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“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and retrospect.” - Anaïs Nin

What you want me to write??

That was my thought when someone gave me my first diary. I was young, and many of my friends wrote in their diary, locked it, and put it in hiding so that siblings or nosey parents could not read it. I was given several diaries throughout the years. I would write in them for two or three days, then close the book and stop. I did not think that my life was exciting enough to write about. I did not even like to write.

Growing up, I did not enjoy writing. My imagination was stunted, so I did not know what to write about. I learned the diary was where children wrote about their hopes and dreams, whom the writer was “crushing” on, and a place to write about feelings.

It is essential to encourage children to write for many reasons. Children record their feelings because it gives them a safe way to release their emotions. The desired outcome is that the child can relive events they have experienced without fearing any negative consequences. Additionally, keeping a diary and recording life events can increase a child's self-esteem. These are the same reasons adults need to write!

When I reached my teenage years, more of my friends were writing. However, the term changed from diary to journal. I did not write well, so I did not write in my journal. I did carry around a journal that I used to take notes in during church. Many of my friends thought I was journaling!

Journaling became very important to me when I was in my mid-30s. Life became difficult. There were many people I could talk to, but I needed to learn to deal with some things on my own, so I journaled. During my dark years, I journaled a lot. I wrote many things I would not want anyone to read, so I got all my feelings out, kept those pages for a while then burned them. I would not want people I love to know how much hate was in my heart then.

Today, I journal often. It helps me sort through many of my thoughts and emotions. I write about goals and make plans on how I will achieve them. I write about my hurts, hopes, and things want to remember.

So, you may be thinking, “Why should I journal?” Journaling helps you grow as a person. Journaling differs for everyone. As you write about any topic, keep writing and writing; suddenly, new ideas come, or you experience a eureka moment.

You may want to journal but are unsure how to start. My journaling first started while I was reading a book that I cannot remember the name of, but it was about artists opening their minds to creativity. The first step was to journal. All that was asked was that you spend 15 minutes a day journaling. You could even write, “I HAVE TO SPEND THE NEXT 15 MINUTES JOURNALING IN THIS BOOK!” I wrote that statement repeatedly, then suddenly … other words started pouring out. I have been writing ever since.

Journals are more than writing. There are days when I am anxious, and I don’t want to write, but I need to focus, so I doodle (I can’t draw a stick figure, so doodle is all I can do)

There are many types of journals.

· Dream Journal – You can put ANY dream in this kind of journal. Where do you want to vacation? Where do you want to be in your career? Dreams of family.

· Food Journal – for me, this journal is now called tracking and is done on the Weight Watchers app

· Pregnancy Journal – Not only are there medical things to keep track of, but emotions also run high, and it helps to write them down.

· Travel log – a great place to keep treasured memories of unique locations.

· Gratitude journal – Daily give thanks – A gratitude journal helps us keep a more positive attitude.

· Daily log – daily events and feelings.

· An Everything journal – you write when you want – what you want.

I have found that journaling has made a substantial difference in my emotional health, spiritual growth, and living my life to its fullest. I do not journal every day. I don’t want it to feel like a chore, so I write when I need or want to.

My journal has two sections: write about anything, and then a special place for my big wins! I want to remember my good times, and when I read my difficult entries, I want to see how much I have grown.

5 Powerful Health Benefits of Journaling:

1. Reduces stress.

2. Improves immune function.

3. Keeps memory sharp.

4. Boosts mood.

5. Strengthens emotional functions.

I encourage you to journal and improve your life in ways you never thought of.

Have a great week!

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