourself on a date We often complain about not having the time for ourselves, yet we’re consistently willing to give it up to others. A good reason to turn off your phone and retreat is to reconnect with yourself, your thoughts and emotions. Writing is the perfect opportunity for the only date you’ve been avoiding – the date with yourself.