Did you ever think about writing a diary? You must have been an introvert if you did so. Not that extroverts should not think about it. But what happened then? Did you start writing? Were you scared of privacy? Did you think it was a waste of time? I am an introvert and diary is my best friend. Here is my story of diary writing.
When I was 12, I got inspired by a newspaper article and started writing a diary. I used to write about homework, teachers or parents, which I discontinued later. When I was 18, after a gap of 2 years, I again started writing. This time, it was about crushes and likings. I started treating diary as a friend whom I can trust with my secrets. Sometimes I used to even write about what areas I am good at or need an improvement. Then I made too many friends and writing a diary took a back seat. When I was 23, after a gap of 2 years, I started writing again. This was at a time when I moved back to stay with my family in a city where I had no friends, as a result, diary became my only friend. But I had privacy issues in writing down everything. It was then a friend introduced to me to an online journal. All these years, diary served the purpose of a friend or just a hobby. But now I consider it as one of the best habits I have ever developed.
I started with spending 30 minutes every night to think about the day. I used to write down what I did the entire day. Sometimes I write down my fears. And at times it acts as a friend to discuss the critical decisions I need to take about life. I wanted to track my emotions by writing them down. I used to make a note of the terrible mood swings I had during the day. I was expecting to see an improvement in my state of mind by doing this exercise. But I hardly saw any. I was a little disappointed.
Around that time, I came across ‘Stumbling upon happiness’ book. This book clearly pointed out the mistake I was doing. The author writes about how when we look back on how we felt is different from how we actually felt in that moment when the event occurred. That was when I understood the significance of live journal.
Now I write down the emotion as and when I feel it. If I feel a negative emotion, I make a note of the emotion, the cause of it, the reason behind my reaction and how I will behave in a similar situation next time. This helped me understand myself better. It makes you stay positive after every bad emotion. If I encounter a negative emotion in the early hours of the day, I tell myself that I finished my quota of negativity for the day. On the days I feel good in the first half of the day, I carry those best practices to the remaining day.
The following are a few other uses:
Become a less short tempered person:
Now when I get angry, my anger has vanished in a few seconds because I start thinking rationally and don’t feel any anger at the person or situation. I am no longer a short tempered person. I don’t say that I have become the best I can, but I can feel the difference. It helps me bring a control on my life rather than my life controlling me. It helped me in reducing the wavering of moods and extremities of emotions.
If I am in the middle of a task and think about a few other tasks I need to get done, instead of waiting to finish this task, if I just make a note of it, it frees up my working memory.
If I feel a pain in the stomach due to a certain food or if I sneeze because of a certain smell, remembering trivial points like this till the end of the day would be a waste of memory and there are higher chances of forgetting them. Instead if I note them down as and when it happens, I will have a log of the causes for my health issues.
Increase in Productivity:
I make a note of what tasks made me feel that I misused my time and where I have made the best use of my time. If I have been whiling away a lot of time, I will be extra careful for the remaining hours.
Some of you must be wondering that this is going to be an utter waste of time. If you have the habit of texting someone whole day, this comes under texting yourself the entire day. It is not only the relations in your life you need to handle but also yourself. I have not fully achieved it yet. But I am a better person than before and I am going to become the best of myself in the coming days. Try it out yourself and share those experiences here.
Happy journal writing !