I just read what might be my favorite blog post ever. It is called “The Mad Ninja Skills for Getting Anything Done” by Sonia Simon. In this post, Sonia points out the magical power that journaling can have, if done correctly.
I have been journaling almost every day for the past 8 years- since I was 14 years old. I can’t imagine my life without it. I have a persistent and frustrating personal problem: I stress. A lot. I’ve tried dealing with stress with Yoga and running, both of which were helpful; however, nothing helps lower my stress level more than journaling.
One way that journaling helps stress is by giving your obligations a place to be OUTSIDE of your head. In other words, you are taking your concerns, obligations and fears that are being smooshed between a million others thoughts and saying to them: “Hey guys, here is your new home on this piece of paper.” The act of physically moving these thoughts onto paper is therapeutic. It helps sort. It makes me feel more organized, and therefore less overwhelmed and stressed.
One bit of Sonia’s post that I really connected with was the following:
To me, this is the whole point of journaling: to NOT be nice, appropriate, or sane. For journaling to be as effective as it should be, or can be, there are some rules that need to be followed. You ready for it? Here comes the list:
1. Journal for YOU and ONLY YOU. If you are writing on a personal Livejournal or some other form of on-line diary, it is not really journaling. It’s blogging. You are aware that you have an audience- even if it’s just your closest, closest friends- it doesn’t matter. The purpose is altered. Your writing will be stripped of uncensored honesty and THAT IS THE POINT OF JOURNALING.
2. Write in a stream-of-conscious style. As Sonia pointed out in her post, journaling should never be edited. If you don’t know what stream-of-conscious style is, essentially it means writing without formulating sentences, without “thinking” if that is possible, definitely without censoring. It’s pen on paper moving non-stop. This has lately been the only form of journaling I have been doing. Just start by writing any word. And then another. Quickly. Even if you think it won’t make sense, it will, I promise. As Sonia so cleverly pointed out in her post:
To me, that quote sums up the purpose of journaling. Now go out and try it! Be like a Ninja! And THANK YOU Sonia for such a thoughtful blog on the subject. Anyone else have any journaling rules to share? If so, COMMENT!